Certain classic games have an addictive nature to them that developers are still trying to achieve. Pix the Cat is full of unique arcade gameplay that'll keep you hooked so crack open a roll of quarters and let's play with this kitty.
Pix the Cat is one of those games that looks easy when you're watching someone else play but once you pick up the controller yourself; you'll be surprised at how challenging and intricate the gameplay is. You basically steer the perpetually-moving Pix to guide him along grid-based stages. Upon collecting an egg, an additional chick begins to follow in line behind him. The idea is to collect all of the eggs within each screen without bringing any to their target locations. Once you have every single one, then you can start dropping them off. Considering you can trap yourself with your own trail of chicks, being able to strategically think on your feet is the key to achieving high scores. Once you master screen after screen efficiently and watch your score multiplier go through the roof, the sense of satisfaction is unmatched. Of course, once you lose your concentration and accidentally trap yourself or drop a chick off before collecting them all; the result can be devastating.
When it comes to visuals, Pix the Cat goes above and beyond to provide a constantly fresh feast for the eyes. The flashy stage graphics that change according to your score multiplier add a layer of immersion as you achieve greatness while never coming across as ambiguous which helps streamline the gameplay. The music is full of upbeat tunes that fit the addictive arcade action perfectly. As you play, the subtle sound effects make the onscreen action immediately gratifying as a much louder voice-over announcer provides commentary for all of your successes and failures. These voices can be changed before starting up a game and each one is surprisingly effective. Overall, Pix the Cat adds up to be one of the best looking and sounding arcade indies ever made.
In addition to the main Arcade mode (which tests how many points you can get before the time is up), there are two extra modes that add loads of replay value. Laboratory mode plays similarly although it's composed of a selection of stages. You can't turn until you hit a wall and you aim to beat each level within a given number of moves. In other words, it's basically a collection of puzzle challenges. Nostalgia mode is stage-based as well and has you gather a target number of chicks before the time runs out. Both of these modes add tons of rewarding gameplay for gamers who get tired of playing Arcade mode over and over again. They each feature their own distinct visual style and music, too, which again goes above and beyond what most other indies offer.
After playing Arcade mode multiple times while trying to achieve a higher and higher score, it starts becoming apparent that memorization plays a huge role when it comes to success. On the plus side, the screen layouts change slightly every time you play but it isn't enough as you'll eventually remember what's coming next and can use the same strategy throughout every attempt. Along those same lines, Arcade mode only features three variations in the form of Starter, Main, and Dessert. There's a Daily challenge, too, if you want to see how you stack up against other players on any given day. I wish there were more variations because it doesn't take long to memorize each of the few available themes. Finally, there's a local multiplayer mode that looks a lot like Bomberman. Unfortunately, it ends up feeling tacked on as it simply isn't very fun. In fact, it even comes across as a completely different setup to the core gameplay.
Pix the Cat is one of the most unique and addictive arcade-style indies to ever be released. Its core gameplay will keep any hardcore retro enthusiast delighted for hours so if that sounds like your bag of catnip then you should definitely check this kitty out.
- + Addictive arcade-style gameplay that rewards precision and fast-thinking
- + Incredible graphics and sound
- + Extra modes are fantastic inclusions
- - After playing obsessively, you'll realise that memorization plays too much of a role
- - Arcade mode could use more variations
- - Arena mode feels tacked on