Pix the Cat Review

He was owned by some people who used to love Pac-Man, used to love Snake and even when he was very young used to let him watch as they played Chu Chu Rocket. At first playing Pix the Cat seemed to be a puzzle, simply trying to complete the task he had been set to collect and distribute the local ducks seemed a challenge. Soon that stopped being the challenge, with finding the most efficient route through the maze being the challenge, trying to complete as many screens as possible becoming more of a racing game. Playing with Pix was to challenge yourself to get the highest score possible in the set amount of time. For a good amount of time everything seems like it could be great.

10/10 Lives Remain.

But sadly, Pix is quite an accident prone cat. Sure, we shouldn’t expect to be able to herd his kind, but this is a game that needs the tightest and most immediate of controls. It simply doesn’t have them. Early levels give you enough space and you’re moving slowly enough for it to not be a problem, but as things speed up and mazes become more complex it becomes a serious problem. Good runs are often ruined by the lagging controls despite knowing the route you wanted to take.

Pix knew the bus was there, but then accidentally walked in front of it.

9/10 Lives Remaining

The only other problem with the main mode, possibly a side-effect of the fact it is genuinely compulsive, is that once you’ve realised this is a racing game there are only 3 courses, Starter, Main and Dessert. Whilst unlocking the latter does take plenty of practice on the Main course, it’s massively limiting and for no real reason.

One minute he was fine, but then…

8/10 Lives Remain

For a break from all that, Pix was sent to play in a laboratory. If you are familiar with cats and laboratories then you could carefully predict this won’t have a good conclusion. Laboratory mode here is sadly without any mayhem and simply repackages the puzzle levels of Chu Chu Rocket with the intelligence and charm removed. A trial and error puzzle to guide your cat around a level, essentially memorising a step, restarting, finding the next, restarting. New ideas come and go, but ultimately these are the sorts of puzzles anyone with enough time could complete, but few should want to.

Pix swallowed some nitroglycerin and accidentally walked into a wall

7/10 Lives Remain

Pix had a secret, he’d always wanted to be a snake, so Nostalgia mode is ideal for him. Whilst there are some gentle puzzle aspects incorporated, every trick you learned whilst playing Snake 15 years ago still applies. It’s not that it is bad, it just feels lazy and pointless. Whilst both Laboratory and Nostalgia mode have their own appealing art styles, the way they both throw in new ideas seemingly on a whim to distract from how tedious they are, it doesn’t work.

A Nokia 3310 fell on Pix from a reasonable height.

6/10 Lives Remain

Ultimately, there just isn’t enough here to make a full recommendation. Regular DLC of courses for the main mode would be welcome, but they were really needed from the start. Pasta Games, also responsible for the excellent mobile game Rayman Jungle Run, are in truth extremely close to having a great game here. It’s just not, quite, there.