Pixel People Was Dangerously Entertaining, And Now It’s Deadly

In late January, LambdaMu Games took over every non-working waking hour of my life with Pixel People for iOS, a game about gene splicing, city-building, and desperately trying to avoid spending money (I failed on more than one occassion). It took me a month to stop playing. That’s why today’s massive update is a jerk.

There were 150 characters to create and collect. Now there are 255. You could collect animals. Now you can collect and trade them with friends. There’s a whole new social element, with gifting and trading and new buildings and missions and dammit, Pixel People.

Pixel People is available on iTunes. It is still free. And evil.


  • Pixel People really made me think about how f*cking stupid and arbitrary games can be.

    I started playing it having seen the really good reviews it got from people who were addicted to it, but after about a week and several wasted hours it occurred to me that all you did was wait and randomly splice so that you can get more people who don’t do anything…

    You get new buildings but it doesn’t matter where you put them, just stick them into open space for all it matters, you can click on functions to make stuff happen faster, but nothing is REALLY happening as far as progress, you’re just moving faster towards getting another villager you can’t do anything with. You can’t win, you can’t lose, there’s no though involved outside of “what two jobs would I put together to make this person type”…… which can just as easily be managed through randomly clicking on gene types.

    Basically this game sucks and anyone addicted to it should probably assess their priorities in life. The most interesting thing about it is that you might realise how pointless most games are.

    • I was addicted for so long. I am happier now that I have freed myself from check-in schedules to maximize my free utopium output and keep the arrival centre always working on that next clone.

      • Even the most pointless of games (think Animal Crossing, which I like BTW) has some element of skill or “game” involved, or a least a reward that’s somewhat satisfying. I can understand that people would come back to that.

        All Pixel People (the original version anyway) has as a reward is a different coloured person with a different job title. It’s all presented in a way that makes it look like it has a SimCity aspect to it but really it’s just pointless window dressing to give you something to look at while you wait for enough points so you can guess combinations until you splice the next pointless, do nothing coloured man… or better yet (for the developer), get so borded you pay money to get the next pointless man faster.

        It has no gameplay whatsoever!

        Go back and have a look at Kotaku’s very positive review for this “game”: http://www.kotaku.com.au/2013/02/app-review-my-perfect-world-is-populated-by-pixel-people/

        It’s possibly one of the saddest pieces of game reviewing I’ve ever seen and makes you wonder if someone was collecting a backhander. Mike Fahey calls the game ‘endlessly entertaining’ and says of the games completely pointless buildings, ‘Some of these buildings have special functions — the observatory lets you change the floating city’s position in space, while the police station is where you view the game’s achievements.’

        OH WOW! In 2013 you can change the 2D star pattern in the background and access a menu! GO OUT AND BUY IT!

        • This was the game that opened my eyes to the reality of cash grab micro transaction games. I spent some money to speed things up but then realised that it wasn’t even a game. Just a piece of shit that took my money. It was a valuable lesson.

        • By the same token, the writing was pretty funny though and I’ve certainly invested more for far less payoff than the chuckles that gave. 😉

          But yeah, not enough to go back.

  • The new update is also bugged and deletes the cities of around 10% (the developers figure, but it may be higher) of people when they try to access the social features!

    So particularly if you’ve spent money on this and/or unlocked all the previous genes, be careful!!

  • There’s a free Pixel People professions guide for iPhone.
    It’s simply the best way to get all the Pixel People jobs you need. Much better than any app or online guide. And it’s free. Enjoy.


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