Recreate Civilization from the Ground Up in Pixel People – iPad Game Review

pixelpeoplePixel People is a freemium game that is reminiscent of NimbleBit games like Tiny Tower and Pocket Planes because of its distinctive pixellated graphics. Make no mistake, though – this is not a NimbleBit title, which will become apparent shortly into the game.

Instead, Pixel People is brought to you by Chillingo. Pixel People is meant to take place in an apocalyptic future, where the majority of human life has been wiped out. Mankind is on the verge of extinction and it is your job to rebuild society.

It’s a fun premise. You will start out with a mayor and another citizen, and you will be given blank “clones” to merge with new DNA to build new townspeople with different jobs. The major and a policeman might combine to create a sheriff, for example, which then creates DNA you can use to create even more types of people.

As you create people, you will be rewarded with buildings. For instance, when you create the sheriff, you will be gifted a police station for him to work in. These buildings are how you earn cash to continue to upgrade.


Though the game has an intriguing plot line and fantastic pixellated graphics, it quickly devolves into the mind numbing wait times that are typical in freemium games. Pay up, or sit and watch timers count down as you wait for new clones to work on, wait for buildings to be constructed, and wait for clones to be merged with DNA to create new townspeople.

The first hour or two of gameplay is fairly wait free, but as you start reaching those higher levels, it takes quite a bit of time to progress. You can always play for a bit and come back later, with one caveat – you can only collect a limited number of coins before your buildings need to be refreshed, which means that while timers will count down, your bank account won’t increase.


That’s a slight problem because every building you put down requires land, and land becomes extremely expensive in later levels, which generally means that you need to sit and watch as your townspeople go about their business. Not terribly fun, to say the least.

Of course, you can invest a small (or large) amount of money to speed things up. A reasonable $0.99 donation will result in twice as much money storage for shops, and you can also spend cash getting more of the game’s currency that speeds up your wait times.

There are 150 different DNA combinations to discover in the game, adding a whole slew of townspeople to your very own Utopia. You’ll create athletes, judges, explorers, and more.

The game even has a love mechanic. You build houses for your residents and when a heart icon is above one, tap and hold. When you reach 11 hearts, you get a surprise, like bonus money or an animal.

Pixel People’s ultimate goal is to unlock all of the people and discover all of the animals. This will, however, take quite some time to do so be prepared to play this game for the long haul.

What I liked: The graphics are great and I loved the DNA combinations to form new people.

What I didn’t like: There’s a lot of waiting involved, with nothing else to do. In NimbleBit’s games, there’s always another task to complete, which is how a freemium game should operate. That’s not the case in Pixel People, so be prepared to wait.

To buy or not to buy: This is a free game that’s definitely worth checking out, despite its heavy freemium slant.

  • App Name: Pixel People
  • Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
  • Category: Games
  • Developer: Chillingo
  • Price: Free
  • Score:

About Juli: Contact me via Twitter: @julipuli