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This review was submitted by Brendan Keogh. If you’ve played Pix'n Rush, or just want to ask Brendan more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Pix’n Love Rush (iPhone)
Pix’n Love Rush is to the platform game what Geometry Wars is to the shooter: a biology lesson that dissects the genre’s greatest hits and stitched the core, fundamental mechanics back together into a frantic, five-minute high-score chase. Race across a semi-randomised sequence of micro-levels collecting coins and avoiding bats in your quest to buy a cake… obviously.
Style: Pix’n Love Rush’s pixelised visuals and 8-bit sounds are beautiful. What starts as a bright, colourful game of purple enemies and golden coins devolves as your multiplier increases, almost as though the game is travelling backwards in time to the earliest days of the platform game. Each skin is a nod to a different era of platform games; Gameboy, Game’n’Watch, and even the Virtuaboy are among the distinct styles nodded to. Despite this, Pix’n Rush manages to maintain its own slick, clean style that stands up to be counted in its own right.
Layered Gameplay: Remember when you first mastered that move in Donkey Kong Country where you would cartwheel off a cliff and then jump a split-second later to get that extra distance? Remember how that completely changed how you viewed the game’s levels? Pix’n Love Rush’s gameplay is exactly like that. What at first seems such a basic move/jump/shoot soon becomes so much more as you master the techniques required to reach that so-important perfect score on each micro-level.
Learning Curve: On your first try, you will be lucky to survive the full five minutes. But each game you will last a bit longer and score a bit more. As your learn more techniques and begin to memorise the quickest route through some of the 150-something levels (many are just variations of each other), you truly feel yourself improving. It really motivates that “just one more game” mentality as chances are very likely the next game will be an improvement on your last game.
On-screen Controls: While I see no way around this on the iPhone, I have a fundamental hate for on-screen controls. You should never have to cover two-thumbs worth of a screen in any game. Period. It is too easy to bump ‘left’ instead of ‘right’ and walk off a cliff, taking your 10x multiplier with you. That said, Pix’n Love Rush’s on-screen controls are far better and far more bearable than any other I have used on the iPhone. Frustrating, but not a game-breaker.
Pix’n Love Rush is an addictive, adorable, frantic, and rewarding game indebted to the decades of platform games that came before it. For only $1.19 and with an unlockable “Infinite Mode” that removes the time limit and adds more skins and levels, this is a must-buy iPhone game. Get it. Now.
Reviewed by: Brendan Keogh
You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.