Platforms
Playstation 3
Pix the Cat Review

Pixel Purrfect?

PixTheCat_screenshot_001

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is one of my all-time favourite digital games from the last generation. To hear praise from players and reviewers that Pix the Cat was a hectic blend of this and Nokia classic Snake instantly excited me. Two games that I’ve spent far too many hours playing – desperate to beat my high score – merged into a exciting PlayStation 4 and Vita title was easily enough to draw me in. However, at times Pix the Cat lacks the certain spark that made Pac-Man amazing.

Developed by Pastagames, the folks behind Rayman: Jungle RunPix the Cat takes place on multiple stages set over several levels. You begin in a Pac-Man-esque maze where while playing as Pix collecting eggs that hatch into ducklings. In order to complete a level you’re tasked with dropping these ducklings off into a series of set goal squares. Doing so opens up a portal to the next stage, which sees you being shrunk down and the camera zooming in to show the new stage as a small part of the previous one. While not just a visual quirk, this feature becomes a tactical element further down the line as hopping in and out of stages proves to be the best way to complete some puzzles.

Granted this all makes little sense, with very little explained and when mixed with the odd ’80s arcade-inspired art style the game all appears to be very loosely tied together. But it’s fun, and with an arcadey ‘just one more go’ type game like Pix the Cat the oxymoronic nature of the gameplay and graphics matter little.

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While travelling with a collection of ducklings they form your tail, hence the Snake comparisons. Crashing into yourself, or any wall will cause you to lose all the feathered friends you’ve accrued. Once you get the hang of it, and progress further through the game, enemies are thrown into the mix decimating your line of ducklings and reducing any hopes of achieving a high score.

And it’s those high scores that Pix the Cat is all about. As you progress through the stages your sole goal is to reach as higher level as possible to unlock rewards and place yourself higher up the leaderboard. Stages aren’t random either, so you begin to learn them quickly and, with enough play, know your routes well in advance of entering a stage. Performing well ups the pace, enabling you to get further in before the timer runs out. However, this has the double-edged effect of making everything rather frantic and very hard to be precise. This precision is key to getting a very strong run, and you’ll find yourself cursing when you miss a single tile or turning.

While there may only be a few sets of stages on offer for players to learn and perfect, there are a couple of other modes on offer to keep things fresh and provide a slightly different and enjoyable experience. ‘Nostalgia’ and ‘Laboratory’ modes both present a new way to interact with levels. But it’s the Nostalgia mode that had me hooked the most due to its, frankly delightful, early Disney-era art style and some fantastic ragtime piano to match. It’s a joy to look at. Nostalgia has even more in common with Nokia classic Snake with a single stage and a more puzzle focus. For me, is more fun than the main game mode.

Pix the Cat offers good, fun gameplay and it really cannot be knocked on that ground. But it does however miss something. There’s just a lack that special ingredient that made Pac-Man Championship Edition DX so fantastically fun. I’m not for a moment suggesting that Pix the Cat is anything less than a thoroughly enjoyable arcade game but I can’t help but wish it had that little something extra.

TheGamersHub Score
Reviewer: Ash.W
8.0
10
+ Pros

+ Fast and frantic gameplay

+ Strong 'one more go' drive

+ Nostalgia mode is fantastic

- Cons

- Lacks a certain something to make it truly amazing

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