Pix the Cat – Review
Follow Genre: arcade, puzzle
Developer: Pastagames
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Platform: PC, Mac, PS4
Tested on PC

Pix the Cat – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: A very clever take on classic arcade games
Bad: The arcade mode may become repetitive after a while
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Is it Pac-Man? Is it Snake? No, it’s a… Well, a cat. Saving ducklings from their eggs. In a maze that makes Inception seem like a one dimensional chick flick. The name of this quacky – excuse me – quirky game is Pix the Cat, which should tell you that the game is centred on a certain cat’s adventures, right?

Wrong! Developer Pasta Games, renowned for their mobile hit Rayman Jungle Run, is back with another fast paced adventure that will have you laugh, boast, cry, rant and maybe even punch a friend on the beak. That’s not the impressive part, though, because here it is: it will make you do all these things… Within 5 minutes, redefining what it means to be frantic.

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Story

Instead of providing players with a storyline to keep things interesting, Pix the Cat’s main menu screen gives us the only information we really need: Pix the Cat is watching television. For some reason, it manages to jump inside the screen, aiming to free as many ducklings from their prison eggs as possible within the time limit.

Once the bell rings, Pix is pulled back out of the screen, jump kicking it like a true martial artist. The feeble ducklings, however, are then returned to their prenatal state, waiting for their saviour to help them escape once more. It makes one ponder about the concept of circular time, does it not? No, it doesn’t. Screw philosophy, because all that matters is that bloody high score!

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Graphics

Visually, the game is a true ode to the beloved arcade games of yesteryear, spitting more lights, sparks and sparkles at you than a lama with a throat infection. Every level is filled to the brim with stimulating effects that mimic classic television screens without sacrificing any sense of detail or fluidity.

Despite all of this playfulness, the levels have a very clear and crisp look to them, giving players a clear overview of their next goals. Depending on the length of your current combo, the grids are coloured differently, yet there is always a clear contrast between the grids and their content, usually Pix, eggs, ducklings and the duckling’s destination.

Sound

If Pix the Cat looks like a hypermodern reinvention of the arcade genre, its sounds nail the arcade vibe perfectly. Every sense of success is augmented by seriously funny voice overs, shouting and cheering for anything you do. Of course, this knife cuts both ways, exacerbating any failures as well. Oh, the pain when you’re being mocked with a “Combo Breaker!”

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Gameplay

The game is crazier than a bin of bat excrement and can be played in multiple exciting modes. The core of it all is the Arcade Mode, which is essentially a mix between Pac-Man and Snake. While there are only three levels, each of them consists of many predesigned grids, formed as puzzles. The eggs are placed onto the grids in patterns, and the same concept applies to the ducklings’ destinations. The idea is that Pix needs to gather the ducklings, which then become its tail. Once you reach one goal, it disappears and you lose one duckling. To get a perfect score, though, you need to find all duckling before you reach the first goal, which can make your tail very long. Bite your tail and you lose your entire collection, opening up the portal to the next grid while ending your combo, slowing your speed and therefore making you waste time, lowering your scoring opportunities.

Once you’ve had your fill of the Arcade Mode, you can try your hand at the Laboratory and Nostalgia Mode. Both game modes change up the basic gameplay quite a bit, giving more of a puzzle-like feel. Instead of making you fight against time constraints, they require you to think ahead of every move.

Whereas all of the above modes provide a singleplayer experience, the Arena deals with a competitive couch multiplayer that takes its cues from Bomberman. Players gather items to grow their tails, which can be spent to perform a sprint move or to shoot at their foes. Words cannot describe how good it felt to run game after game in the Arena, which can easily become the core of any local game night.

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Conclusion

Pix the Cat is not only a tribute to the arcade genre, it’s a genius reinvention of its greatest classics. Combining Pac-Man, Snake and Bomberman into a fast-paced high score chaser, it has the potential to hook its players for hours on end. This is especially true for the Arena versus mode, which can be almost embarrassingly fun due to its frantic competition and varied grids. This is a game that will not leave our game night rotations for a long time!

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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Pix the Cat - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Tom Cornelis
Tom Cornelis


2 Comments

  1. ThaMofo
    ThaMofo
    February 15, 2015, 7:01 pm

    This reminds me so much of ChuChu Rocket.

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  2. […] a game evening for short bursts at a time. However, it didn’t quite capture our full attention as Pix the Cat did, for example. Whereas we played that game for hours on end, ultimately realising we had spent […]

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