Pix the Cat is a strange little nugget. The animal you play as may be obvious, but this cute little feline isn’t up to its usual catty antics. Instead, it must traverse through a series of mazes, cracking eggs along the way to release a horde of ducks; leading them, pied-piper style, to the goal. It’s a fun arcade puzzler that puts together elements of other classic games, and while possibly being too derivative, it remains entertaining and addictive throughout.
The most addictive aspect of Pix the Cat is definitely Arcade Mode. It’s exactly as we have described above, but with stages becoming increasingly more difficult as you progress. Later levels require a lot of memorisation in order to navigate through them correctly, and this then becomes the main focus of players’ strategy towards success. If we weren’t going in the right direction, or we missed an egg, we would simply restart so that our score wasn’t affected by our sloppy playing. There were also times when we found ourselves frantically trying to beat our own ghost; we just couldn’t stand to be outdone by our previous attempt.
There is a definite emphasis on achieving a high score here, as leaderboards and challenges push you towards hitting a higher point barrier to receive new unlockables and game modes. While the game may appear at first to be repetitive, we found it to be thoroughly enjoyable to keep playing the same sections over and over to master the level and to get that next reward; usually consisting of some awesome artwork.
If you’re still unsure as to what you’re getting yourself into, we would say that Arcade Mode is like a weird hybrid of Snake and Pac-Man. Those are both great for what they are, and so is this, but we struggled to find anything new and exciting in Pix the Cat. The gameplay may be fun and addictive, but it isn’t exactly novel, and while the neon visuals are definitely striking and colourful, we still think they fail to make the game stand out as something truly unique amongst a market that contains a multitude of other similar vibrant mobile and indie titles.
Laboratory Mode suffers from a similar problem – it just isn’t that special. It involves Pix changing from a cat to a blob, so that he can transport cells from one location to another in the lowest amount of moves possible. In our opinion, it doesn’t offer anything that we haven’t seen before, and feels akin to mobile games such as Cut the Rope and Contre Jour. However having said that, we still feel that the Laboratory is a great addition, and balances the crazy reflexes needed in Arcade Mode perfectly with a relaxed and more slowly paced experience.
Nostalgia Mode was where we found the most interesting visuals, gameplay and sound design, as Pix is transformed, once again, into an old-timey fellow; looking like the love child of Steamboat Willy and Felix the Cat. Accompanied with some honky-tonk piano music, this mode mixes Arcade with Laboratory into something that stood out as the cream of this game’s quite ordinary crop.
While still being an enjoyable arcade-puzzler, Pix the Cat doesn’t do much to highlight itself amongst the throng of similar titles. Don’t let this derivation put you off though – it’s still a good game, and with its multiple modes of arcade fun, it will give you hours of addictive game time, as you chase high scores with determination, and of course, a little blue cat.