5 Best Pixel Art Stylized Games To Play In 2024

Though the industry may have advanced quite a bit, pixel art games still hold a special place in many people’s hearts. They used to be the talk of the town back in the 90s and early 2000s, and while recent games have shifted away from that style, pixel art games like Undertale, Dead Cells, and Stardew Valley have shown newer audiences why the genre is hailed as one of the most addictive and incredible.

Having said that, here’s our round-up of the best pixel art games you need to play regardless of whether this is your first retro-stylized game or you’re an 8-bit and 16-bit veteran.

5. Wall World

Wall World
Image: Alawar

Developed by: Alawar
Released: 5 April, 2023
Genre: Shooter, Adventure, Strategy
Where to play: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X/S

Wall World is a pixelated adventure game where you climb a seemingly endless wall in search of answers. Armed with an Exosuit, guns, and a giant robot spider mech, you travel upwards, and discover new biomes, enemies, mining locations, NPCs, and lots more.

The pixelated art style of Wall World is a beauty to behold. The different weather conditions, biomes, character models, and environment props all have a distinct look about them because of the game’s verticality. In many ways, Wall World is a masterpiece. It nails the pixelated art style as well as dares to venture into gameplay concepts not many developers would.

4. Sheepy: A Short Adventure

Sheepy: A Short Adventure
Image: MrSuicideSheep

Developed by: MrSuicideSheep
Released: 6 February, 2024
Genre: Platformer
Where to play: Windows PC (Steam, Itch.io)

Another game with a gorgeous pixelated art style that deserves a mention in this list is Sheepy: A Short Adventure. In this free-to-play and roughly 1-hour-long single-player platformer, you explore different zones as an emotionally touching narrative unfolds along with you every step of the way.

There isn’t much content or action in the game. However, given it’s free and the fact that its art style is jaw-droppingly beautiful, Sheepy: A Short Adventure deserves to be called one of the best pixel art games.

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3. Balatro

Image: LocalThunk

Developed by: LocalThunk
Released: 20 February, 2024
Genre: Roguelike Deckbuilder, Card Game
Where to play: macOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC (Steam, Itch.io), Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

Balatro takes one of the most interesting games on the planet, Poker, and makes it tenfold fun through the use of addicting RPG elements. Now some cards have insane buffs that give you +40 chips, while others might raise your scoring multiplier.

You’re constantly on your toes trying to play the best hand possible and get through the rounds. And as soon as you start to get bored, Balatro throws in an endless stream of modifiers that make you alter your strategy. It’s a complicated game to grasp at first, but if you like Poker and love the idea of supernatural Poker with stylish pixel graphics even more, Balatro is one of the best pixel art card games you can get your hands on right now.

2. Hyper Light Drifter

Hyper Light Drifter
Image: Heart Machine

Developer: Heart Machine
Released: 31 March, 2016
Genre: Action, RPG
Where to play: Linux, Windows, OS X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS

Heart Machine’s Hyper Light Drifter is a 2D pixelated action role-playing game. As the eponymous Drifter, you hack and slash around different levels, completing tasks, collecting upgrades for your energy sword, and meeting new characters along the journey. There isn’t any voice acting or major cutscenes in Hyper Light Drifter. However, the stunning pixelated backdrops do more than justice in the way of environmental storytelling. Hyper Light Drifter stands out in the heap of indie games out there, and though you might be tempted to dive into another massive franchise, this is one pixelated indie game you won’t regret playing.

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1. Vampire Survivors

vampire Survivors
Image: Poncle

Developer: Poncle
Released: 20 October, 2022
Genre: Roguelike shooter
Where to play: macOS, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know about the latest indie gaming sensation Vampire Survivors. This 2D roguelike shooter sends infinite hordes of enemies that are anything but a vampire. Your character automatically uses his arsenal of weapons and as you gain experience, you’ll be presented with innumerable upgrades to choose from each level. 

It is like you’re playing the slot machine at a casino, but the only difference is, if you strategize well, you’ll always win. Vampire Survivors does a surreal job of hooking you in with its gameplay, and its retro pixelated art style of the world, characters, weapons, and visual effects just makes you nostalgic remembering the good old days.

For more Game Master HQ, check out our ranking of the top upcoming mobile games of 2024.

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