Pick-Xell by Obokaidem is a fun arcade game with excellent pixel art animation about a robot digging out valuable stones. Dig a whole in a pixel art world and collect as many gems as you can. How deep do you think you can dig endlessly?
Pick-Xell is a game about digging. You take control of a robot miner robot that goes underground looking for gems such as rubies, sapphires and emeralds. You dig by tapping on the left or right side of the screen. Each ground space has an hexagonal shape, and every time you use your pick-axe, you start draining your battery, but you can regain a little energy by collecting a gem.
You can also find batteries that give you +10 points of energy. Along the way you’ll encounter metal xells that can’t be destroyed and will only deplete your battery each time you try to dig them, and you can also find Skull Xells, which will drain your power completely, making you fail the level.
Each Mission has a different objective. It can be to reach a certain distance, dig a number of xells, collect a numer of a specific gem or reach a defined score. When you complete a level, you’ll get the gems and can use them to upgrade your abilities such as digging speed, battery capacity and the amount of gems you can carry with you. You can also buy “one time use” items such as a rainbow heart that saves you if you dig a skull cell, but as the name says, you can also use it one time per stage.
You also can unlock more characters, each one with inique stats. And besides the missions, you can play Endless Mode, which is a good way of collecting lots of gems to spend at the store, if you manage to survive a long distance.
Pick-Cell features 2D pixel art animation, its 16-Bits visual style will appeal to retro gamers, and the amount of animation is certainly eye catchy even if there are not many lighting or sparkle fancy effects used, just some transparency when you dig out a gem and you see an explosion of figures disappearing.
The characters are varied and you can find other robots, a giant penguin, a “Men Working” silhouette digger figure over a yellow rhombous sign, a japanese shinto priestess, a giant blue penguin and more. They all have unique movements and equipment. Like the robots use a driller, the worker a shovel, the penguin slaps the groung with blue fighting game style fire energy surrounding its wing, and such.
Even if you’re underground, the background keeps changing. At first you’re only seeing rocks and gravel, the you get to a diamond cave, and after that you see coal and stuff. It keeps the game fresh and the player wondering what else is down there.
It’s also worth mentioning that the store, items and menus look really good, and you see movement all the time. The game really seems to be alive, and the low-res graphics are nothing to complain about giving how good they’re animated.
Production Quality 94%
There are similar mobile games based around the gameplay concept of tapping the right or left side of the screen. Some are about climbing, others about cutting down trees, and sure some others about digging, but only a few of them can compare to the amount of content Pick-Xell offers.
There are over 100 levels to play, each one with a different challenge, and missions get longer and more difficult as you advance, but you can also level up, upgrade your stats, buy equipment and unlock stronger characters.
When you beat a level, you get a Star Rank depending on your score, and to be able to open new worlds to play, you’ll need a certain amount of Stars, which will make you improve your abilities if you want to play all stages.
There are many items, power ups, equipment elements, characters and there’s even a story told in the game, comic book style. The way the game explains how everything works is also pretty detailed and takes you step by step in showsing you how everything works. Even if the core gameplay doesn’t change, you can see how deep it really is after playing a few levels. It’s sure to keep you going for quite a while just to find out what more does the game offers.
Value for your Money 85%
Pick-Xell is free on Google Play and the Apple App Store. As usual in this kind of games, you’ll see a banner advertising when you lose, and even after winning a few times in a row. There are in-app transactions to buy gems in order to upgrade your character abilities and get better equipment and items, and while you can level up just with gameplay, it’ll take forever to get to the max level with just one character.
Pick-Axe is a fun arcade digging game, and while it’s core gameplay mechanic is pretty simple, it’s loaded with content that’s sure to keep you playing for a long time if you enjoy the genre. There are similar games available where you tap left or right, but they’re mostly infinite levels and lack replay value, but with the amount of content here, catchy music and excellent pixel art animation, you may find yourself going for another level just to see what new element you find.
Excellent Pixel Art Animation
Over 100 levels to play, and an endless mode to test your skills
Catchy music and lots of content to find and use
The simple tap gameplay may get old too soon for some players