Pix the Cat Review

Ever felt a hankering for a blend of Pacman Championship Edition and Snake? No? Well pix the cat is here to facilitate that experience anyway. In a relatively surprising blend of mechanics, Pix the Cat reinvents two classic formulas into something that’s quite special and unique, in and of its own right. 

In Pix the Cat you play as titular blue feline, Pix. Sat in front of his television screen, Pix is absorbed into his game as he finds himself going deeper and deeper into a labyrinth of maze-like environments. The games goal: collect all the duck eggs, rescue the hatched ducklings then go deeper into the maze. It plays on the simplistic yet skill influenced nature of the classics it borrows from to produce an experience that’s both addictive and incredibly enjoyable.

In essence, your purpose in Pix the Cat is simply to get a higher score. The levels are always the same, and when you retry you begin at level one, with a run through the main mode taking around 5 minutes. For high score chasers, it’s perfect as you’re not tasked to merely stay alive for a set period of time. Many similar titles devolve into a test of endurance, but Pix see’s players optimising their gameplay with precision and skill. This is partially afforded by subtle mechanics each lending additional depth; for instance if you make a perfect turn against a wall, you’re awarded with a small speedboost which in turn adds to your multiplier.

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In terms of controls, Pix handles like pacman. It can become difficult to control pix at times, particularly the speed increases, but I soon realised that this was a result of my ability, and the games difficulty and depth as opposed to a lack of responsiveness. The controls are consistent and immediately responsive, providing the required staples for a classic arcade experience. As you move around the stages, collecting ducks they form a line behind you, and this often becomes your hazard as if you manage to trap yourself you lose your combo, preventing you from cashing the ducklings in for points.

For those not interested in merely high-score chasing, Pix provides a variety of modes and missions to complete. Missions range from completing certain objectives within the games arcade modes, to additional modes such as ‘Laboratory’ which sees Pix’s environment turned into a petri dish, as he’s tasked to navigate through puzzles in a certain number of moves. Similarly ‘nostalgia’ mode tasks Pix to collect all of the eggs on each stage and survive, before the timer runs out. Each of these modes features 100 levels and would almost be viable as a stand-alone game, vastly extending Pix’s lifespan beyond it’s arcade mode alone.

Alongside these singleplayer options is a fully fledged local multiplayer battle arena. Our experience with this mode has been one of frantic, chaotic fun as skill and tactics are rewarded in a manner reminiscent of games like Chu Chu Rocket and Bomberman. Here the goal is different, as you use collected eggs as a power source to charge, and shoot at your enemies. While it’s perhaps not quite an experience as deep, or even refined as games like Towerfall, it’s a worthwhile addition liable to provide a group of friends a good deal of enjoyment as they get to grips with arena modes relatively unique mechanics.

This is all topped off by top-notch presentation. The games menus are sleek and endearing as you watch Pix himself navigate a virtual menu through his television. Equally the games soundtrack compliments the upbeat nature of arcade experience, proving catchy tunes that aren’t liable to grate over longer play sessions and a variety of unlockables in the form of voice swaps and artwork that make Pix the Cat feel like labour of love from its developers. I can’t recall the last time playing an arcade game quite so comprehensive and polished.

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Good

  • Simplistic yet deep gameplay affords continued high score chasing
  • Missions and unlockables add plentiful replayability
  • A variety of modes extend the experience far beyond arcade
  • A soundtrack that perfectly compliments its gameplay
  • Endearing and incredibly polished artstyle

Bad

  • Controls can be hard to get used to as Pix gets faster

 

 

 

Pix the Cat is love letter to fans of arcade classics, with its reinvented formula Pix proves capable of providing an experience that’s indefinitely entertaining, and one that you won’t be able to say that you’ve played before. Stacked atop an incredible amount of polish and a bounty of content Pix to sink your teeth into, Pix proves to be a very compelling experience, liable to entertain anyone from the most dedicated high score chasers, to more casual players looking for brief spouts of enjoyment.

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Author: Jozef Kulik

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