Sawbuck Gamer

Genesis Of Pixel

Virtual Life Cycle

Genesis Of Pixel charges you with creating and sustaining life. No pressure.

By Drew Toal • April 17, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

I always loved the idea of “spontaneous generation”—that animals and insects could arise fully formed out of fertile manure piles and trash heaps. This theory was eventually disproven by noted microbiologist and Debbie Downer Louis Pasteur, but I’ve never been one to let science ruin my preconceived good time. Genesis Of Pixel gets back to the Aristotelian flim-flam I hold so dear. Pixels pop up out of the ether, and the player uses a variety of droppers to mutate and grow the pixels. If pixels don’t get enough nutrients, they die. Successful micromanagement will have the pixels grow and subdivide, and it becomes increasingly difficult to keep them all alive (as they die both from natural causes and from evolved cannibalistic varieties).

The concept—unlike my beloved rats-from-rags theory—is sound, but it’s all a little one-dimensional for prolonged engagement. Once you get the fire going beyond the initial ancestral pixels, the ecosystem requires less direct intervention. Pixels grow, consume each other, and spawn more pixels, completing the cycle of life in seconds. The implications are frightening.

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6 Responses to “Virtual Life Cycle”

  1. Enkidum says:

    So this is like a cuter version of Conway’s Game of Life?

    I know, I know, it’s a free game and I could just go check for myself. But shit, I’m lazy as hell. Plus I’m “writing” my “th_s_s”.  (You can’t say the whole name or you’ll invoke it’s wrath.

    • The_Helmaroc_King says:

      Conway’s Game of Life was the first thing I thought of, too, but it’s a better programming exercise than a game. The rules are well-defined, it introduces concepts like arrays and state, and you can change the speed or scale to show how computers handle load. More importantly, though, it’s visually interesting to play around with.

      This game seems to be aiming for a more naturalistic approach: the pixels move, they can “mutate” into different forms, and they’ll chase or avoid each other as necessary. I also had no idea what I was doing, apparently, as I managed to “grow” four pixels which died shortly thereafter.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      F_N_S_ Y_U_ TH_S_S!

  2. duwease says:

    What’s the point of a Life Creation Simulation without the sex?!  That’s the most fun part!

  3. Mercenary_Security_number_4 says:

    Spontaneous Generation is one of those discredited theories people wouldn’t even know about anymore if those wacky Creationists didn’t keep misidentifying it as the precursor to evolution.