A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Buy Now$9.99 USD or more

They Bleed Pixels, the cult classic platforming slash-em up is now available on Itch! 

As an anonymous student of the Lafcadio Academy for Troubled Young Ladies, you must battle through your nightmares to defeat a curse that’s slowly transforming your body into a clawed demonic form. 

They Bleed Pixels balances a perfect mix of fast-paced acrobatic platforming and fierce, one-button, slash’em up combat. By suppressing your urge to button mash in favour of focusing on stylish and smart kills, you are rewarded with checkpoints you can choose when to place for safety... or try your luck by holding onto them for extra bonus points.


  • Hardcore original difficulty, plus an easier novice mode, to match a wider range of skills. 
  • Striking art style mixes low-fi pixel art with organic ink and paper textures. 
  • Original electronic soundtrack by DJ Finish Him (aka Shaun Hatton) composed with synthesizers, unconventional instruments and gadgets often not meant for musical use.
  • Unlock bonus guest levels + illustrations by comic and game artists from around the world.
  • Becoming a monster stabbing master or platforming speedrunner with individual level rankings, leaderboards and 150 skill-based badges. 
  • Lush gothic-cute motion comics tell the story of a young girl haunted by eldritch nightmares.

“Gothic brutality shines brightly throughout this blocky, blood-soaked indie platformer.” - 8.2/10 - IGN


eShop: US | UK | Japan



STEAM ONLY FEATURES: Online features such as online leaderboards and replay data require the Steam version.

MAC PLAYERS: They Bleed Pixels is 64-bit and will run on MacOS Catalina.  However it is unsigned and may require you to turn off some security to run!


PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux
Release date Aug 29, 2012
Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars
(95 total ratings)
AuthorSpooky Squid Games
GenrePlatformer, Action
Tags2D, Cult Classic, Difficult, Fast-Paced, Female Protagonist, Hack and Slash, Horror, Pixel Art, supernatural
Average sessionAbout an hour
LanguagesEnglish, Japanese
InputsKeyboard, Gamepad (any)


Buy Now$9.99 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $9.99 USD. Your purchase comes with a Steam key. You will get access to the following files:

they-bleed-pixels-linux.zip 331 MB
Version 5
they-bleed-pixels-mac-osx.zip 330 MB
Version 5
they-bleed-pixels-windows.zip 330 MB
Version 5
Legacy Version - They Bleed Pixels 32-bit Linux - use only if you can't run 64-b 237 MB

Development log


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Runs flawlessly on Deck, loved the game. There were a few parts where the difficulty felt a bit spiky, but every time I died it was because I'm bad, not because the game cheated me. I would recommend this game alongside Super Meat Boy, Braid, and Fez.

lloving this game but i lost my save data somehow?

i didnt know i had to save lol imsilly. awesome game


Good to hear you figured it out! It auto saves when you finish a level, but if you close the game mid-way without exiting the level first, it doesn't know to make a mid-level save.  Glad you're enjoying it! 

yeah it's a great game!! super cool

your game would be very welcome on the playdate :)

That would definitely be a difficult port! Apart from everything else the screen  on the playdate is very different than the full color 720p screen They Bleed Pixels was designed around. It is an intriguing little device though! 

I understand :) That would be for sur a tough work.
Thank for reading and answering

Show post...

cool game

Played it before and decided to try it out on the Steam Deck now, runs great and is also really fun there (downloaded the linux version from here and added as non-steam game).

The game's hard but the art style and fluidity of combat/combos is really something. Love it!

Thanks! Great to  hear this version is running nicely on Steam Deck.

Not gonna lie, I love this game to pieces. I haven't been able to get past one specific part in the full mode, though. I'd still be trying if my gaming laptop hadn't bricked itself, though. I love the story that's coming together. The art style is fantastic from the cutscenes to the gameplay. I love the hack n slash. I even love the fiendish difficulty that drove me to improve hours at a time. It's all just... so good. Very high quality work! You folks put your hearts and souls into this game, and it shows!

Thanks so much! It's always great to hear from folks who enjoyed the game :D 


This game was a lot of fun and I really love the artstyle ^^ 




Other way around (she's a guest in Bleed 2) but yes!

Am I the only who who got like extra sensitive ... everything ? with keyboard or pad, if I press one key shortly, it's like I'm spamming. Impossible to choose anything, like there is a x800 speed...

i fixed this by disabling vsync (my monitor is 240Hz)

Oh wow, I just thought that this is how the game was supposed to run haha. This might help quite a bit 

well, I'll need patience to fix it, the time to get to this option x

In situations where the game is running too fast, disabling vsync often works but still may result in slight speed issues on some setups. This is my recommended fix for high refresh monitors (should also be useful for other games with this problem): 

If you have an Nvidia card: Open the Nvidia control panel, go to Manage 3D settings and click the "program settings" tab.

Under "select program to customize" select "they bleed pixels pc.exe" , you may need to click the "Add" button to locate it but if you've run it recently it's probably in the list. 

