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PIX the CAT from Pasta Games & Focus Home Entertainment on STEAM

PIX the CAT is a bit of an odd egg of a game. It is an addictive hybrid of PacMan and Snake which makes your fingers sore and your eyes ache.

I believe it is also available for Vita and PS4 which itself is a bit of a weird selection, I don't know if there are any differences between the various versions but I have the STEAM version so that is what this review is on. 

The opening screen is of a lounge with a predominant Television screen on which you see the word ARCADE. If you are playing the game on your own then this is for you. If you are playing with friends - up to four players can compete - then you need to tap through to the ARENA. Inbetween there are the LABORATORY and NOSTALGIA which you can only open by hitting the necessary scores in ARCADE; 700K for Laboratory and 1m for Nostalgia.

The game screen looks very much like the PacMan screens of old. Pathways you can travel along going left, right, up and down depending on which ARROW keys you press and when you press them (it is so easy to go past a gap). Onscreen in this mini maze you have PIX, your Cat and lines of Eggs (egg shaped) and nests (round shapes). By using the Arrow keys you move the cat around the maze, not being able to go back on yourself (and really not wanting to) unless you hit a wall. Going back on yourself is never a good idea. The game is fast so you have to be aware of where your tail is and make sure that you don't hit it - as in SNAKE if you hit your own tail you implode and it's game over.

As you glide over the eggs they emerge behind you as DUCKLINGS which will follow you in an unbroken line - these Ducklings are the Tail you mustn't hit. As you run the Ducklings over the nests so each Duckling takes over a nest and removes it from the maze. At one edge of the maze you will notice a smokey swirling vortex, usually on its side. This will take you onto the next screen non-stop with no waiting for a screen change; you just roll from one maze to the next with the screen growing as you enter - though often you can see the next and/or previous maze as a mini map on the side.

Once you have collected and delivered all the Ducklings you move as quickly as you can to the next screen and begin again. The more screens you reach, the faster it gets the more points you score. Trying to keep your eyes on the screen and your fingers pressing the correct Arrow keys makes your fingers and eyes ache. 

It is so addictive and frustrating, especially when you make a wrong turn and there is nothing you can do about it except watch the train wreck occur. My points scoring to date isn't good enough even though I have played it for hours; I still haven't hit the 700k required. This is because I keep looking away for a moment and then I bite my own Tail and blow all my hard work. This isn't a game fault it's a TV fault - I generally have the TV on next to me and watch it as I play - whatever I play. There are many, many dead WoW and DAoC characters testament to the fact that I am easily distracted.

I find it best to play in short term sessions which helps to keep it fresh, fun and more-some.

I have only one sort of query about the game, and this is probably because I have not read any documentation for it, and that is I don't understand why it is a Cat and Ducklings, they don't logically (at least in my addled brain) go together in any way shape or form that I can think of. The Cat in the Hat, Puss in Boots, the Ugly Duckling all of those are known to me, but I have dredged through the silt of my brain and cannot come up with a single Cat and Duckling tale (or tail). So, logic out the window now, I'm going back to running over eggs and saving the little furry creatures that think of me as their mommy.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015