Title: Pix the Cat
Genre: Arcade, Multiplayer, Party, Puzzle
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: E for Everyone
Release Date: 08/08/19
Price: $9.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Pac-man vs Snake
So what is Pix the Cat all about? Well, it’s an arcade score-chasers dream. It offers a mixture of two different classic games: Pac-man and Snake, to be exact.
Let me explain: your cat must move around maze-like arenas collecting duckling eggs. Each egg you successfully pick up adds to your trail, with the more eggs you collect, the bigger and longer your trail will be. As well as this, you need to collect all the eggs before heading to any of the safe zones. Otherwise, all your remaining eggs in the arena will crack reducing their overall score. You need to safely escort all your ducklings to their safe zones without crashing into your trail. Doing so will destroy all your cute feathered friends and destroy your combo meter, which will reduce by half.
It takes time to strategise the best possible way to collect all the eggs without cracking them. It’s also quite tricky to do as your cat is continuously moving forward once you’ve started picking up your duckling eggs. One wrong turn could result in losing your eggs and your multiplier. If you manage to get all ducklings to their safe zones, your cat will increase in speed as your combo meter increases. This means less time to react while moving around each maze.
When you haven’t got any eggs trailing you, you can move back and forth freely. However, as soon as you start trailing eggs, you only move forward, and if you become cornered or take the wrong path, you could end up destroying your combo and all your ducklings in an instant. The meter at the top of the screen slowly increases with every egg delivered to its safe zones, which are marked on the floor as a blue target.
Arcade mode is available from the get-go: hatch as many eggs as you can and take them to their safe zones to rank up your combo meter as you descend deeper into the grid of infinity. Look out for enemies, tight turns and your own trail as you move through the maze-like arenas. Increase your score by collecting all eggs in one go, activating a combo frenzy to earn more points for the online leaderboards and bragging rights.
The Arcade mode has a few unlockable such as different arenas, announcers, and ghost data that can be unlocked when you complete one of the many achievements. You can also unlock the nostalgia and laboratory mode once you’ve reached a certain score. This is definitely the main mode in Pix the Cat, and for the most part, I don’t mind it. It’s not my favourite one out of all the modes available though, as I have a few issues which I’ll touch upon later.
Laboratory mode is more of a puzzle game than the arcade mode. This time you need to solve the puzzles in as few moves as possible, all the while collecting all the cells and depositing them within their cell zones. This time you can’t freely move around, instead only moving once in a single direction. I like this mode more than the arcade mode as it comes with dozens of levels that can become quite tricky, all while adding new mechanics that keep things fresh, which I like.
Nostalgia mode goes back-in-time with almost Steampunk Willie or Felix the Cat art direction, which is just lovely. This time new mechanics are introduced whereby instead of taking ducklings to the safe zones, you must collect all eggs within a time limit to complete the level. The issue here is there is a meter at the top of the screen, which slowly decreases – pushing a little sunflower closer to the hungry goat’s mouth! Collect all the eggs quickly; otherwise, that little flower will be consumed! Just like the other modes, the new mechanics keep you hooked, interested and it is one of the great things about Pix the Cat – the variety of modes available.
Arena mode offers 2 to 4 players local battle action. There are multiple arenas to unlock and play in as you dash around the maze-like levels collecting eggs and firing them at the competition. You can also dash into foes for an easy victory. It’s a great addition for family and friends to play with and loads unlockable levels that you can earn in other modes. It is a shame this only caters for 2 to 4 players. No bots are available in this mode either which makes this Arena mode a little disappointing.
Visuals and graphics
The visuals in Pix the Cat are bright and stylish with a neon style presented in Arcade mode and on the other side of the spectrum, a retro cartoon style in Nostalgia mode. One of the great things about each mode is that it has a unique art style which I love and gives Pix the Cat a unique look. The same goes for the music and the rather quirky announcers that you can unlock in arcade mode… these add personality to this fast-paced arcade title.
I only have two concerns about this package. The first one is down to its controls in the Arcade mode. I’ve found a slight delay when I push the directional pad, which results in losing combos always – something I found highly annoying. When your cat is moving slowly you feel as though you have complete control over his movement. However, as soon as he hits his golden phase, which makes him move extremely quickly, I find the game becomes a delayed mess. The inputs do not register, which results in a lot of broken combos and crashing into trails and dead ends.
My second issue is the Arena mode not having bots available. This makes this mode unplayable for anyone who doesn’t have regular gaming sessions with friends. None of my friends are interested in games, so it makes any local play options unavailable for me in certain circumstances.
I like Pix the Cat – it’s a decent romp through a series of mazes, collecting ducklings eggs and hitting high scores. I love the unlockable announcers as it adds some much-needed personality to the proceedings. Also, I love the Laboratory mode for its unique puzzles and Nostalgia mode as it reminds me of old cartoons such as Steam Boat Willie. The game also has a lot of unlockables and achievements, which can unlock concept art, arena levels, and ghost data, which is a nice addition. 2-to-4 player local option is available, but solo gamers won’t have access to this mode unless they have friends to play locally with. Pix the Cat will keep you hooked with its online leaderboards and addictive one-more-go gameplay.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Pix the Cat from the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/pix-the-cat-switch/
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.