Pix The Cat Review | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Pix The Cat Review



Pix The Cat is a game developed by Pastagames. A developer whose name you might have heard if you’re a mobile gamer too. To be exact – these are the guys that brought us Rayman Jungle Run. A beautifully tight high-score platformer that everybody should own. Now they’ve taken the fight to PC with the title I’m reviewing here. Pix The Cat is a high-score-hunting arcade game that isn’t afraid of making you suffer, which is quite awesome.


The simplicity of this screenshot isn’t captured easily in the game.

Let me begin by saying just how great Pix The Cat’s gameplay is. It takes the basics of its ancient ancestor – The Snake – and builds upon its rock-solid foundations with great fervour. The whole ordeal is actually really simple. The titular digital cat-like creature has to scurry around the given level while collecting eggs (that turn into ducklings) and then deliver them to the designated tiles. As barebones as this might seem at first, there’s a fair amount of finesse at work here. Firstly, the controls are very tight and responsive, allowing you to take fast turns with ease when the game really gets going. Secondly, the ways in which points are calculated definitely will entice you to try and achieve the best possible score. Time will slow down a bit when you hit the wall or your tail of jolly ducklings, giving you a moment to react – or to watch as Pix crashes into the obstacle if there’s nowhere to turn. One detail I like immensely is the fact that all levels are connected one with another via portals that open up as you complete them. Thus, each level is actually hidden inside the previous one’s indestructible walls. It’s a genuinely brilliant mechanic that makes all of your accomplishments in a single playing session seem important. And on higher difficulties, you’ll sometimes have to jump from one level into another with great precision – not an easy task at all, I assure you.

As far as gamemodes go, there’s your run-of-the-mill Arcade where you’ll generally collect points to unlock other stuff available ingame. Then there’s the Arena – your multiplayer battleground where your friends will perish before your mighty felinebot. Pix The Cat has a great instance of local hotseat multiplayer which I sincerely recommend. It will often make you and your pals laugh while still remaining just competitive enough. In the Laboratory, you’ll be traversing across different level layouts in as few moves as possible. This is a fairly punishing gamemode, since not collecting all ducklings before taking one to the target location will result in a game over. Things get complicated really, really fast. Especially when enemies kick in. And finally, there are the aptly named ‘Dessert’ levels that will annoy the ever loving hell out of you. Seriously, don’t even go there until you’ve gotten a fair amount of experience in the other gamemodes.


Once the game kicks its ‘Fever Mode’ off, you know things are going to get nasty.

There’s little challenge to be found in the first couple of levels, but the difficulty rises sharply. The game does a great job of easing the player into the right mindset, but it might take a couple of failures before you really get into the groove. The key is in anticipating whether you will or will not ram into your duckline (it’s a word now, I don’t care). Of course, this is easy when you’ve got three cute pieces of poultry running after you, but compare that to a tail of twenty or even thirty ducks you’ll be leading sometimes and you’ve got yourself a real piece of work. If you’re wondering what might keep you tearing through levels when the going gets tough, Pix The Cat has three aces up its sleeves. First there are the beautiful visuals which I’ll talk about in a bit, then there’s the intense, tactile gameplay, and finally, there are the unlockables, leaderboards and daily challenges. All of which are exactly what the name says. There’s a surprising amount of content stuffed into this game, so don’t think you’ll be done with it after a single afternoon’s worth of time.

Visually, Pix The Cat is a marvel to look at. Most of the time you’ll be facing low-fi pixels of rabid colours dancing across the screen, but the game’s multiplayer component is drawn in a classically arcade style. The Nostalgia mode is my graphical favourite though, due to its early-Disney style and mannerisms. The game is also bound to run on just about anything, even your first digital watch you got in the second grade. The one thing I dislike about Pix’s visuals is the fact that colours will often shift intensely, burning your retinae in the process. This makes it a tad difficult to keep track of where Pix is going, especially when your combo counter is high enough for the game to start running faster than ordinary. I find myself enjoying the soundtrack too, with its intense and upbeat tunes jamming in the background.

Pix The Cat is the sort of game that you play for fifteen or twenty-minute stretches while switching from one AAA to another. Its relative simplicity and the whole notion of hunting-for-scores-on-online-leaderboards will hook you up, but I don’t think that’s often going to happen after already spending some time with it. It’s not a bad thing per se, mind you, and the game does throw a veritable amount of content at you as you progress, but I feel as if it suits a mobile device just a tiny bit better than a proper PC. On the other hand, for its low price you will get you money’s worth if you love chasing highscores, solving puzzles and/or playing a multiplayer version of Snake in hotseat. While I am not enthralled with the game, I sympathize it greatly, and will be returning to it quite a lot just to relax my brain and have some fun.