PixelJunk Shooter

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Pixeljunk shooter.jpg
PlayStation Store icon
Developer(s) Q-Games
Double Eleven
Composer(s) High Frequency Bandwidth
Alex Paterson
Dom Beken
Series PixelJunk
Platform(s) PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Release date(s) PlayStation 3
  • JP December 24, 2009
  • NA December 10, 2009
  • EU December 10, 2009
Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux
November 11, 2013
PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
  • NA June 3, 2014
  • EU June 4, 2014
Genre(s) Multidirectional shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, cooperative multiplayer

PixelJunk Shooter: The Depths of Disaster is a video game developed by Q-Games for the PlayStation 3. It is the fourth major title in the PixelJunk series. It was released on the North American and European PlayStation Store on December 10, 2009.[1]


In PixelJunk Shooter, up to two players can control their own subterranean vehicles to rescue a number of surviving scientists trapped underground.[2] Using their ships' missiles, players can defeat enemies and destroy weak rock to progress through the environment. In addition to rock and ice, players must manipulate three types of fluid (water, magma, and ferrofluid) in order to reach the survivors.[3] Once each survivor is rescued or killed, players may progress to the next part of the stage. If too many survivors are killed, players are forced to quit or restart the stage. The game has fifteen stages divided evenly among three "episodes", each episode ending with a boss encounter.[4]


PixelJunk Shooter was formally announced during a 2009 pre-E3 press event on April 29, 2009. Originally referred to as PixelJunk 1-4, a 13-day contest was held in which fans submitted game title suggestions to Q-Games.[5] The official title, PixelJunk Shooter, was announced on May 25, 2009.[6] The simplistic name was received negatively by some fans to which Q-Games president Dylan Cuthbert explained that the name was chosen not only for its simplicity, but also because shooting is the game's central mechanic ("Shooting jets of magma, shooting streams of water, shooting enemies, missiles, lasers, plasma spread weapons etc.")[7] Several other titles were considered, including "PixelJunk Elements", the most popular submission. Ultimately, "Elements" was dismissed because "[it didn't] sound action-packed enough".[8]

PixelJunk Shooter is the first title in the PixelJunk series to offer a traditional narrative, conveyed to players through a series of speech boxes awarded upon rescuing certain survivors.[5] The game's soundtrack is made up of songs by High Frequency Bandwidth, composed by Alex Paterson and Dom Beken.[9]


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 86.54%[10]
Metacritic 86/100[11]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A[12]
Eurogamer 8/10[13]
Game Informer 8.50/10[14]
GameSpot 8/10[15]
GameSpy 4/5 stars[16]
IGN 9.1/10[17]

PixelJunk Shooter was met with positive critical reception. Described by Eurogamer as "part retro videogame, part chemistry set; part Geometry Wars, part Zelda",[13] Game Informer called it "one of the best titles you’ll find on PlayStation Network".[14] Similarly, IGN's review called it one of the best PlayStation Network titles of 2009, as well as Q Games' "best work yet".[17]

The game was praised by critics for its level design and unique physics;[13][14] Nidzumi noted that the game "lets you explore", claiming "the game does an excellent job of making you feel like you’re exploring long lost caves and uncovering nuances, when in actuality you are following the same linear levels everyone else is." [1] 1UP.com lamented that the game did not include a "sandbox" mode wherein players could experiment with the game's various fluid substances.[12] The music of High Frequency Bandwidth was also praised, described as "a funky, dynamic collection of upbeat trip-hop" by Eurogamer.[13]

Critics were not uniform in reception of the game's combat. While Eurogamer praised the enemies as "cunningly-designed",[13] GameSpy remarked that the combat experience overall "isn't all that interesting".[16]

Several reviews made note of the game's brevity; GameSpot called it "ultimately too short for its own good, abruptly ending just when you're getting into a groove".[15] Other reviewers were less critical of the game's length, noting that the story concludes with a "To Be Continued" screen, suggesting an "Encore" expansion was likely (similar to those released for PixelJunk Monsters and PixelJunk Eden).[12][13] Rather than an expansion, a standalone sequel was announced by Q-Games.


The PixelJunk Shooter space in PlayStation Home is a 3D representation of elements seen in the 2D game. In the foreground are two Home avatars wearing scientist uniforms unlocked by playing PixelJunk Shooter.

A PlayStation Home space for PixelJunk Shooter was added onto the existing Q Games "PixelJunk Museum" space on December 17, 2009. Upon entering the Museum, players receive articles of clothing unlocked by completing portions of PixelJunk Shooter. Completing the game 100% will unlock a complete scientist costume for players to equip their Home avatars with. The Home space features the virtual interior of the "Ers Piñita Colada", a space center seen in the main menu for PixelJunk Shooter.

PixelJunk Shooter 2 was formally announced by Q-Games on May 18, 2010.[18] The title is the first full-fledged sequel to any PixelJunk game. Q-Games' Dylan Cuthbert said of the title, "it will have some features that are new to the PixelJunk series in general and will be bigger than the first game".

PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate developed by Double Eleven combines both games into one continuous game. It was released on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in June 2014 and on the PC in October 2015.[19][20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "‘Tis the PixelJunk Season…". PlayStation Blog. Retrieved 2009-12-02.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  2. ^ PixelJunk Shooter Preview: Hot And Cold-Running Co-Op, kotaku.com, Jun 8, 2009
  3. ^ Mueller, Greg (2009-04-29). "PixelJunk 1-4 Hands-On: Better Than a Lava Lamp". Shacknews. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  4. ^ Cuthbert, Dylan (2009-05-25). "PixelJunk 1-4: Drumroll Please ...". PlayStation. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  5. ^ a b Cuthbert, Dylan (2009-04-29). "Name the Next PixelJunk Game!". PlayStation. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  6. ^ Cuthbert, Dylan (2009-05-25). "PixelJunk 1-4: Drumroll Please ...". PlayStation. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  7. ^ Cuthbert, Dylan (2009-05-25). "PixelJunk 1-4: Drumroll Please ... (comment)". PlayStation. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  8. ^ Cuthbert, Dylan (2009-05-25). "PixelJunk 1-4: Drumroll Please ... (comment)". PlayStation. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  9. ^ "First PixelJunk 1-4 Details, Hands On Impressions". Kotaku. 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  10. ^ "PixelJunk Shooter for PlayStation 3". GameRankings. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  11. ^ "PixelJunk Shooter (ps3) reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  12. ^ a b c Barnholt, Ray (2009-12-10). "PixelJunk Shooter Review for the PS3". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f Welsh, Oli. "PixelJunk Shooter Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  14. ^ a b c Miller, Matt (2009-12-14). "PixelJunk Franchise Wins Again | PixelJunk Shooter". Game Informer. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  15. ^ a b McShea, Tom (2009-12-15). "PixelJunk Shooter Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  16. ^ a b Gallegos, Anthony (2009-12-15). "The Consensus: PixelJunk Shooter Review". GameSpy. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  17. ^ a b Roper, Chris (2009-12-09). "PixelJunk Shooter Review". IGN. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  18. ^ "PixelJunk Shooter 2 in Full Production!". PlayStation. 2009-05-18. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  19. ^ South, Mark (3 June 2014). "PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate Out Today on PS4, PS Vita". PlayStation Blog. Sony Computer Entertainment. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  20. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (21 October 2015). "PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate is out now on Steam". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 

External links[edit]