This year at PAX Prime, Hailee Kenney and I had the opportunity to play a game called PixelJunk Inc. PixelJunk Inc. is a 2D co-op soup empire building game developed by Q-Games that was playable for the first time at PAX Prime this year. You and up to three friends work together on a seemingly uninhabited planet. Together you gather resources to build a soup factory for the soup company you are both employed by. Once your factory is built you can expand it until you are able make soup and launch it into space to sustain citizens of the galaxy.
Much like Minecraft, there are different kinds of stone and earth that require increasingly powerful tools to dig through, and you can find building materials in the earth. These can be used to create pieces of your soup factory, collection robots and turrets. You can spend your resources to buy new tools and weapons, or upgrade your soup factory. Of course, bigger soup factories will attract more enemies and will require more protection, so you’ll need to balance out upgrades with defenses.
The version of PixelJunk Inc. Hailee and I played is still very new, and we didn’t have enough time to play it as much as we wanted. We started as if in a new game, and then were allowed to play with a pre-built factory, as well as some new equipment such as the buzz saw. We had an army of robots out gathering the supplies we unearthed, but precious few turrets to defend our factory. It was quite fun and we both got really into it, but there’s only so much you can build in a demo. I can tell for sure the game will be a lot of fun.
PixelJunk Inc. is clearly a time sink, but in a good way. It’s an investment as you build up a soup empire. As such you’ll be very attached to the world you make. You can plant ingredients to easily grow what you need, thus making rare ingredients potentially easier to find or bringing distant ingredients closer to base. Additionally, you can entrap the wildlife in pits (which act as pens) and keep livestock. Of course these things are entirely optional, and there’s plenty of exploration to do as well.
PixelJunk Inc. will be compatible with Steam Workshop, allowing players to mod the games as they see fit. Mods can include new transport vehicles, new enemies and more. Of course there’s also some customization within the game as well. The robots you create can be programmed to do different tasks, or programmed to act in different ways. You can unlock different parameters for the robots as you progress in the game. The robots we played with were all pre-programmed, which gave us more time to explore the rest of the game.
PixelJunk Inc. plans to release on Steam for Windows, with later releases on Mac and Linux, but the release dates are currently unknown.