Once it's selected, find Max Frame Rate in the "Specify the settings for this program" list and set it to 60fps. Click apply and you should be good to go. 

They Bleed Pixels should now play at the correct frame rate and speed regardless of your monitor settings with v-sync on, and it won't impact other games.  

If you have an AMD card you should be able to do something similar using the application profiles and "Radeon Chill". Just make sure you apply the settings only to They Bleed Pixels and set the min and max values to 60. 

Unfortunately I don't have access to a machine with an AMD card so haven't been able to confirm this works, but it should be the same. 

Hope that helps! 

hi, i did the nvidia thing and it seems to be working, so thanks :)

i wonder if you might be able to help with another problem while i have you

when i launch the game it likes to minimize itself, repeatedly, and i just have to keep bringing it back to the foreground until it stops. i’m not sure what to make of it. my only guess is that my computer doesn’t like changing resolution from 1080p to 720p. i do have the same problem sometimes with other games that use a different resolution

Good to hear that helped!
The repeated auto-minimizing is a new one. I haven't come across it before or had any bug reports regarding that, so it might be something unique to your system.  Are you running the exe directly or using the itch client? 

I did a bit of googling and this looks like a good checklist of possible causes if this is actually a general issue with your setup and multiple games. I'll also let you know if I hear of anyone else having this issue or come up with a solution. 

Not sure why the demo vid says, "Intense 1(one) button combat" game.  Intense - yes.  One button - that's rather subjective.


I got this game on steam a while back.  Not exactly my type of game, but I got it cause I love it's visuals.  The art style and pixel animation are just wonderful.  It is a game worth owning for that alone.  


Taking a break from playing to just say I love it and the style is SOOO charming- keep up the great work 


The game is a trap. It starts super cool, but after some chapters, it begins to show a lack of inspiration.

Some levels increases difficult by spoiling the gameplay.

Instead of harder challenges, you get worse responsiveness.

I was excited in the beginning, after some levels I got disappointed and uninstalled the game.

Hi Spooky Squid Games,

Just popping in to say "thank you!" for contributing They Bleed Pixels to the itch.io bundle for racial justice and equality last year. I've been enjoying playing through the games from the bundle, and got lost in the deep end with They Bleed Pixels. What a ride!

The review is live here: https://knavegaming.com/they-bleed-pixels-review/

Thanks for the great in depth review, happy you enjoyed the game so much!

Not my thing, though it's a pretty alright game!

Absolute classic!


While I may not be very good at They Bleed Pixels, it's still a fun time. From the gathering of unlockable art from various people to the visuals in the game itself, it's a pixelated pleasure to place ones peepers upon, especially peaking at the background to see the plethora of death and perils. The music is decent, providing energy to push on, but never intruding too much on the experience like in some games when they blare hyper dancy stuff. (I like that kind, but everything has its place.) The platforming is fun and challenging, but I had a falling out with the combat. We don't get along.

Good job, devs. It's a bloody good time.

Great platformer, great slasher, great hunt for highscores, dark story and gore effects. It's so damn hard and it's so damn fun!

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This game has an unique artwork and fiendish gameplay that converts it into a  great experience.

My review in spanish here: https://retroorama.blogspot.com/2020/08/indie-review-they-bleed-pixels.html

Thanks for sharing your review, happy you enjoyed the game!

Hey, is there a way to turn off controller vibration for this game? I couldn't find any in the options & that's a glaring inaccessibility issue as it makes the game 100% unplayable to many people (including myself).

You can turn off controller vibration by going into:

Options -> Custom Controls 

If you have a controller plugged in you'll see an option called "Rumble", just turn that off and you should be good to go.  Let me know if you have any issues with getting it to work. 

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Thanks a lot. I found it now & it works. I'll leave the comment up though in case anyone else has the same problem.

Great glad that worked for you!

This game is hard but excellent, it is addictive, fun, the combo system is very well done, the kick system too, makes the game not only smash buttons but see around to solve some kinda puzzles...

I play it on Arch Linux, so far it is my favorite action game of the bundle; congrats to the team, will be looking forward for your next releases.

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Thanks! Trying to make the combat not just about button mashing was a big design goal for us.

We actually have a second game out now you might want to check out, Russian Subway Dogs. It has some They Bleed Pixels cameos in it and is also playable in Linux!


Hey, so I've been having this weird issue, where the movements of the main character are way faster than what seems reasonable, making the platforming nearly impossible (especially the slippery parts). While this could just be my imagination, I don't think so, because it does look slower in youtube videos. So is this a known problem or am I just bad and dumb?

Yeah, it's a known issue with some setups. Try turning of v-sync and if that doesn't work try switching your monitor refresh rate to 60 hz.  If you're using a monitor with some form a smart sync tech you may need to turn that off.  Shoot me an email at support at spookysquid dot com if that doesn't work!

Thanks, turning v-synch off did the trick and I was able to finish the game. Awesome stuff!

Great! Happy that did the trick and thanks for following up!

