An hour or so passed in the blink of an eye as I attempted to begin writing my article on 14px. This game has the perfect mix of easy controls and yet frustratingly difficult gameplay, so that I just found myself unable to put it down.
The premise of 14px (available on Android and iOS) is delightfully simple: get from point A to point B. Sounds easy and like it’s been done a thousand times, but if you give it a try, you’ll probably have some trouble putting it down too.
How Do I Play?
Easy! Three buttons line the bottom of your screen: move left, move right, and jump. No attacks, no weapons, no defense — just moving and jumping.
As shown in the video above, gameplay is simple enough that anyone can pick it up and get started. The game even progresses at a pace just fast enough for you to learn of new obstacles gradually before being surrounded by them.
The 80 levels are split up into different categories of difficulty. Each new category introduces new mechanisms that are trying to kill you — from spikes to laser guns to lava. You have unlimited lives, but the game oh-so-graciously keeps track of how many attempts you make at a level and how many times you die in each category.
You get two jumps before you fall back down unwillingly, which allows for quite a bit of awkward maneuvering through the sky as you try to jump around corners while dodging “flying spiky things” (that’s the actual name). You can also jump off of any physical object (as long as that physical object is not a spiky thing trying to kill you) infinitely, allowing you to climb walls or hang on to the ceiling as you traverse the level.
Each level is timed, and your goal is to grab all the orbs and rescue your trapped friends in the shortest time possible. Depending on your time and your collected orbs and friends, you can earn up to three stars for each level.
You get points for these stars which can be redeemed for different colored main characters who have special abilities, like running faster or jumping higher.
The greatest thing about this game is the fact that it should be so easy, but often times you just die anyway (at least, I hope it’s not just me). You can see the level, you can see what you have to do, but doing it results in frustrating deaths from flying spiky things and laser beams. Games like this that are too easy get boring quick, but 14px keeps you on your toes.
What Does It Cost?
It depends on your platform. If you’re on iOS, it costs $0.99 but has no ads. If you’re on Android, it’s free but will have a banner ad running along the top most of the time.
I didn’t find the banner ads too terribly annoying until they started blocking the back button on the level-selector screen as shown above. Thankfully, most Android phones have a physical back key, which doesn’t make this much of a problem. If you really hate ads, though, you can pay $1.66 in the app to get rid of them.
Can I Create My Own Levels Online?
What a surprisingly specific question, but the answer is yes! 14px has its own online level editor where you have access to all the pieces used in the game, and you’re only limited by your own imagination.
Once you create a level, you’re given a special code to type into the game to access that level, meaning you can build a level and have all your friends try it out to see if they can make it through.
While the replayability of 14px is questionable since you’ll eventually run out of levels, the online level editor adds another element if you’re willing to spend the time to create some awesome levels.
Where Do I Download It?
There’s a reason 14px is on our list of the Best Android Games, but if you’re looking for even more fun, be sure to check out the rest of the titles on that list or the Best iPhone Games list. Shadow Blade, the unputdownable side-scrolling platformer, might interest you as well.
What do you think of 14px? Any similar games you’d like to recommend? Let us know in the comments.