Pixel People by Chillingo Ltd is one of those games that is highly addicting, but you have no idea why. Pixel People seems to be a clash of Tiny Tower and Minecraft with the annoying ability to force you to stare at your iPhone for hours because you just can’t stop hitting the pop ups.
The over all premise of this game is to build a town where little clones are delivered to you and you “splice” them to give them attributes and unlock all the different jobs in the city. The game gave me a decent amount of enjoyment at first – just as all games like this do – but the repetitiveness and lack of skill quickly bored me to tears.
You begin the game as the mayor. There isn’t a lot of instruction other than that. I poked around a few things for a while until I figured out that you had to begin splicing and building shit. Looking back on it, there’s not a lot more to do than that, so it makes sense that there wasn’t any guidance.
You gain new buildings by finding new clones. You’ll know you have a new building by the land requirement when a new match is found. It’s pretty much a guessing game what clones will make what job, but sometimes a little of logic can be used if you know what the outcome of the job to determine what clones you need. You will need to make some clones more than once because they work in multiple buildings. Each clone produces a set amount of gold per second (GPS) and each building has a GPS multiplier. Once you’ve built a bank, every building that is complete with workers will double its’ GPS multiplier so it’s a good idea to try and fill a building if you have discovered the clones that go in it.+
Once a construction yard is built, roads are available for you to build. These don’t count towards your land watch and are pretty much just to help keep the town organized. You also have the ability to build waterways later on in the game and those serve the same purpose.
Not only do you get to build a city, you get to be a match maker! Kind of. The extent of the love in this game is pressing and holding hearts that pop up over residential buildings. To be honest, I don’t know why this is a feature of the game. Yes, you might get an animal out of it but…I have no idea what the fuck animals are for. The only good thing about the hearts is the occasion utopium given once a set is complete.
Things get expensive fast and that’s where the city’s spirit comes into play. Early in the game play, you’re given the option to add décor in the form of monuments, farms, playgrounds, and things like that. Décor does count towards your land watch so you can’t just keep building them. Trees also can be added and they have a different purpose as decor. Trees can give up to 25 utopium in a day and will randomly give 100 or 1000 gold
The part that I hated the most was that there was no easy way to find a certain clone in your index. It showed the picture of each clone you found, but they weren’t labeled. This forced you to search through pages of pictures hoping you could pick out which shitty picture is the clone you are looking for.
One huge positive about the game is that it’s not detrimental to the play if you don’t purchase utopium. There are a lot of ways to get it – like trees or unlocking achievements – and I found that if you weren’t a crazy spender, you didn’t need more than you got. The only purchase I made was an upgrade to the buildings that made them work twice as long for 99 cents. I believe in supporting developers and, while I wasn’t impressed with the game, I’m sure it still took time and effort to make it.
In conclusion, the game isn’t as much fun as it is just plain fucking addicting. You want to find that next new spliced clone and hope that the hearts will give you a rare 5 utopium. You want to make sure you make money for expansions so you’ll stare at it making sure everybody is working. It’s a vicious circle, but it is a decent way to waste a little bit of time.