Developer: Pasta Games
Release Date: October 7th, 2014
Available On: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Reviewer’s Note: I played the PlayStation 4 version of this game. There may be differences between versions.
Pix the Cat has some inspirations. Playing it, I can see parts of Snake, parts of Pac-Man Championship Edition, and parts of old fashioned arcade high score runs built in here. It’s stylistic and good for the gamer looking for a quick play session before going off to something else, but I worry that Pix the Cat doesn’t quite have enough for anyone else.
Pix the Cat is broken into four different modes. The main attraction here is Arcade mode though. Your goal is to speed through the Pac-Man like levels and collect eggs along the way. Once collected the eggs will begin to follow around behind you, making your body longer similar to Snake. You have to then deliver the eggs to specific points on the ground to get rid of them. Along the way you have to avoid enemies and cornering yourself, or you risk losing all of your eggs and slowing yourself down. Speed is important, similar to Pac-Man Championship Edition there’s usually one really good path that lets you grab all the eggs and return them, and your goal is to find that path and use it. The longer you go without crashing or getting killed then the more speed you pick up and the higher your score. Also at top speed you can smash enemies out of the way, another great advantage. Once you get all the eggs and return them you can take a warp that shrinks you down to the next level. In a neat artistic touch, the next level can be viewed in advance as it is built into the level before, and sometimes jumping back a level is necessary to complete the one you’re on.
While Arcade mode is fun, the other three modes are kind of just there. Nostalgia mode is very similar to the main game, only all you do is collect eggs. Similar to the main game, each one you collect creates a line that you need to not get caught in, and you have to avoid enemies to survive. Your goal here is to just collect however many eggs the level tells you to collect so you can advance to the next one. It does have a very neat old fashioned black and white cartoon art style, which is probably the best thing about it. The other mode is Laboratory. Where Arcade and Nostalgia mode are very fast paced, Laboratory mode is similar to sliding puzzles you see in some games and is meant to be a much slower mode. Every time you move you keep going forward until you get stopped by a wall (or killed by an enemy). Your goal here is to collect bubbles by passing over them, and then bring them to spots on the board. If you bring a bubble to a spot before collecting all the bubbles you lose, so you have to watch your movements carefully. It’s a pretty sharp contrast to the rest of the game, but these kinds of puzzles were basically the ones I always hated the most so I got nothing from this mode. Both Nostalgia and Laboratory modes have 100 levels each, so there’s at least quite a bit here to go through.
If you got the PlayStation 4 version then you also got a local multiplayer mode called Arena. Here you’ll be in control of cat-tanks. You pick up ammo (which, as you guessed, follows you around) and shoot them at other players to stun them. Then you have to use a dash attack to actually finish them off. You can employ a few strategies, like dashing through your enemy’s ammo to take it out, but overall it’s a pretty simple mode. Unfortunately when the Ps4 also has local multiplayer gems like Towerfall: Ascension, SportsFriends, Nidhogg, and In Space We Brawl on it, I have difficulty recommending the Arena above any of those.
The Arcade mode on Pix the Cat is an addictive and fun high score crawl that should keep you coming back to Pix the Cat in the future. The other three modes, sadly, feel sort of half baked. If on sale I think Pix the Cat would make an excellent purchase for that Arcade mode alone, but otherwise I’d suggest just waiting. Those looking for a high-score crawling fix, though, may have their game here.