PIX The Cat Review

Retro future.

Eight hours. That’s how long I’ve been sat here playing PIX The Cat trying to beat my score, and the levels that I can almost memorise but still can’t perfect. This is the latest game from Pastagames, who have developed titles such as Rayman Jungle Run, and despite the PIX The Cat’s almost friendly looking graphics, you can expect to get quite angry. At its most basic PIX The Cat is a puzzle game that relies heavily on split second reactions from you, rewarding progress and punishing mistakes.

The best way to describe the main arcade mode of PIX The Cat is Pacman meets Snake, while a bit of a rave takes place. In this mode as Pix you have to collect eggs that hatch into ducklings, then guide those ducklings to goals. Seems simple enough but those same ducklings are your tail, and just like in Snake will end your run if they end up blocking you in. At first things go slowly but as you progress through the micro levels things get a lot faster and lot more difficult.

The way the game plays is through these micro levels, and there is a set time to complete as many as possible. Each level takes about 10 to 20 seconds and then you move through a gate to the next one. There is no wait between the levels, you’re just instantly thrown in to work out what to do. The key of the game is speed, and eventually you get to a point where you can pick out the perfect path almost immediately. At least that’s the case in the starter difficulty.

In the main mode the levels will change slightly so you can’t memorise the exact layout, making things a bit more difficult. What makes things even more difficult are the enemies that enter the fray. They follow pre-determined paths but you have to time your movements correctly. If you’re a split second too late then you’ll crash into one of them and lose your combo as well as any ducks following you. You want to avoid all of these dangers to hit Fever Time.

Fever Time is the moment where you get the most points, with the screen flashing wildly and music becoming a loud rhythm. You’re also moving at the fastest possible speed so your reaction time is really tested. The way to maintain fever time is to continue getting perfect runs because once you break a combo you lose Fever Time. It’s easy to get back if you can return to the flow, but if the more mistakes you make the more multipliers you lose, and suddenly getting back to Fever Time will be impossible. Also during Fever Time you can destroy the enemies by crashing into them, clearing paths up.

Outside of the Grid mode of the game you also have Laboratory and Nostalgia. There’s also a local multiplayer mode called Arena, though that is limited to the PS4 version of PIX The Cat. The Laboratory levels are the complete opposite of the grid as there is no time limit here. Instead here you have to collect bubbles and guide them to goals. However movement here is different in that PIX will only stop moving once he hits a surface, and that’s the only time you can change direction. Also you have to get all the bubbles before taking them to their goals otherwise you lose.

The Nostalgia mode is a bit more similar to the Grid mode of the main game, but with the stylings of black and white cartoons from the early 20th century. The Arena mode is something I had a bit of a go with, and it kind of reminded me a little bit of classic Bomberman.  Here, two to four players face off to collect eggs, and use them as ammo against each other. You can also dash into opponents to take them out too. This mode has potential to be a decent bit of fun if you get a few people together.

When playing through this mode I actually found the d-pad to be much more responsive than the DS4’s analog stick. The movements just seemed to flow better with the buttons, while analog input seemed to lag just slightly. That isn’t idea for a game where twitchy reactions and movement are needed to succeed.  Other than that PIX The Cat is fun, and you will keep trying to beat your score as well as those of your friends and the world thanks to the leaderboards.

What’s Good:

  • Very addictive gameplay.
  • Visuals looks great.
  • Music and voice overs are good.
  • Different modes add variety to the game.

What’s Bad:

  • Some lag using analog input.

Overall PIX The Cat is incredibly fun and addictive. Every time I said it would be my last go I would also drift to the restart button, and have another go. The art design is really good looking, and just jumps out of the screen in some cases. The music is very well composed too, adding to the overall atmosphere of the game. The only real problem is the small amount of lag from analog input on PS4, which costs time in a game where every second counts. Since the game is currently free on Plus it really is worth playing, though if you do miss the Plus promotion it is worth picking up if you’re looking for a modern day Pac Man or Snake, with better presentation.

Score: 9/10

15 Comments

  1. I can’t believe you actually tried playing it with the analogue stick. It seemed obvious from the start that the d-pad was going to be the way to play it.

    So we can ignore your attempts to find something to fill the “What’s bad:” space in the review and give it 10/10 instead. Followed by a 9/10 after half a dozen attempts to beat your high score. And then an 8. And probably a 7, 6 and a 5 after about 100 attempts. And then a 10/10 once you beat your high score again.

    It’s got that perfect chain of “This is fun”, “Grrr”, “I hate this game!”, “This is fun”.

  2. Is that the smell of a competition? Sounds perfect for it. Good review!

    • Good call Tony it does sound perfect for a competition.I’ve been playing the Vita version and i’ve gotta say it gets pretty frantic sometimes.Like Aran says “it’s about speed” also split second timing,if you get those 2 right the rest is simple right?……right?Granted i’ve only played an hour of it but i’ve only just managed to get just over the half a million score,i’m just downloading the PS4 version now so i’ll see which one i feel more comfortable with.

  3. The thing is: Pix the Cat is everything Pacman Championship Edition DX is, but worse. Okay I only tried the Cat for 20min but it didn’t show me anything new, less variety, less exciting. Nice ideas (“Zooming levels”) but overall a lot worse than Pacman CEDX.

    I’m not saying Pix the Cat is a bad game, but I think if you would have played Pacman CEDX before it would be much less exciting. Put it down after 20min and cried a little that they didn’t release CEDX for Vita.

    • Pacman CEDX for the Vita? Now that’s something I’d buy instantly. And anyone who hasn’t bought it should also buy it.

      But you should give the cat more than 20 minutes. It’s almost as good.

  4. Great review there. Everything I have to say about it is in your review. Bang on the button.

  5. took me about half an hour before i realized you can use the d-pad!
    then after 2 or 3 more games using the d-pad i thought,why the hell am i playing this and uninstalled it.
    is this what the future of gaming is?
    is this foe the players?
    whatever Sony!!!!

    • I’m with you, however reviews are relative and if you compare it to other Vita titles it is probably at the upper end. On the PS4 however, nah. Getting quite irritated at the number of mobile games making their way to my £400 brick.

  6. *for*
    arghhhh seriously need to be able to edit our postS here at TSA.

  7. I played it and thought “kinda more like a phone game”

  8. Tidy, I’ll pick this up….oh wait,it’s already on my console, ace!

  9. I really couldn’t get into it, just seemed very repetitive and, as mentioned, just really a mobile game.
    I realise it’s getting good reviews from people obviously into the mental-paced-puzzle genre but as a ‘normal’ game it won’t be getting played a lot :/

  10. I’ll try it on my Vita. I’ve already uninstalled it on the PS4 but it feels more like something for mobile.

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