Review Pixel Boy
A frustrating "endless" experience
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 01 Apr 2017, tested on HTC One M8
Cool graphics, dynamic backgrounds, simple controls
The camera drops too quickly, the levels never change
One touch arcade or endless games are about a dime a dozen at this point and there really isn’t any one thing that factors into which one is going to become immensely popular and which one will just get shuffled in with all of the rest. Pixel Boy for Android kind of feels like the latter.
Its main mechanic consists of turning your character around as he auto navigates each level. You need to guide the character towards the drop down before the camera drops on its head and sometimes you’ll even need to dodge boulders that try to squash you.
It’s a one touch mechanic and it just doesn’t feel that engaging because the one giant level is pre-made, so eventually you just learn the whole thing and that’s it. Unlike other pre-made levels, this one isn’t designed that well and consists mostly of trial and error obstacles. There is no way to see when a boulder is going to strike you first and you usually aren’t in any position to react, so you die and start over again.
The graphics are good, controls are solid, and I really enjoy the fact that the environment does change aesthetically. Unfortunately, there’s no reward system for the player to become engaged with so I found myself playing until I got bored rather than having an actual goal in mind.
Pixel Boy is fun for what it is, but I don’t think it’s a runaway success. It doesn’t have the same dynamic procedurally generated levels that other endless runners have and it feels more frustrating because a lot of the level design relies on trial and error rather than skill. I just didn’t have a whole lot of fun with this one.