Pix the Cat, from French studio Pastagames, is a cross between Snake and Pac-Man Championship Edition. In single player mode you control a cat that moves along grid lines collecting eggs, which hatch into a train of ducklings who follow you around. As the train grows longer the environment becomes more claustrophobic and you have to be careful to avoid boxing yourself in or risk losing your combo.
The goal is to set a high score, which involves depositing the ducklings on target circles, and the longer you go between deposits – ideally you want to chain an entire screen of them before going near a circle – the better your combo. This is tricky because your speed increases as your combo grows, leaving you with less time to think about which direction you’re going to turn next.
The title has retro visuals and you will love them as you play and the game features nice little details like a speed boost when you time your turns to perfection which greatly affects in particular the way you move between puzzle screens.
There is also something I found innovative: you can always see the next puzzle screen in miniature somewhere around the current one. This gives you a clue about where the exit will appear and it also allows you to size up your next task out of the corner of your eye, giving you a better chance of moving on with a planned pattern.
As you improve, you become more efficient and better at taking advantage of Fever mode, which activates when your combo is maxed out and allows you to chew up enemies rather than having to avoid them. It’s not long before you’re setting much higher scores, prompting various unlocks, including different announcer voices and a more relaxed puzzle mode called Laboratory, where you have to try to clear a screen in as few moves as possible.
Pix the Cat has been available for free for PSN subscribers and other means. For the fun you will get, you can’t go wrong with a freebie. If can’t get it for free and you are not sure if the title is worth $9,99 in stores, check out our gameplay video below.