A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Creative thinking is rewarded. And appreciation of art and beauty is a key theme. Axel's goal is to finish his "masterpiece," and throughout the game the player looks for vistas to inspire him.
Positive Role Models
Axel is a good loyal friend to his dog, Pixel; he's a talented artist and admirer of the beauty in nature; and he demonstrates the benefits of thinking a problem through instead of rushing into it.
Ease of Play
The point-and-click play of most levels is incredibly simple to master. Some of the puzzles are very challenging, but players are allowed three hints per level. The game's main fault lies in the three vehicle levels (a boat, a car, and a hot air balloon), which are ASTOUNDINGLY difficult, and could even stop some players from finishing.
Violence & Scariness
Scary animals threaten Axel and ocassionally do something to mildly hurt him, like bite his finger, causing him to yowl and shake his reddened hands in a cartoonish way. Axel sometimes gets mean animals to move by throwing rocks or seeds at them. He also fights a giant (who can be a bit frightening) with snowballs.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Nothing, really. A beaver dives into a toilet.
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The only talking is gibberish (sort of like in The Sims).
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Products & Purchases
Not an issue.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this humorous, logic-based adventure can put brainy kids through a real mental workout. The puzzles are challenging, but all ultimately solvable. Which is why the three vehicle-based levels are such a disappointment. They take the focus away from brainwork and put it on eye-hand coordination—incredibly skillful eye-hand coordination. Unfortunately, there's no way to skip these levels. They put a real damper on an otherwise great game.
Is It Any Good?
Axel & Pixel is a truly beautiful game. The photo-realistic scenery is simply stunning, and the game is a joy to look at. Searching the incrediby detailed environments for random odd items that might help you is a lot more fun than it sounds, and figuring out exactly how to use those strange things can be wildly gratifying. For example, you may grow a plant until it yields a giant strawberry, then find a rock to squish that berry into juice, then toss the juice onto a monster that blocks your path. The game's only realy flaw is unfortunately a large one: The three vehicular levels—which seem completely out of place in a point-and-click logic adventure—are just too difficult and frustrating.
Online interaction: Scores can be posted to leaderboards.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.