Pix'n Love Rush

  • Release: March 1, 2011
  • Developer:
  • Publisher:
  • Genre: Platformer

What's Love Got To Do With It?

Who needs an iPhone when your PSP's not broken… Pix'n Love Rush transitions into a Mini.
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: March 19, 2011
What happens when you combine classic platforming, classic graphics, and Wario Ware? If you are the folks at Pasta Games, you'll give birth to Pix'n Love Rush. The conceit of the base game is simple enough… score as many points as you can before time or your patience runs out. The beauty of the game comes from the constantly changing aesthetic that will tug at the nostalgia strings of any gamer past their mid-twenties.


Pix'n Love Rush has been beefed up a bit from its iPhone brethren with the addition of a new mode. It's still seeped in retro-goodness, with the minimalist graphics seemingly created on a graphing calculator and stock-simple gameplay. When you first play, you'll likely hop into the Classic Rush mode, an ultra-simple platformer that features extremely short (15-20 second) levels that forced scroll either vertical or horizontal. In that period of time, you not only need to keep from getting scrolled off the screen or falling through a hole into the void, but you also need to grab as many of the coins that are strewn about as you can. But only the coins with plusses in them. As you grab more and more of those, they build up a combo meter, and if you continue to perform flawlessly, you'll double, quintuple, and eventually decuple your score. The points aren't the only thing that changes though. Each time you increase your combo, the "theme" of the graphics change. When you first start, the game, despite being very pixelated, still looks sharp and modern. Soon however it switches over to a Game and Watch style, then a clever Virtual Boy style and eventually it goes full out retro with old-school Green-and-Black monochrome Gameboy graphics. There are seven styles overall in the game, and each one harkens back to gaming systems of yore.

Complicating matters are the "minus" coins that also dot the level. Bumping into one of those will knock your multiplier backwards, causing you to be stuck in boring old modern mode. On top of that, there are some space invader looking guys that also knock you back if you hit them, but that can be dispatched by firing some pixels (only straight up) at them, but beware. If you miss, those same pixels will fall back on you, once again depleting your precious combo score. Friendlier angelic space invaders won't cost you combo if you hit them, but they will if you shoot them, so you can't fire wildly. Everything that isn't you is static, so as long as you can work out the best path through the level, you should be able to keep that combo up. After each brief level ends, you are quickly tossed into a new one. There is a good variety of the microlevels, and since they are thrown together randomly each time you play, the game feels pretty fresh every time you jump in.

When you tire of Classic Rush, Cursed Rush changes things up a good bit. Essentially a survival mode in the vein of The Impossible Game, Cursed Rush has you choose from difficulties ranging from hard to harder to hardcore to hardcorer and finally hardcorest. You'll find yourself in a world of Pong graphics, complete with a Pong game going on in the background, and your task is now just to survive to the end simply by jumping at the correct time. The screen quickly scrolls horizontally, and you'll have to leap from platform to platform without once missing one or it is game over. Manage to survive to the end, and, well, I don't know what happens then because I couldn't make it further than 42% even on hard mode. Finally, new to the PlayStation, there is On/Off Rush, a mode in which you are now collecting suns and moons, with the catch being you should only collect suns during the day and moons at night. Rather than having control of your movement, you are now on a forced track and can only influence your path by jumping. Each time you reach the end of the arena, you bounce off the wall and head back in the opposite direction and the game cycles between night and day. This mode ends up playing out like a puzzle, and gets diabolical at later levels.

Much like every other Mini, Pix'n Love Rush is simple, repetitive and probably not for long term consumption. That doesn't mean it isn't worth your $2.50 (or free for PS+ members for a few more days), it definitely has fantastic pick up and play potential, adorable graphics that will make you want to play a little better to see what styles the game has, and a fair variety of modes to spice things up.
The Verdict
8.0

Minis are always hard to judge since they aren't designed to be deep, but what Pix'n Love Rush lacks in original gameplay it makes up for in style and variety. On your PSP or your PS3, this game looks good and plays tight.

8.5Graphics:

Discrete pixels probably never looked this good before, and the love that went into recreating classic handheld systems give the game a unique style that gives extra life to the game.

7.0Sound:

Retroish sounds to go with the retro gameplay and retro graphics, the music is catchy and provides nice dramatic tension.

8.5Control:

Even considering the crippling controls of a PSP this game controls much better than it did with a touch screen, and if you are using a DualShock they are pretty much perfect (and perfectly simple).

7.5Gameplay:

Of course it as about as simple as it gets, but by adding in a few new modes and a number of graphical themes it doesn't get stale before you get your two bucks worth.