Originally published over on n3rdabl3 – the game was provided by PastaGames for review
Overall Rating: 3.5 stars – Fast-paced, arcade puzzler that will get you addicted in no time!
Pix the Cat is addictive and possibly seizure-inducing, and so much fun you will lose yourself in it as soon as you start playing. Initially released as a single-player arcade “beat the high-score” puzzle game with a local multiplayer mode, future releases will include online multiplayer, so now is a good time to start working on your reflexes and visual memory abilities, in order to trounce friends and foes alike in a global showdown.
Inspired by retro classics like Snake and Pac-Man, Pix the Cat offers simple but fast-faced puzzling action with an upbeat, funky musical score and bright, fun graphics. It’s very easy to play, with controls being limited to just the keyboard arrow keys, but it’s devilishly difficult at higher speeds and levels. There are four modes, the first of which, Arcade, is available from the start. You will need to beat certain scores or complete your first run in Arcade mode to unlock the other modes: Laboratory, Nostalgia and Arena. I’ll get to those later.
Let me just warn you here that this game is VERY addictive. Once you’ve played a few times to get the hang of the first few fields, you will be sucked right in. The premise of the game is simple: move Pix the Cat around the game field, and collect all the eggs and bonuses, before warping to a deeper level. You will need to avoid running into your trail of ducklings, as well as walls and various enemies, and you are against the clock. As your score goes up, so does your speed, and if you don’t make any mistakes you can unlock Fever mode, which gives even greater bonuses (but is very fast and very frantic!) Progressing through the game will open up multiple warp points, some of which will be necessary to utilise effectively in order to get a perfect score. Practice, as well as memorising which way to go on each level, is definitely the key to success.
The Starter grid is your first port of call, until you can garner a score of over 500k. At this point, you will unlock the Main grid, which is where the real business happens with the introduction of both moving and static enemies. The enemies are both negative and positive: you must avoid running into them lest you lose your combo bonus, however if you unleash Fever mode, you can go after the bouncing skulls and score big bonus points (much like how eating a power pellet in Pac-Man lets you eat the fleeing ghosts). Breaking your combo will end Fever mode. There are a range of various achievements you can unlock throughout gameplay, some of which are platform-specific (Steam achievements and PSN trophies). These achievements, and their subsequent rewards (music, artwork, and the like) are accessible in your Mission Gallery, and a helpful progress percentage is shown on the opening screen for the completionists among us to agonise over. Some of the achievements also unlock options to use in-game, such as changing the voiceover and setting a ghost of your best score to check against while you play.
Laboratory mode unlocks when you score over 700k in Arcade mode, and is a puzzle clearing game where you earn a higher score the less moves it takes you to complete. You need to move your character around the field, and collect all the cells before delivering them to the cellspaces scattered about. It starts out simple enough, but gets trickier and trickier – especially when enemies are added to the field, causing much peril for you and your trail of cells as you strategise your way to your destination. If you get stuck, there are three Joker cells which will let you skip a level, but they aren’t an infinite resource, so be aware you might be crippling yourself early! Laboratory mode is essentially a kind of quest mode, so if you get tired of playing it, just quit and your progress will be saved for next time.
Nostalgia mode is unlocked once you get a score of more than 1 million points in Arcade mode, which with a bunch of perfects and a good Fever run should rack over at about depth 21. This time you need to collect the target number of eggs to win; if you can do it before the goat eats the flower moving along the top of the screen, you’ll get a perfect rating. This mode is in fancy old black and white cartoon style (reminiscent of the early Felix days) and is actually quite challenging. You will need to pull out all the stops and keep your wits about you to get those perfect ratings, that’s for sure! Like Laboratory mode, there are three Jokers, but again, I suggest you use them wisely!
Arena mode is the local multiplayer mode, which allows 2-4 players to pit themselves head-to-head against each other. The first two players share the keyboard, using the arrow and WASD keys; for additional players, you’ll need to plug in a compatible controller. Collect the ammo then shoot or dash to take out your buddies – win three rounds to be crowned the champion!
Pix the Cat is a great puzzle game, and if you are a gamer with quick hand-to-eye coordination and reflexes, and someone who can quickly remember patterns, then you will love it. It’s by PastaGames and is available now on Steam, and PSN for PS4 or Vita.