Platform: 3DS eShop
Developer: Gamelion Studios
Publisher: Gamelion Studios
Ah, puzzle games. You’re in a way the best match for 3DS with your easy to grasp mechanics but your hard as nails puzzles that always result in the ‘one more go’ effect. Thankfully, Pix3d is no exception to this rule, although not every is as it seems.
On the face of it, it looks like a pretty simplistic puzzler, but that’s exactly where it’s charm lies. Harking back to the old days of 16-bit gaming systems, Pix3d certainly has that SNES feel to it which in this case is ruddy brilliant. Unlike other puzzle games that focus on stupid gimmicks, or those that knock of Bejewelled, Pix3d genuinely feels innovative and is one of the most welcome surprises to the genre since Scribblenauts reared its head.
In essence, you’re given a pixelated image that you need to match up with it’s counter part on the bottom right hand side of the screen. Rather than moving individual pixels around to do this, instead you move the entire camera around in any way you see fit in order to form the picture and thus solve the puzzle. At first, it sounds like a completely alien setup, however after a few rounds we were successfully nailing the puzzles in a (fairly) reasonable time and by this time we were left wondering just exactly why such a corking idea had never been used with such effect before.
This pretty much sums up the game, however it’s far from a shallow puzzler. There are 1,000 puzzles on offer, and there’s also the small case of stars per puzzle. There are a maximum of three to obtain per puzzle, but to get all of them you’re going to have to really go at it and solve it in the quickest possible time whilst in the same vain not make any silly mistakes. Then of course there’s the extreme mode which certainly lives up to its name. It’ll try your patience, not unlike the way the Lost Levels did.
Control wise, things couldn’t be simpler, you can either use the Circle Pad, D-pad or the stylus. Personally, we preferred using the D-pad since it just feels right to use a a control input that harks back to a bygone era. Having said that, the stylus does work well too, although at times it felt as though there was a tiny bit of lag. Apart from that, a simple tap on the screen, or ‘A’ is all you need to blast your way through the game.
The music is spot on too. It’s just so retro that it can’t help but put a smile on your face with it’s ‘blip-blop’ tunes and it certainly complements the game well rather than the developers shoe horning on some generic rock track over the game play.
The only real two criticisms that we have are with the 3D effect and also the lack of online leader boards. In the case of the former, we just don’t feel that it adds to much, and in some cases it actually makes the puzzle harder to solve. We do wish the game game had access to leader boards too so you could show off your high scores to other which would add even more life to this game.
As it stands though, Pix3d is an amazing game and whether you play it for 3 minutes or 3 hours you’ll be loving every minute of it which for a downloadable title is a bold statement to make.