Axel & Pixel Review

Axel & Pixel is an unusual point-and-click adventure that happens to be one of the more unique and charming titles on the Xbox Live Arcade. It’s a rare but short experience that I would recommend to gamers looking to try out something different, even if it doesn’t quite rival similar titles like Sam & Max and The Secret of Monkey Island.

Judging from the outside, I can imagine it would be easy for most people to write this game off. It has an odd name, a random plot that is literally someone’s dream, and strange artwork. It could also be because of the simple fact that most people have never even heard of it. Depending on your individual tastes, however, this might make Axel & Pixel even more appealing.

Axel & Pixel

The object of Axel & Pixel is to guide the goateed artist, Axel, and his dog, Pixel, from the left side of the screen to the right by solving simple logic puzzles in a fantasy dream-world. They are trapped in this dream world by an evil pink rat, and must chase him down to get back home.

Players use a cursor to move around the screen and to click on highlighted objects to solve puzzles. Solving puzzles really just boils down to clicking on one thing to make something else happen, and if that doesn’t work, try clicking on something else.

It’s always clear when you click on something that is “wrong,” and thankfully the game doesn’t punish you for this. Most of the puzzles can be solved using a process of elimination procedure, which sort of takes away the feeling of any challenge.

On the other hand, you do have to pay careful attention to the environments, because it can be easy to miss a clickable object in a corner of the screen somewhere. Thankfully there is a robust hint system that you can use three times per level, and it basically tells you exactly what to click on next to ensure you’re never stuck for too long. Players shouldn’t have to rely on these, though; anyone with a reasonable amount of sense should be able to get through the game without using more than a few hints.

Three vehicle missions break up the normal levels where players must pilot a hot air balloon, a buggy, and a sailboat. These are fun and provide a nice change of pace from pointing and clicking on things. These vehicle challenges can also be selected at the main menu and played outside of the main game to extend the replay value a bit.

It’s still a very short-lived game, however. It can be easily beaten in a day, which makes the $10 price tag (800 points) seem a bit steep, especially since it seems like a title that could easily be a free flash game on the Internet.

Either way, Axel & Pixel‘s challenge is light but creative, and it bursts with personality, delight, and silly enjoyment. It’s not for people who don’ t like point-and-click adventures like Sam & Max and The Secret of Monkey Island, but for those looking for a quick and pleasant distraction should give it a try.


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Author: Tyler Cameron View all posts by

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