Innovation & Design

Hot Pixel


After playing Hot Pixel for the PSP, you might ask yourself, "Who the hell is Djon?" To sum it up, he's a skateboarder/artist/deejay who lent his likeness, art style and attitude to Atari's Wario Ware clone. This game is made up of several mini-games categorized into different groups. The nature of these games goes all over the place, ranging from devouring certain foods and colors (or avoiding them) to playing modified Atari arcade classics such as Asteroids and Battlezone. They last only a few seconds, and after completing several stages in a row, you finish with a Boss challenge, consisting of a more complicated mini-game.

To say that Hot Pixel leans more towards style rather than substance would be an understatement. The game overflows with Djon's personality as he poses in numerous video clips and portrays himself as the game's hero (or anti-hero, rather). Fortunately, the gameplay doesn't just lean on its stylish quotient—there's some actual fun here. Aside from a couple of mini-games that tend to drag, most of the games are a sheer blast to play.

Furthermore, customization enhances the experience. You can put together your own stages so you can get right to your favorites, instead of going through a pre-selected order. New games are also available for download through the Hot Pixel site; seventy additional ones in all. You can also practice the mini-games, just in case you can't get the hang of balancing a skateboard over lava or eating food for some odd reason.

In terms of presentation, Hot Pixel shamelessly waves around its wackiness flag, with cardboard cutouts and basic looking characters. Still, considering its simplistic nature, it's bundled together into a pretty good looking game. Audio is made up of small music clips and sound effects, none of which really grate on the nerves.

Multiplayer is practically useless. We are talking about games that are only a few seconds long against a friend. When loading time takes longer than the actual gameplay, there's really no point. Outside of that problem and the fact that the whole thing is merely Wario Ware shifted over into Djon's universe, Hot Pixel is better than expected. The unpredictable variety of the mini-games and customization options keep it from going lukewarm.

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