10 years after the release of the original McPixel and we’ve already arrived at the third one. Or rather, we just skipped the second one outright. Perfectly fine though, that’s exactly the kind of spirit this game embodies.
At its core, McPixel 3 is a straightforward point and click adventure game using, well, pixel graphics. The real strength comes in the variety of the level design and the sheer creativity behind its puzzles. You’ll go from trying to survive a military plane crash to getting stuck inside Windows 95 to even flat out recreating a game of Among Us. The levels are full of references, jump all over the place, and are hardly ever boring with their setting.
Granted, I will note that the experience does rely a lot on middle school humor – the type where you literally have a level solved by putting out a house fire with your own explosive urine. It’s crude – and I definitely might have liked it a bit more as a teenager – but it’s at least not overbearing. Overall though, it was fun to constantly see the game try to one up itself and although not every level lands, the vast majority do and it’s really for this reason that the experience works so well.
Of course that’s even before the actual gameplay. It’s a point and click game, so you’ll be picking up things, interacting with objects and people, and combining stuff together in creative ways to solve each level. The levels are short enough that it seems pretty straightforward, but a lot of the time you’ll have five, ten, fifteen, sometimes even twenty possible combinations of moves to make and it often takes multiple tries to finally find the correct one.
The game rewards the process too, as each individual interaction you find adds to the level’s progress meter and there’s a lot for completionists to do if you want to reach that 100% and earn the extra rewards in each level. This can easily double the overall playtime – which on its own is pretty short given that there are only four chapters. That said, the pacing itself is solid – the experience never feels too slow nor does it feel like it is over right as it begins. For the type of point and click gameplay on offer here, it’s just right and perfect to power through in a day or two.
The aesthetic too. The pixel graphics are nothing too detailed, but are oddly fitting for the game’s sense of humor and it does a decent job at mixing different styles together to emphasize this. The music isn’t that bad either, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit disappointed by the lack of sound effects. There are some, but the vast majority of the game is just goofy music. I guess you could make the argument that that adds to the experience, but the reverse is also true.
Otherwise, McPixel 3 looks good and runs well. I had no issues playing it at 4k 60 fps using entirely mouse controls (although keyboard, controller, and even touch controls are also supported). I did not run into any bugs or technical issues whatsoever during my playthrough and the experience is relatively polished in spite of its crude look.
So yeah, McPixel 3 is a pretty easy recommendation to make. Superb level design, fun and creative puzzles, a goofy overall aesthetic – it’s a nice little indie package that never disappointed me throughout its short runtime. The gameplay and humor may not land for everyone, but if you’re looking for a fun, short little point and click puzzler to play in an afternoon – do give it a look.
Quote: McPixel 3 has some superb level design, fun and creative puzzles, and a goofy overall aesthetic to carry the experience through its short runtime. An easy recommendation.
McPixel 3 retails for $10 USD on Steam. It is also available through GOG and on Xbox Series X|S and Switch.
I was provided a review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.