Pixel Game Maker MV – Review
Follow Genre: Game maker
Developer: Kadokawa Games, Ltd
Publisher: PLAYISM
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Pixel Game Maker MV – Review

Site Score
Good: Create more advanced games than RPG Maker
Bad: Tutorials do not work
User Score
(8 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.8/10 (8 votes cast)

For those who want to become a videogame developer will know that there are a handful of options to choose from. Ranging from simple titles made in RPG Maker to creating impressive large environment 3D games in Unity or Unreal Engine. For some, it is possible to crank out a neat game using this advanced software, while others just want to experiment with something easy in their free time without too much knowledge. For the inexperienced folk, we put Pixel Game Maker MV through the test. It is from the same developers as the RPG Maker franchise, so expect similarity in quality.


There are a few ways for getting the story across from the developer to the player. In Pixel Game Maker MV you can dedicate a separate page with information in the main menu of your game, create a nice intro sequence with scrolling text or just have it explained in text boxes while running through the tutorial section. You decide your own flow, having the story told either in-game or in-between stages, the options are there so use them as you see fit.


Pixel Maker MV comes packed with a handful of basic assets and with these you can go on your merry way to create your first demo. This is ideal to learn building levels, adjusting animations and creating stages without having to spend too much down searching and downloading everything at first. Certainly, when you get used to how this program works you will want to use your own created assets. The software allows for a wide range of items that can be added to the game. To make the experience as user-friendly as possible, it is advised to create tile sheets with the various assets in it. Just put all your sprites into one large sheet and upload this into the software, you can then just select what parts you need and this works very well.

Creating maps is done by placing tiles all over the screen, scripting the wall detection and setting up animations. Animations can be as simple or advanced as you want, from only single-frame to high detailed ten-framed animations, the choice is yours. To add some flair to the game you can adjust the screen effects on the display. There are three sliders that directly mess with the visuals: retro game console, blur, and analog TV. Another advanced option is the creation of animated tiles. These tiles can serve as assets in the animation screen or on the map, allowing you to make things like a burning fire or a flickering light.


The database doesn’t only contain graphical assets but also a decent sound database. This is again good for helping you get started but you still have the option to add your own tracks and SFX. In the software you have control over the BGM playing in stages, the list of sound effects and actions that will trigger them and a voices tab for voicing characters. You have full control of editing volume levels, pitch, L/R placement, etc. So that moment where the music changes drastically for a boss fight is completely in your hands.


Getting started in Pixel Maker MV can be quite the challenge. At first, you are greeted with the simple question if you want to create a side-scrolling or top-down game. In good spirit, you will select the direction where you want to go and the welcoming tutorial will hold your hand during development. Unfortunately, the latter isn’t true as the built-in tutorial barely works, crashes a lot and won’t progress any further. Creating a game in this software without any prior knowledge or even with a basic understanding of KADOKAWA’s other software ‘RPG Maker’, you will still get stranded quite quickly. Due to the high complexity of Pixel Game Maker MV, you won’t get anywhere without proper educating yourself using YouTube tutorials or delving around on forums.

After a few hours of taking notes, seeing how others made their games you can come to the conclusion that Pixel Game Maker actually is more user-friendly than initially expected. You don’t need any programming background to get everything working as there are triggers, menus, and tables in place, for each action imaginable, already made for you and can be selected at the push of a button. Especially for animations, this is a gift from God, when first seeing the animation layout for characters your head will explode with the many commands and arrows, yet this is something very simple. Each action has a combination of input conditionals and sprites that correspond with it. Without delving too deep into the animations, you can go as simple or as advanced as you want without having to break your head over the many variables that animating something brings along with it.

Aside from having your models animated right you also need a place to let them run around on a map. If you are not sure about the right inputs and triggers there is always an option to run a test version in the animation section to look at what is happening on screen and at the back-end of the software to bug fix any conflicting actions. Designing levels begins with creating a progression hub, simply said, the backbone of the game. This tells the software that the game starts at level one, progresses through the selected levels and finished at the boss stage. You decide how long it is, how it will flow and you can even create shortcuts just like in the Mario Bros games.

Although you only have two points of view to choose from, the styles are endless. Don’t think that you are limited to one style in this program as possibilities are nearly endless. From platformer, fighter, shooter or adventure game to sports, racing, casino or more, it’s only a matter of what project you wish to create. The only limiting factor is how much time you want to spend learning the different variables in the program and creating or finding the right assets that fit your genre. When talking about some very advanced assets you might fear that pulling them from the right sources can be a bit tedious. Do not fear, the software has a very easy and user-friendly folder system where you can easily select, add and create folders for the right project (player character, enemies, weapons, etc…).

Once you have drawn the level, animated the character and have tried playing it for the first time, it is the moment to really put some depth into the game. Planning out the wall detection for the platformer, making sure there are no hidden floors or issues getting stuck, creating hitbox rules for the characters and enemies and assigning movement patterns. Repeat this for the other levels and congratulations, you have just made your first game!


If you are interested in creating your own game and don’t want to be limited to a very simple RPG, then Pixel Game Maker might be an option for you. While the interface is very user-friendly the biggest obstacle will be getting started. The tutorial isn’t worth anything so your best bet is to outsource help to YouTube tutorials or forum posts. Once you are settled you’ll be happy to notice that the menus are easy to navigate through and with some experimenting you can create your own game in a few hours. There is no programming background needed as everything is already done for you and with the endless amount of assets that can be added you won’t need another program to create that old-school 2D title.

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Rating: 5.8/10 (8 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Pixel Game Maker MV – Review, 5.8 out of 10 based on 8 ratings

Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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