Hot Pixel on PSP – first impressions

[intro]Bitesize gaming for those with an attention span shorter than… sorry, where was I?[/intro] I can’t sit and do nothing for more than about fiv

[intro]Bitesize gaming for those with an attention span shorter than… sorry, where was I?[/intro]

I can’t sit and do nothing for more than about five seconds. If there’s an ad break I’ll flick over so as not to waste precious life minutes being told how Head & Shoulders will make me less repulsive to the opposite sex. Ironically, that same part of my brain will have me reading the ‘ingredients’ on the back of a shampoo bottle while I’m attending a call of nature – unless there’s a pizza delivery menu to hand. I’ve tried taking a PSP with me to pass the time, but unless there’s something very wrong happening internally, it’s usually all over before I’ve accepted my first mission.

But now, I think I may have found the answer. Hot Pixel, formerly known as Hot PXL, is a barrage of over 200 mini-games, each lasting about ten seconds. It’s not a million miles from WarioWare Touched! on DS and WarioWare Smooth Moves on Wii. As you’d imagine, all the mini-games are pretty simple affairs – colouring things in, shooting squares, bouncing things off other things… Generally, you get a small clue as to what the point of the game is, then it’s up to you to figure out what needs to be done, and do it before the timer runs down.

One thing that stops Hot Pixel being totally pick-up-and-put-downable is the way the games are split into ten levels. You get three lives to get through each level in one go, so in effect you’ve got ten restart points, ten mini-games apart, which adds a bit too much repetition, especially as there’s already a fair bit of that within the games themselves. Loading pauses can be a bit of a pain too – unless you keep watching it all the time it’s loading, you’re likely to miss the start of the next game.

While it doesn’t have the charm of its Nintendo counterparts, Hot Pixel does draw a little on its Atari heritage for added geek appeal, with appearances from the Atari ST operating system, Battlezone and the old VCS. Aside from a few minor irritants, it’s as good a way as any to grout the tiles of your life. Check out the trailer on the official website. Hot Pixel is out for PSP on 22 June.

Horganator out.