App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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Fist thing’s first; Pixely People Making Movies is nothing like Nimblebit’s game about life in a pixilated high rise. It looks similar at first glance what with the tiered floors and 16-bit characters, but it’s a completely different genre. It’s less a tower builder and more a hectic task-management affair. The unexpected and drastic difference is a little jarring at first, but once the feeling is gone what remains is an all-consuming desire to make totally ridiculous movies.
Pixely People Making Movies breaks the filmmaking process down into manageable video game chunks. Every time a new project begins players get to choose the theme (indie, pirate, etc), genre (action, horror, etc), hire actors/actresses, then top it off with a title. Different choices have different costs, but more expensive endeavors typically allow for higher payoffs. Progress is controlled via small tubes with eight open slots that drop from room to room, as well as how a player chooses to fill those slots. For example, action movies are big on special effects so focusing more time and energy on the FX floor makes sense. Time is always ticking away, however, so it’s imperative to get these canisters out the door before it runs out. Building up a massive score only to run out of time before getting the finished product out is an unfortunate possibility if things get out of hand.
The borderline insanity that can take place after filming gets underway can be totally exhilarating. Getting a good game plan in place, keeping each employee in line, making good use of their strengths, quickly dealing with their weaknesses, and seeing that goofy movie poster at the end along with a good review feels wonderful. There’s a certain rhythm to it that can become thoroughly hypnotic. Of course the biggest draw for me is the completely insane genre/theme combinations and subsequent titles I can come up with. My pirate action movie, “Ocean With a Shotgun” and my zombie drama “Citizen Plague” are only a couple of possibilities.
As wonderful as it can be when it all comes together and character perks such as boosted productivity kick in, it can be very bothersome when their more negative traits such as putting everyone on the floor to sleep rear up. If I didn’t find myself accidentally grabbing and dragging the wrong person as I attempt to quarantine them on a vacant floor, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. Instead I typically end up putting the wrong people in the wrong places and completely throw off my groove.
It’s definitely not the kind of game people are likely to expect from the screen shots, but Pixey People Making Movies is still certainly a game worth playing. It can get hectic and sometimes a little irritating, but the results are always worth the effort.