Title: Pix the Cat
Platform: Windows, Steam, PS4, PSVita
Reviewed on: Windows
Players: Single player, Local Versus
Written by Whistler 2nd March 2015
Bright vivid flashing lights, constant beats and buzzing with some disembodied voice yelling buzzwords at me. It’s how I imagine tripping on LSD and speed while trapped in an 80’s arcade, and while some would find that fun if it’s anything like Pix the Cat, it certainly isn’t in the slightest.
I mean it’s probably fun for the first five or so minutes, and then it’s just a repetitive dull buzz where you question what you were wasting your life doing just then and probably end up in some pile of candy coloured mess.
Pix the cat is a score based arcade puzzle game taking elements from both Snake and Pac Man where our protagonist, Pix the cat must navigate a TV grid whilst collecting ducklings from their eggs then leading those ducklings into the designated drop off points to accrue points while the timer ticks away.
Similar to that addictive as hell mobile phone game Snake our little feline fellow Pix cannot run into walls or his daisy chain of ducklings otherwise you’ll the ducklings will scatter losing you all those sweet points and breaking your combo chain.
Should you accumulate enough combo chains you’ll enter the Fever Time state where suddenly you take an extra dosage of speed to go along with fast paced party beats, increasing Pix’s speed exponentially and enabling him to kill any enemies he runs into à la Pacman.
I will say the simplistic fast paced pick up and play feel is enjoyable in Pix the Cat but only in severely short bursts. For comparison I feel like Pix’s enjoyment derives from the same casual yet elongated elements present in King’s Candy Crush Saga (that game you had to pry your aunt and uncles hands off of before they forgot the concept of time and common sense).
However while Pacman was a craze back in the day, the ‘Pacman of the new generation’ is incredibly lacklustre and devoid of variety.
Pix the cat is incredibly limited with very few level variations, instead opting for a handful of admittedly large grids that contain numerous smaller grids within them. The challenge Pix draws from is purely derived from memorizing the labyrinths so as to swiftly choose the best path for scoring mass points but the limited levels quickly make the challenge all the more tedious that isn’t helped by a quirk in the controls. At first I thought I must just be hideously bad at this kind of game but after scouring the Steam forums and having others test the theory, I noticed that for controllers, even the official Xbox 360 PC controller, would have a delayed input making traversing the mazes incredibly frustrating.
It is slightly better on keyboard thankfully but the delayed input is still apparent be it not as obnoxious.
It’s a shame as I heard many great things about Pix the Cat over on the PS4 and PS Vita scene, but after the first few times of trying to best my highest score I just found myself losing interest quickly.
The basics of the gameplay gets repetitive (not helped by the previously mentioned lack of variety) and while there are other modes like laboratory, Nostalgia and Arena mode, they barely change up the gameplay enough to even grasp my attention for longer than 30 minutes.
While gameplay is arguably flawed, the hip trance-
The tube vision along with chic visuals that pulsate and flash with Pix and other sprites sporting a street geek art style.
However when you finish one grid the exit into the next grid has a sort of delving effect where you go further into the screen, most cases its fine but I found my eyes straining just to make out certain details from time to time.
While I’ll grant I did have some enjoyment playing Pix the Cat I found the game just gets dull even within the first sitting. If you’re a sucker for the old school arcade feel then you might enjoy dropping the price of a pizza delivered to your door step on this colourful title. I myself would rather dine on said pizza, I’d get more enjoyment out of it and it would last me longer than the fun I got out of this arcade trip.
Simple gameplay to master,
Fun in extremely short bursts.
Barely any variety,
Little replay value.
Even with all the bright flashing colours and the urge to get a higher score, Pix the Cat just manages to score a 5/10.