Pathpix

Are you ever struck with the need to connect dots? Some of you may have heard of the game Flow, where you are tasked with connecting the same color dots in a grid to complete the puzzle. Imagine if you could solve a puzzle like that, zoom out and find that a picture has been created out of all the dots you have connected. Pathpix is this game.

When you start a puzzle there is a large grid with different colored dots with numbers scattered throughout it. The numbers are the amount of tiles your path must take up on its way to its twin. For example a green 6 must have path 6 tiles long connecting it to another green 6. To make things a little harder they introduce red walls to stop you from going certain directions. As you complete these paths you can see that when you zoom out a pixel art image is being formed. This makes completing the puzzle a much more rewarding experience.

IMG_1184           Pathpix2           IMG_1187

The learning curve is quick, you start with a laughable 16×16 puzzle but after a while you will be ready to take on the most daunting of 64×64 murals. This game feels great to play. There is a point when you get good enough that your mind thinks in Pathpix; you see the numbers on the screen and connect them with the speed of a professional typist, knowing exactly where to go. It’s almost therapeutic and I’m not joking when I say that after a long session of play you will be connecting those dots in your head and could even end up dreaming about them. Talk about a game getting in your head.

Another great thing about Pathpix is that realistically you will probably never run out of puzzles to do. The first version of the game that I played was Pathpix Pro, which had a whopping 300 puzzles to complete. If you do complete all of these don’t fret as there are six other Pathpix titles, from Pathpix Zen to their holiday themed Pathpix Xmas each with a unique set of puzzles.

The Good:

  • Tons of puzzles
  • Satisfying and almost therapeutic gameplay
  • You can admire the neat pictures you made

The Bad

  • Almost all of the games cost money
  • It can get into your head

Rating

8/10

Pathpix is a satisfying puzzler, which defines its own genre of pixel art games. I would be thoroughly impressed if you could finish them all.

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Stickman Soccer

With all of the hype surrounding the World Cup, its no wonder this game rose towards the top of the App Store charts. One of Robert Szeleney’s series of  “Stickman (Insert Sport Here)” games, this is the first one by him that I’ve ever played. Upon starting my first game I appreciated the simple mechanics and controls, opting for the manual option as opposed to a simplified auto option where you only control passing and shooting, which was much like driving a car without arms. The game plays like a less sophisticated FIFA which makes it perfect for a mobile game. It played fluidly and free of glitches and after a couple games was quite easy to control. While you can start a season playing with the same team for multiple games I think that for long term playability there needs to be something to work towards such as unlocking teams or custom balls through winning or leveling up. For me this is usually the distinction from something being a good game or a great game.

Gameplay Screenshot

Screenshot of Gameplay

Another thing I found myself wanting was multiplayer. Being a simple sports game it lends itself perfectly to head to head play, whether it be Bluetooth with your buddy or online multiplayer. Despite these areas of potential improvement I appreciated that they didn’t shove ads in your face. They offer a fun second game mode called “Street Soccer” which has a smaller field and team as well as a fence that stops the ball from going out of bounds, however you have to watch three ads to unlock it. While this was a little annoying it was nowhere near as irritating as would have been if this feature was an in-app purchase, which I appreciated. All said and done if you have a 3-minute window to waste time Stickman Soccer is definitely worth the 99 cents.

The Good

  • Simple controls and fluid gameplay
  • Easy to pick up and play for a few minutes
  • No obtrusive ads or in-app purchases

The Bad

  • No long term objectives besides season play
  • No multiplayer
  • No customization of teams or balls

Rating

6.5/10

A solid soccer game with simple mechanics and playability, but lacking the depth and multiplayer to make it an outstanding game.

-Jake

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