PixelJunk Scrappers Deluxe review

by on August 1, 2023
Reviewed On
Release Date

July 27, 2023


PixelJunk Scrapper Deluxe is an upgraded version of the Apple Arcade title from 2020, now appearing on multiple platforms for players to enjoy alone or with friends. While going solo offers enough of a challenge, it becomes so much more enjoyable when you’re teaming up with others to gather as much cash as possible. The main goal is to launch a ton of garbage into the back of a moving trash compactor, but variables like rival robots who attack you and unsteady towers of trash attempt to hamper your success.

After the world became filled with too much garbage, humans decided to launch a massive rocket into space filled with all the unwanted rubbish that couldn’t be kept on Earth. Unfortunately, the rocket failed and came crashing back to our planet, wiping out humanity and leaving robots to inherit the world. Sad times, but hey, there’s been a game made out of it, and that’s where you come in. Garbage is now a valuable commodity, and to make money, you’ll need to gather as much of it as possible.

In order to do that, you’ll pick up a range of objects like vending machines, bottles, and tyres, then put them into the back of a garbage van. As you make your way across the level, the van will move with you, stopping momentarily so you can deposit trash. You can pick up items on their own, but building towers of garbage will result in a higher cash bonus. If not stacked correctly, the garbage can fall to the floor, forcing you to start all over again. It pays to stack effectively, so putting a smaller item in-between two vending machines isn’t a great idea.

Heavier items also mean your speed is affected. PixelJunk Scrappers Deluxe adds strategy to how you collect trash. You can collect heavier items or huge towers of it, but your compactor can move at will, meaning you’ll have further to travel if you want to get rid of it for some money. You can throw your trash into the compactor, and this definitely helps, but there’re also enemy robots that try and attack you as you gather garbage. If you’re carrying as an oncoming robot punches you, you’ll drop it all, so knowing when to gather and when to fight is an integral part of the gameplay loop.

To fight off enemies, you’ll initiate a simple three punch combo. There’re seldom other attacks, but guns do become available. It’s not particularly enjoyable to keep punching enemies, but it does aid in mixing up the gathering of garbage and knowing when to do so or when to fight. If you’re playing alone, you get a computer-controlled robot who’ll gather rubbish for you, and when the red light on their head appears, they’ll throw whatever they’ve gathered at you. There’s no real rhyme or reason to it, however, meaning it’ll launch it at you when you’re nowhere near or in the middle of a fight.

Playing with up to three other friends mitigates the randomness of the AI, and provides a much more enjoyable experience. Certain friends can focus on gathering trash while others can fight, and strategy can be orchestrated in a more concise fashion. While levels do begin to feel more varied, the loop does become repetitive, but you do get to spend your cash on a whole manner of things like new characters and upgrades. There’re also destructible robots that give you a speed boost during levels, allowing you to gather more trash at a quicker pace.

PixelJunk Scrappers Deluxe is rather enjoyable, and the balance of combat and collecting works well, even if it becomes repetitive. It looks nice, and levels look lovely, especially when they open up later on. Playing with friends is where this becomes infinitely better, especially as your little robot buddy during solo play isn’t as smart as it could be. It does get better alone, and there’s enough variety in the challenges, but going in with others is where the bulk of fun the fun exists.


Some neat ideas
Great with friends
Looks good


Repetitive alone
Combat is dull
AI companion isn't too smart

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

PixelJunk Scrappers Deluxe is a decent enough game on your own, but playing with others makes the most out of the various mechanics.