Pixy Link HD might be too challenging for casual gamers

Sep 20, 2011
Games

Editors Note: Since this review was written, Pixy Link HD is now available for free for a limited time. Pixy Link HD ($2.99) is a decent entry into the puzzle/matching genre, but it might lack the features and modes to replace your favorite puzzle games. While I did like the somewhat unique matching mechanic, there […]

Editors Note: Since this review was written, Pixy Link HD is now available for free for a limited time.

Pixy Link HD ($2.99) is a decent entry into the puzzle/matching genre, but it might lack the features and modes to replace your favorite puzzle games. While I did like the somewhat unique matching mechanic, there weren’t enough game modes to hold my interest for long.

The basic premise of Pixy Link HD is to tap on matching pairs of faces (pixies) until the screen is cleared. Pairs can be matched from any distance on the game board as long as they can be connected by three or fewer perpendicular lines. If you can manage to clear the entire board before time runs out, you pass the level and face a progressively more difficult challenge.

The first few stages are easy enough for players to grasp the mechanics involved. This is a good thing, because there is no written manual or tutorial in this app. Menus, power-ups and even basic rules about how the game works must be deciphered by symbols. This probably will turn some players off to the app, but I tried to view it positively, as just another puzzle feature of the game.

It’s a simple task to determine how the four power-ups work in the game, although how to earn each type is still a bit of a mystery. Once you earn them, they will stay in your inventory from one stage to the next. This turns out to be beneficial, as you probably won’t need to use any for the first 25 to 30 stages. From around stage 35 and up, you will wish there was no limit to the number of power-ups you can store, as the maximum of each type is nine. The difficulty from this point on is rather crushing, as many of the pixy faces will be obscured by question marks, requiring you to use your memory as well as quick fingers to clear the screen. I suspect there will be more than a handful of gamers who will never see the second “locked” mode of this app, as it requires you to complete 40 levels straight through, to unlock it.

Pixy Link HD feels incomplete to me. It has a crisp and clean visual style that works well, and the game mechanic is fun and obviously a challenge. However the single available game mode and lack of explanation for how the game is to be played make it a tough sell at the current $2.99.

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Wayne Stuckey

After receiving his bachelor's degree in management information systems on planet Earth, Wayne decided to settle down and live there. He writes from the plains of the Midwest.

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