“ Developer: BULKYPIX „
When it comes to gaming it seems that retro is suddenly cool with software developers dusting off old franchises for new platforms or developing new games that have an old-school feel. Pix N Love Rush falls into this second category. Essentially a cross between old-style platform games and Pacman it seeks to appeal to both old gamers and newcomers.
If you remember the early days of gaming fondly, you will love the look of Pix N Love Rush. The graphics are made up of old-style pixelated graphics which will transport you back to the early 80s. Whilst there is a danger that such an approach might put off younger gamers used to better quality visuals, the developers have tried to give the game enough visual flair to appeal to everyone.
The graphics are picked out in neon pixels which give the game a quite unusual and very colourful look. The main dragon/monster character is surprisingly cute and appealing and well-defined (recalling to mind the Bubble Bobble games). Graphics might be simplistic, but Pix N Love Rush has a visual style that sets it apart from most other iPhone titles.
The visuals can cause a few issues with gameplay, however. First of all, when the game is moving fairly quickly (as it does sometimes), the lack of variation and distinction between different graphical blocks (platforms, enemies etc.) can make it can be difficult to pick out the plus and minus signs that form the basis of the scoring. This lack of graphical clarity can make the game frustrating to play.
Sound and sound effects complement the retro look and feel. The in-game tune is perfectly suited to the game and sounds like it was composed on a Commodore 64 around 1983. Sound effects are similarly "basic", consisting mostly of beeps and ringing tones. In the context of the game, however, they work well and it's fun to play a game that looks and sounds so unapologetically retro.
Of rather more concern are the gameplay and controls. It's here that the old fashioned nature of the game starts to show - and not in a good way. The gameplay is essentially similar to Pacman, but lacks the addictive nature of that classic. In the main game mode, your little monster character is placed on a screen and must try and eat as many of the Plus signs as possible for points, whilst avoiding minus signs and other monsters. The screen will scroll up and down or left and right and you must avoid disappearing off the screen. Every so often, you will be transported to another screen and repeat your actions, trying to amass as high a score as possible in the time allowed.
This is pretty limiting stuff, and would actually have felt dated back in 1985, never mind 2012. Much though I love retro gaming, I found it difficult to like Pix N Love Rush. The gameplay actually becomes boring rather quickly, lacking the same challenge as Pacman. There's not the same frantic sense of being pursued around a maze and having to try and think one step ahead of your enemies. Whilst its retro look initially appeals, I found the game lacked much by way of either short-term fun or long term challenge.
Pix N Love Rush really doesn't have much to set it apart from the many other and better titles available for the iPhone. It's a game I hardly ever play and never in long bursts. After one, possibly two games, the rather repetitive gameplay starts to bore me and I switch off and go and play something different. As such, there is little long term challenge or appeal. Yes, you can play to beat your high score, but since the game is not much fun to play, there is no real incentive to do this.
In fairness to the designers, they clearly recognise the limited nature of the gameplay and provide several different game modes, all of which offer a slight spin on the central idea. The trouble is these suffer from the same core issue as the main mode: it's still not much fun for more than a couple of games in a row.
Controls are kept simple and this, at least, is something in its favour. However, they have not been particularly well-implemented. Left and right movement is controlled by two direction buttons in bottom left of the screen, whilst a jump button sits in the lower left. Sadly, these are rather too small and it is very easy for your finger to slip off the button or hit the wrong one. If the screen is scrolling at the time, this can have disastrous results. Since the neon graphics are so bright, the buttons can also get lost or obscured, rendering them difficult to see. Finally, the buttons are rather unresponsive and there is often a small delay between you pressing a button and the action being carried out, which can again be fatal.
At only 69p to download, Pix N love Rush is not going to break the bank, so if it sounds like it might appeal, you're no risking a lot. Personally, despite the appealing retro look and feel to the game, I just couldn't recommend it.
© Copyright SWSt 2013