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Published by Sam Eskenazi on Simulation

Pixel Survival Game 3 is an attempt at Minecraft for mobile that manages to live up to every cliché, yet not satisfy anyone.

Pixel Survival Game 3 is very clearly trying to emulate the heights of Minecraft fame – untold adventures in a vast procedurally generated open landscape. Monsters to beat and items to craft, a new story round every corner. In this game however, there is no immense adventure to be had. There are no grand vistas, no horde of monsters, just mediocrity.

A huge part of Minecraft’s visual appeal in adventuring through the world is the beautiful landscapes rendered in blocky 3D. In Pixel Survival Game, it is the simple 2D that all phone games of this type have, making everything feel bland and, quite literally, flat.

There is essentially no direction on starting a new game, simply some brief description about how to control your character. Within 5 seconds, you will find yourself confused and wonder why the Interact button is directly below the Look thumbpad, meaning that you will be constantly having to let go of the directional controls to interact with anything. It’s like playing with an N64 controller one-handed.

There are the occasional good bits in gameplay, with some nice effects when crafting items or fighting mobs, but these positive moments are outpaced quickly by the mounting irritations prevalent within Pixel Survival Game 3.

these positive moments are outpaced quickly by the mounting irritations prevalent within Pixel Survival Game 3.

This game is a sequel to a sequel, something that usually guarantees it will be lackluster when compared to the original. In this instance, the upgrade just moves the gameplay to a pseudo-open world, compared to the scrolling endlessness of an arcade setting from the original. It is certainly preferable to have an open-ended, top-down perspective so as to be able to actually see what’s going on, but the lack of any kind of clear instruction or sophisticated gameplay makes the player feel irritated.

This core emotion, irritation, is the main driving force behind poor games. It’s irritating to use the controls, irritating to start a game and not know what’s going on and, above all, irritating to see all the beautiful looking media for a game belie the inevitable truth – that the game itself is empty, poor and ultimately a bit boring.

Pixel Survival Game 3 is a game that could certainly be so much more if it tried to branch out and be something different than just a mobile imitation Minecraft. As it stands, however, the game is just a poor imitation of the original and not really worth the time.

Pixel Survival Game 3
Pixel Survival Game 3
Developer: Cowbeans
Price: Free+