I streamed it last week, and it was horrific, fun but hawfully difficult ! Honestly I love that game so much ! (Yes i love have pain, don't judge me xD) The Gamepad is responding very well, and the game is fast, nervous and no bug. Perfect ! (PS: I'm french, sorry for the English grammar mistake =) )

Thanks really great to hear that! Glad you're enjoying the game! 

I played this game last night and absolutely loved it! It was entertaining and kept my brain busy. However, I just loaded up the game this evening to find that all of my progress is completely gone. I thought maybe I just have to use some sort of chapter select, but nope. It reset my custom controls, badges, and general progress of the game. I'm not sure what happened, and I'm kind of upset to have to play through all of it again to get back to where I was. 

So, quick update.. I found out every time I get out of the chapter select menu, and go back in, my progress is gone. I don't know what's causing this, but I can't really progress through or play the game like this. I hope a solution is found soon, or if the file is just bugging out for whatever reason. 

Sorry to hear you're having trouble with this, definitely the first time I've heard of this particular error happening, I know how frustrating it can be to lose your progress in a game.  Lets see if we can get it fixed for you!

Are you playing using the itch.io app or just running the game where you unzipped it?

What operating system are you running? What version of it?

If you are in windows and not running as administrator, try right clicking on the game and picking run as administrator. See if that fixes things. It's possible this is a permissions issue stopping the game from writing the save files.   

If that doesn't work could you follow these steps and then email me the resulting file at support at spookysquid dot com?

1. Find the directory with the game files.

2. Open config.txt in notepad.

3. add the following line to the bottom and safe the file: DEBUG_FLAG = 1

4. Run the game.

5. send me the file "errorLog.txt"

Hopefully we can get this sorted out for you so you can continue your game!

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This game is really cool, but I feel that the controls are clunky.  Too many actions rely on a single button when there are plenty of other buttons that can be used to do them. 

Wall jumping feels awkward as well, latching on to walls feels stiff. The wall sliding is great though.

You really begin to feel how clunky things are when you get to stage 3 where you end up with a lot of platforming and aerial enemies. Having every action but jumping bound to a single button really handicaps the player when you're sliding around on ice in between enemies, spikes, and pits.

Once again, I think this game is cool, conceptually, graphically, and even the game play mechanics. I just feel that the control is holding it back.


Thanks for the feedback! The game was released in 2012, so it's eight years old now and while there are definitely things I'd change if I were making it now. I'm actually mostly happy with how it controls (at least on a gamepad, not so much on keyboards).  To me there is a certain rhythm you get from the two button controls that would be lost if they were split up.

I gave a short talk about my thoughts on the controls back in 2013 if your curious about them (sorry about the audio quality!).

This isn't to say you're wrong to dislike them, more that they were thoughtfully created to a specific, admittedly idiosyncratic taste, and that taste may not be for everyone.  

Glad you're enjoying the game for the most part despite disliking the controls! 

I keep getting this error whenever I try to start up the game:

Runtime Error!
This application has requested the Runtime to terminate it in an unusual way.

Any tips for fixing this? I'm on windows btw.

Sorry to hear you're having trouble!

Could you follow these steps and then email me the resulting file at support at spookysquid dot com?

1. Find the directory with the game files.

2. Open config.txt in notepad.

3. add the following line to the bottom and safe the file:

4. Run the game.

5. send me the file "errorLog.txt"

Also let me know what version of Windows you are running and what your graphics card is.

I'd also recommend updating your graphics card drivers just in case that's causing a problem. Another thing worth trying is installing the game using the Itch.io app if you haven't already.


Just wanted to say thanks to the devs for helping me get the game working, had a lot of fun playing it!

Great to hear you got it working and enjoyed the game! Could you let me know what fixed it for you in the end? 

It was actually a problem with the intel integrated graphics on my PC, the game ran fine on a my laptop. Just a problem of having an older computer.

Ah I remember your email now! Yeah we tried our best to support older cards (I test on a 8-ish year old laptop) but the *really* old Intel HD's (or strange variants) have some missing features we weren't able to account for.

Does the game have no .ico file? Just a nitpick on  this awesome game, but the blank desktop shortcut is a little bit ugly


Oops. Looks like the icon file got lost in the shuffle at some point. I'll upload a new Windows exe with the icon asap. If you've installed via the itch.io app it'll update automatically when that goes up.

Thank you very much for your fast reply


Ok! New build is up with a brand new high res Windows icon since the old one was designed for older OS versions and was tiny. 

camera controls are buggy

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Sorry to hear you're running into issues!
Could you elaborate on what's happening? 
Are you playing with a gamepad or a keyboard?

yes its fix now im playing on keyboard its because of the deadzone from the controller options thats why my camera stays in 1 place overall its a good game


If you don't mind answering a few follow up questions I want to make sure this doesn't effect other players. 
Were you playing with a gamepad (or had one connected) when you had the camera problem?
Did you change the dead zone at all before playing or was it set to the default?


Bloody Brilliant game. Anyone who comes across this review from the bundle should stop reading and try it! Snappy and satisfying and all around rad as hell.