Aug 2, 2011
Ever since those halcyon days of running around, jumping on the heads of goombas with the Mario Brothers, platform adventure games have held a firm place in my heart; I love them. When I came across Pixeline & The Jungle Treasure, I knew I’d found something special.
Pixeline is very much in the same vein as other classic platforming games except that you play as an adorable little girl going on a jungle adventure in search of map pieces that will lead you to treasure. There are no bosses or weapons in the game and only a moderate amount of violence that includes jumping on furry monsters, slimes and other bad guys.
In each of the 23 levels spread across 5 worlds, you’ll find coins, treasure and other collectible items. Some are out in the open while others are less obvious, and many are tucked away in places you can’t get to. In fact, it’s by design that you can’t reach some items. As you progress through the game, you’ll be granted the ability to transform into animals with their own unique abilities that will make previously inaccessible areas easy to reach. You’ll have a lot of fun going back to old levels and playing them in a whole new way.
As cute and cuddly as Pixeline appears, one thing you shouldn’t take for granted is the challenge ahead of you — especially if you aim to collect all the items on each level. Moving platforms, monsters, bottomless chasms and other dangerous obstacles make sure this jungle adventure is no easy task. Yet, even with all the environmental snares designed to stop your progress, one snare that was never meant to be one is the controls.
The traditional d-pad is replaced with a sliding nub that moves left and right. It’s an analog control, designed so that you can vary the velocity of your movement, and I absolutely hate it. When it works in your favor, you can make quick, tight controls, allowing you to turn on a dime. Mostly, though, you just end up moving too slowly, overcompensating and/or missing a jump, running into an enemy or heading straight off a cliff. It gets very annoying.
While it comes down to personal preference, my preference is to have digital buttons so I can time my movement, as opposed to an analog stick. Timing is critical in a platforming game, and the analog control just completely throws me off. It’s no wonder Pixeline’s developers, OSAO, chose to optimize the game for the Xperia Play and included Zeemote support.
Pixeline & The Jungle Treasure is a great platforming game despite my dislike of the controls. It appears to be appropriate for children of all ages, although younger ones may not have as much fun due to the difficulty level of the game. It stands out for featuring a female protagonist who loves adventure and braving the world without appearing vulnerable or pushing the limits of good taste with risque outfits and behavior. It’s just good fun.