You can throw a lot of money at a game and use the latest technology to make it look next gen but if the gameplay isn’t there then for the most part people are not going to enjoy it.
Indie developers tend to lack the revenue required to promote a game and are unable to take advantage of the best engines but are able to spend more time on making a game more playable. Pix the Cat is something that could looks wise arguably been developed on a Spectrum or a Commodore 64, but with the lack of graphical prowess you would hope that the gameplay is the stand out feature.
Pix the Cat is a hybrid of the classic nokia game Snake, old school Pac-man and some random game I used to play at school where you had to collect things and travel through a portal. Played out on a top down screen you control a cat (made up of a head and tail) moving through a maze collecting eggs that hatch and turn into ducks. These ducks form a line behind you and you must lead them to the targets which the ducks use to escape the maze. The reason behind why you as a cat must save these ducks is not clear.
Like games of old the goal is to set a high score, there is no story, there is no description in regards to why you must save the ducks. Maybe you are saving them or maybe instead of eating one duck after another you have a master plan to put them in a massive pie for you and your cat friends to have at a later date. The way to getting big points is to generate combos which in turn speeds you up, when all the ducks have escaped a portal appears and time slows down, you need to get to the portal to reach the maze, if you don’t GAME OVER. Like Snake, you have to ensure you don’t block yourself in or run into your ducks otherwise it’s GAME OVER.
Graphically Pix the Cat is a simple affair. It tries to make up for the lack graphically razzmatazz with pleasant pyrotechnics and various sound effects. Moving around is fairly easy though you are going to have to use the D-pad because it’s too difficult to do it any other way. Sometimes it does feel like Pix the Cat wants you to hit wall, navigating quickly left or right is not as smooth as it should be however Pix the Cat does try to help you by slowing the action down giving you a few extra moments to rethink your strategy.
Besides the standard arcade mode there are an additional 3 modes which helps adds more longevity to Pix the Cat. The Laboratory mode is a much slower puzzler and Nostalgia mode turns everything black and white which seemed to have the more interestingly designed mazes. The Arena mode is the four player multiplayer where you use the ducks to stun your opponents amongst other things, it’s akin to Bomberman. Obviously this is a very fun mode getting every involved and it runs very smoothly.
Pix the Cat is more than a playable game, the core mechanics of an addictive puzzler is plain to see but it’s hard to score a game like this. Pix the Cat is something that could have been made 10 years ago , something that could have been made even 30 years ago.
It’s the kind of game that would appear as a mini game in GTA or Final Fantasy, you can’t compare a game like Pix the Cat to games that have a lot of graphical content or a deep story. Pix the Cat is an addictive and enjoyable game which will make you lose a lot of hours if you let it. You may want to ‘paws’ for thought though and ask yourself whether this is the kind of game you wanted to play when you bought your PS4? Obviously it’s not but Pix the Cat is still worth an hour or two of your time.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Gameplay - /10
Graphics - /10
Sound - /10
Replay Value - /10
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