Clockwork Pixels first hit on our radar all the way back in 2012 when they ported their excellent matching/cat-collecting game Kitten Sanctuary over from desktop to mobile, and while they did release a handful of titles not long after that, we hadn't heard anything from them in several years. That changed this past Friday when Clockwork Pixels unexpectedly released a new platformer called Citadel 1986 [$0.99 / Free] to the App Store. After cutting his development teeth on the Commodore 64 back in the day, Clockwork Pixels wanted to create an homage to the platformers of that system, specifically Son of Blagger on C64. As such Citadel 1986 is a very straightforward platforming game that will text your dexterity with running and jumping as you explore 37 levels that are grouped together as part of one giant scrolling map, kind of like a Metroidvania. Check out the trailer.

There are some very cleverly-designed levels in Citadel 1986, and I really like its emphasis on pure platforming challenges. Simply collect all the keys in an area to unlock the next while avoiding death as much as possible. There's also a really diverse and strange cast of enemies to avoid like giant staplers and buzzsaw postage stamps. If you're a bad enough dude or dudette, you can even take things to the next level by attempting to complete the game as quickly as possible and with the least amount of deaths as possible, as both are tracked while you play. Or maybe you can even beat the entire thing on just one life? Inconceivable! There is a free lite version of Citadel 1986 and a paid with no IAP version for 99¢, and with a forum full of positive impressions there's no reason not to at least check it out.

With that out of the way, can I just say something for a minute? Alongside this new game, Clockwork Pixels has also released updates for their entire iOS catalog that makes everything 64-bit compatible and brings everything up to modern standards. On top of that they also released a few lite versions of their games that didn't have one yet so that every iOS game they sell now has an accompanying lite version to try. I can't imagine these games make a ton of money nowadays, and as a solo developer updating a catalog all at once like that is likely a ton of work. I think it's just a point of pride that Clockwork Pixels wants to ensure that their games are all up to standards and in good working condition for the forseeable future, and that is commendable in the world of mobile.

So do yourself a favor and check out any or all of the Clockwork Pixels games below. Kitten Sanctuary is an all-time favorite matching game, Puppy Sanctuary is almost identical but for doggo lovers, Vampire Ventures is a matcher with a vampire theme, Darkside is a really fun and visually impressive dual-stick shooter, and Mirror Mixup and Pyracubes are both really stylish puzzlers. With the developer musing in the Citadel 1986 thread that during this lapse in iOS releases he's "been developing stuff all this time, just not releasing it ... not entirely sure why" I can only hope we'll see even more new games from Clockwork Pixels in the near future.

  • Sobriquet

    Archibald's Adventure from Rack in Grass was also just updated after 7 years. It is my opinion that we iOS enthusiast should be picking up as many of these updated-to-64bit games as we can. I feel it is super important to support these efforts.

    • Adams Immersive

      Sweet! I sunk hours into that, but didn't quite finish. Time to go back and see if I can beat the level that stonewalled me.

  • smes3817

    A new favorite developer of mine. George puts out high quality games that are tons of fun. I just made sure to pick up the last game I didn't have of his so I now own them all. Keep the releases coming!