There is just something about pixel art in 3D that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling.
Right off the bat this game shows off it superb pixel art style. I could spin the title screen all day but that isn\’t what I am reviewing. If it was then I\’d rate this game for ten out of ten for best spinning title. Looking back at how Mutant Mudds, VVVVV, and Might Switch Force has proven that pixel art in 3D is truly something to behold. I simply can\’t get enough it. Old and new clash to make something wonderful and it is shown PIX3D too. It is also quite handy(I will go into this later). The old school style is consistent throughout the game, big and blocky pixels that are lively with bright colors cover every itch of this game. Not only do the visuals bring back the retro feel but the small selection of music does a great job too. They are up beat and have a catchy retro rhythm. Only four songs to choose from in the menu but they never get old. This game heavily relies on retro presentation and never really feels tacked on. Now all this beauty and I haven\’t even discussed the game-play which is sadly on the lesser side of things.
Lots of puzzles but lacks the depth…
This game claims to feature a ton load of puzzles. It is described to have over a 1000 puzzles. Yeah, that would be a ton for any game. The catch is that it literally takes seconds to solve a puzzle in this game. That doesn\’t mean it is bad but it sure makes 1000 seem a lot smaller.1000 seconds only adds up to over sixteen minutes, the more you know. How the puzzles work is that the player’s goal is to spin a floating mass of pixels until it matches the picture in the corner. You do this with sliding the stylus or using the circle pad. Sound simple? That is because it is much too easy. The puzzles do benefit from the 3D depth which is extremely cool and becomes a tool for the game and makes 2D feel lacking and just not much help, obviously. The game eventually takes in different ways to challenge you but for the most part it is smooth simplistic sailing. These different puzzles are used in different ways in the three main modes the game has to offer. These modes are; Arcade, Extreme, and Sprint. Sprint and Arcade are available at the start and extreme is unlocked after playing 250 puzzles. While reviewing this game I went through many love / hate emotions that led to a final positive impression.
It may first be easy…
Before I even go into these modes I want to express my feelings of the challenge in each mode so I don\’t have to later. I have beating a dead horse here so let me clear things up; Arcade mode has no challenge, Extreme has too much challenge, and Sprint just doesn\’t interest me. Heck, even the scoring is to giving, you earn one star out of three for beating it no matter how long and it is call “good.” I could sit there an hour and still be “good,” a simple rewording to “okay” or “get out of my face. I never want to see you again” could make me want to strive for more.
Arcade is the main build of the game as it is how you unlock the the puzzle packs for all the mode, that count up to forty in all. This mode is entertaining to pass the time and doesn\’t press your reflexes. Just beat the puzzles at your leisure and try for a better score when you revisit. This is fine for me as I feel very relaxed and solving a pack of puzzles is fun. This mode is also the only feature to have a bit of a boss at the end. The boss is simply six consecutive puzzles that create one image. It is a fun pace breaker to celebrate you reaching the end of the pack.
Extreme fits the title as it takes a switch to a much near frustrating turn to beat the clock. Like the difficulty differences is nearly neck snapping but I actually enjoyed it. The goal is to beat ten random puzzles in ten seconds. Not only are the puzzles longer, requiring more vigorous swiping, but this mode is like the designers are punishing you. Every second it seems the game will throw a painful, painful, PAINFUL twist to the gameplay; Reversing your spin, flipping the pix, and worse of all giving you only three seconds. The three second challenge is usually a end game for the player. Now maybe since it is such a contrast to the main mode the absurd challenge is forgiven. I found myself switching between Arcade and this mode depending on my mood.
The final mode is sprint, a mode that is in the awkward middle. It is a speed run of ten random stages of the selected pack like Extreme mode has it but has no obstacles or decreasing timer like Arcade. Does this make it fun? No. It just didn\’t offer a rewarding goal.
Too much like a phone app, needs more sharing features
You can create your own pix puzzle with a relatively helpful creation tool. Want to share it, right? Well you can\’t…. at all. This game is missing so many sharing features. A pixel art community would have been amazing. Another thing this game like this would do pretty fair with is some leaderboards to push friends to do better. I might just be spoiled by games like Zin Pinball that encourage you to beat your friends live during the game. So this game is very isolated, no friends, no sharing… just puzzles.