Monday 26 June 2006
The gameplay formula for HOT PXL is unmistakeable: bombard the player with one bizzarrio micro-game after another after another after another after another... and so on. Yep, it only takes a few seconds to deduce that behind the baseball caps, spray paint and scratchy noises, HOT PXL is a blatant Wario Ware rip-off.

But, in this case, that's by no means a bad thing. PSP is absolutely aching for a game like HOT PXL and, while the source of the game's inspiration may be in-your-face obvious, developer zSlide looks set to serve up a collection of street flavoured gaming skits with enough fresh, madcap ideas that should ensure HOT PXL is defined by its own merits.

The early doors version of HOT PXL we sampled assaulted us with a wonderfully varied and amusing set of diddy digital diversions - one second we were 'ad jacking' corporate posters with spray paint and the next we were pushing a jet-powered shopping trolley through space, sucking up planets. Diverse, amusing and fast-fingered fun all the way.

On the evidence of the dozen or so minigames hurled at us, zSlide seems to have the necessary skills for cooking up delightful gaming nibbles, which certainly bodes well for the 200+ minigames that will feature in the finished version. Indeed, beyond the restrictions of our own logic, the only problem we encountered was fathoming out whether a particular task was best tackled using PSP's D-pad or analogue nub.

The inclusion of old school, Atari inspired snippets gives HOT PXL added appeal and nostalgia-heads will no doubt be smiling as they flash through scenarios that pay respect to such yesteryear titles as Breakout, Night Driver and Fire Truck. And, thanks to HOT PXL's attractive, 2D pixellated styling, the arcade old-timers blend in perfectly.

While drenched in a design clash of retro and street styles, HOT PXL already appears more than capable of supplying substance in equal measure with its own brand of infectious micro-games. And with online and multiplayer features also touted, Atari's answer to Wario Ware could be seriously hot, pixellated property for PSP.

Matt Cundy
I don't have the energy to really hate anything properly. Most things I think are OK or inoffensively average. I do love quite a lot of stuff as well, though.