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iPhone App Video Review: Commander Pixman

by Andrew Koziara

Commander Pixman is a retro inspired platformer from One Minute Games. The developer calls it a mix of Star Guard and Super Meat Boy, which is definitely an apt description. This game is exceedingly challenging and a lot of fun, though it has its issues.

Your simple goal in the game is to get back to your crashed ship and escape the hostile world you've found. Like Super Meat Boy, the levels are short and fast, with some only taking mere seconds to complete. The game simply consists of moving left and right, jumping, and shooting your blaster. The jumping itself, however, is very floaty and changes speed throughout the arc of a single jump, simulating jumping with a jetpack. Strangely enough, it even reminded me of using a jetpack in Halo: Reach. This odd jump is hard to get comfortable with, but once you do, the game really opens up. Of course, by that time, you'll have nothing but the really hard levels left anyway. The other major element to be borrowed from Super Meat Boy is the end-of-level death montage, showcasing your every run of a level. I think more games definitely need to start implementing this feature.

As I said, this game is challenging, even without the jumping physics. The levels often make use of extremely short openings to make your moves, and precise timing is a must. Jumping into a confined space, blasting aliens on both sides, dodging an auto turret, and getting out unscathed can prove to be both a maddening and greatly rewarding experience. There are 65 main levels to complete, with 15 super hard bonus levels. These bonus levels already require herculean tasks to unlock in the first place, each with a separate objective.

The retro art and sound are fantastically done, and I love the chip-tune soundtrack of the game. If it weren't for the few problems the game has, such as irritating collision detection, the game would be just about perfect. Either way, this is a great value at only one dollar, and should appeal to fans of platformers or retro gaming.

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