After years of playing one platformer after another with male protagonists, it can be a refreshing change of pace to play a game like Pixeline & the Jungle Treasure. Pixeline is indeed an admirable heroine, charmingly optimistic and tenacious, there’s plenty to like about this character. Unfortunately, that likability factor is less valuable because of one crucial fault: she’s just not all that interesting. The game’s projection of her personality is resolutely one-note, with nothing but a bright-eyed joy in the face of whatever arbitrary may block her path.
But this is just a platformer, right? Surely character development isn’t the strong-suit of a number of top-notch platformers, so why would I bring up such an expectation in this case? The reason is because the game itself suffers from the exact same problem. It’s a perfectly solid series of challenges and environments, but unlike other top-notch platformers, there is nothing interesting or unique about this one. Each level is merely a straightforward assortment of platforms, cliffs, and enemies, all appropriately placed. The effect is perfectly serviceable, but not much more.
Still, there are bright spots. One is a relatively unique mechanic wherein Pixeline is able to (for some inexplicable reason) transform herself into various types of animals. As a lizard, she can fit into small areas, as a bird she can make higher jumps, and so on. Each of these forms have both strengths and weaknesses, meaning the player has to make sure to change constantly from one form to the other.
The other positive to keep in mind is how playable this game for the platform. The simple slider controls provide an accurate means of controlling Pixeline, and it’s relatively rare that the player dies because of a problem with the controls. For the iPhone, this is no small feat. There are also a good number of levels and plenty of things to do within the levels to keep you playing for long enough to make the game worth your money.
If you’re interested in some basic platform action, or you’re looking for a game with a stereotype-defying female protagonist, you can’t go wrong with Pixeline & the Jungle Treasure. Otherwise, you might be better off looking elsewhere for a more unique take on the genre.
Review copy provided by publisher.