Review: Pix the Cat

Literally a game you can enjoy a blast of anywhere, Pix the Cat seems like pretty much the perfect pick-up-and-play Vita release. It is also a fiendish challenge with old-school arcade sensibilities, getting tough quickly against the clock and as the levels twist and tighten.

The aim is simple, collect and hatch the duck eggs, then drop the duckling off at their pads. Nothing more, nothing less. With a timer counting down and points multiplier there's nothing complicated to distract you (expect the acid graphics, gnawingly addictive tunes and the selfish urge to do better, damn-it!)

It also has one brilliant mechanic that solves an age-old problem in gaming. How to get from one level to the next? Pix the Cat's solution is to build the next level inside a bit of the current one, and then - quite brilliantly - lets you roam between them as some levels are split up requiring diving in and out of maps, and some seriously fast finger work on the directional pad.

That also comes in handy when you have a long train of ducks and can dodge running into them, which will break your combo, at the cost of wasting some time. A couple of extra little tricks can see you boost your score, with early turns seeing your cat spark off the wall for a turn of speed. As you get better, you're rewarded with more features. There's the Snake-like Nostalgia Mode and Lab Mode to add new challenges, plus a host of other little treats like Ghost mode.

The trophies are true old-school gaming, far from a pushover, with the Gold trophy requiring a top 10 place on the leader boards. The best thing of all, this game is free for PlayStation Plus subscribers. So, the word if flying out fast and loud, which hopefully means Sony is picking up more subs, while non-subs are flocking to buy it.

Paced by excellent music, with pop-out bright visuals and some very clever gaming tricks, Pix the Cat is the brightest bit of arcade puzzling fun the Vita has had since Lumines Electronic Symphony, and I dread to think how many months I spent (mostly on the train) with that beauty. It could do with a little more guidance (skull bashing, etc) and getting off the first track a little earlier, but apart from that, Pix the Cat is hard to fault (except for Arena mode being PS4 only).

Score: 8/10
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Price: £9.29 (currently free for PS+)
Dev: Pastagames
Progress:Dunno, my head exploded