Pixeline and the Jungle Treasure, a side-scrolling platformer from Osao, is now available from the app store. Taking cues from games like Super Mario Bros. and Giana Sisters, Pixeline brings a fun and adventurous spirit to the iDevice that won’t disappoint fans of classic gameplay.
Pixeline and the Jungle Treasure Pros:
- Crisp, clean graphics with variety of characters, enemies, environments, and obstacles
- Easy-to-use controls
- Fun for all ages
Pixeline and the Jungle Treasure Cons:
- Some control sensitivity issues
- No scores or times to compare against other players
- No ability to look up or down
Pixeline is a blonde, pig-tailed young lass with a powerful will and adventurous calling. Learning of a treasure buried far from civilization, she doesn’t think twice about taking off to claim the mysterious bounty for her own. She will travel through five varied environments, such as rain forests, ancient ruins, and the like. There are 26 levels in all, though none should take you more than a few minutes to complete. Each level contains a number of silver coins, gold coins, and treasure chests to collect. Obtaining 100 silver coins will earn you an extra life. Pixeline has three hearts worth of health, and she loses one each time she bumps into an enemy. There are a few hearts scattered throughout each level that she can collect to replenish. She will automatically lose a life if she falls into a pit or lands in a body of water. A lamppost on each level acts as a save station from which you’ll restart if you die beyond its location.
At the conclusion of each environment, you’ll find a piece of the map and a souvenir of a type of animal. Pixeline takes on the spirit of these animals and can turn into them at will, similar to the way the Giana sisters swap identities when necessary. As a lizard, she moves quickly and fits into tight spaces, while as a bird, she gains increased jumping ability. It will become crucial to switch characters at certain points to access restricted areas of the map or simply to move forward at all. Regardless of her outward appearance, she must still maneuver safely about each board, dealing with creepy crawly enemies, disappearing/reappearing platforms, breakaway platforms, moving platforms, and all sorts of other obstacles in her quest for glory and riches.
Graphically, Pixeline has a very classic look, as it clearly borrows some of its ideas from the likes of the Mario Bros. Levels are laid out very well, with clean, open spaces and an uncluttered look that allows you to clearly see everything that is happening around you. There is a certain familiarity that you experience while playing that feels comforting and fun. Your remaining lives and current hearts reside in the upper left corner, with coin counts and key indicators occupying space in the middle of the screen top. Your movement slider is in the bottom left with jump and character switch buttons filling in the bottom right corner. The slider is used to direct Pixeline to the left or right without the ability to look up or down, which is frustrating at times, especially when descending into a pit that has only a partial floor. The buttons are responsive for the most part, with only the occasional hiccup. It was most problematic when traversing small platforms broken up by bodies of water. We accidentally sent Pixeline swimming a time or two, as a slide just isn’t the best input method for that type of terrain, but it works remarkably well for the rest. Tapping the Character Switch button brings up a menu of available characters which can be chosen with an additional tap. The soundtrack and sound effects are top notch arcade goodness, upbeat and cheery tracks that fill the background without becoming obtrusive, annoying, or distracting.
Replay value is ok if you want to go back and grab any items that you may have missed. However, there are no timers or scores, so there is nothing really to compare against other players or to improve upon by gaining more or moving faster. It’s a relaxing and exciting experience that’s targeted at a younger audience, though it can be enjoyed by anyone. There are 3 game save slots, so multiple people can play on the same device without impacting the adventures of another. Though the gameplay may be a bit on the short side, there’s no denying that this 4.5-Dimple title is worth the $2.99 asking price.
Pixeline and the Jungle Treasure Review,