Pixo by PaintPoker is one of the more original iPhone games I’ve seen in a while. The basic premise of Pixo is to test your color perception by recomposing a picture in order of color dominance. Pixo presents users with a picture that has exploded into small squares and then you select the colors that you perceived to appear most densely from a color pallet of 15 choices.
The real catch in Pixo is that you are being timed. Correct choices earn you extra bonus time and incorrect ones will take away time. The overall objective is to see how many pictures you can put back together before running out of time completely.
The current version of Pixo supplies 69 different photographic images — all of them colorful and well structured. In Pixo you never actually see the picture until you’ve reconstructed it because in the beginning it is merely a burst of small squares of different colors. By observing the different colors and trying to determine which ones appeared the most, you then tap on the available colors in the pallet below the picture. Pixo gives a hint that if you aren’t sure, you should begin with the darker colors. Amazed as I am that someone actually completed 33 pictures, I need a bit more of a hint to get past my record of 11.
Pixo is not an easy game. Unless you have a very keen, perceptive eye that quickly takes in color rather than shape, you’ll be hard pressed to guess the correct order of color dominance in these images, too. If you’re color blind, forget it. The photo explosion happens so fast, you have to make very quick observations. The majority of the time, I can correctly choose two or three colors and the rest are mere guesses. It’s simply the best I can do.
The concept of Pixo is very creative. I would have probably thought Pixo stupendous if there had been a difficulty setting. For me, I would enjoy it more if I got to see the complete picture beforehand for even a fraction of a second before the explosion. The challenge still would have been the same, just not quite as much guessing and a bit more cognitive effort involved. As it is, I am left haphazardly guessing my Pixo color choices and that detracts from the experience a bit.
The included photos in Pixo are a great collection of images and the user interface is quite simplistic. There is a tutorial on the main screen to get you started and the settings menu allows you to choose whether pictures appear randomly each time or in the same order, as well as adjust sound effects and background music. There is also an auto save feature that will restart a game mid-progress if you need to shut down Pixo quickly.
All in all, though I clearly failed the color perception test, I still award kudos to Pixo for creativity. If you enjoy photography, painting, or just like color, then Pixo should prove a unique and rewarding test of your own powers of color observation.