Too many cooks spoil the broth? Nonsense. PixelJunk Inc. looks delicious.
For anyone familiar with the PixelJunk series of games, the “PC” label at the top of PixelJunk Inc.‘s game page must look like a typo. Obviously we meant “PS” for PlayStation, right? Even though PixelJunk has crossed nearly every genre boundary available in the past, from tower defense to racing, the one border they rarely crossed was Sony’s. While PixelJunk Eden was the first PixelJunk released on PC, PixelJunk Inc. will be the first to launch on it.
True to form outside its choice of platforms, this latest PixelJunk will adopt another genre new to the series: the platformer/simulation builder, reminiscent of indie hit Terraria, with tastes of a half dozen other genres mixed in. Co-op gameplay will also be a significant draw, as PixelJunk Inc. throws up to four-player teams of broth-loving entrepreneurs together in their shared goal of building the ultimate soup production plant. Soup is a valuable commodity in the world of PixelJunk Inc., and new teams attempt to get in on the profitable action every day (“Soup production is up 600%!”).
Of course, getting into the soup canning and selling business will require clearing a place for, and then building, your expansive factory. Potential soupeliers will run and jump their way around the procedurally generated world, gathering supplies that will be used in soup creation, such as mushrooms, while avoiding (or harnessing) hazards such as poisonous gas. Useful buildings, robots, and other tools—like pneumatic tubes used to transport ingredients (or people) quickly—will be created and managed with the help of the “dematterising” and “matterising” lasers, the former of which turns items into usable “matter,” and the latter of which uses that matter to create new items.
And these are merely the basics of PixelJunk Inc.‘s gathering and building process. Larger challenges include keeping your buildings constantly powered by electricity; defending against creatures that will attack your base of operations, like blowfish who love to sabotage generators for no reason; and deciding the most profitable direction for your soup business, whether you’ll opt to focus on growth and expansion or trying out different, potentially profitable soup recipes, such as “sausage party.”
Although the aforementioned aspects of gameplay are basically a guarantee at this point, the final experience of PixelJunk Inc. is still up in the air. While four-player co-op is the plan for launch, lead designer Rowan Parker told Polygon that he’d prefer that number to be closer to 400. The endgame outside of the open-ended Explorer Mode is also still in discussion, but is likely to involve an elaborate, cumulative construction project that may transport players to new worlds and goals. Ultimately, much of PixelJunk Inc. remains open to modification from the team and fans alike—much like the glorious soup dynasty you will be building in-game.