Hot PXL

French developer zSlide has teamed up with publisher Atari to make a PSP minigame collection game entitled Hot PXL. Atari describes the game as "a mix between urban street culture and digital lifestyles."

Those who are proficient at WarioWare will feel right at home with Hot PXL. The concept of Hot PXL is simple: use the d-pad, analog nub, and X button to complete micro-games. There are over 200 micro-games in ten categories, such as music, art, technology, extreme sports, and so on. Each micro-game is around five seconds long.

A few examples: classic Atari games (including pong), spying on girls with binoculars, entering numbers to unlock a door, determine which skateboard is painted differently underneath when swapped around with two other skateboards, using Photoshop tool to remove something on a picture of a face, and so on. A timer at the bottom of the screen quickly diminishes, and you lose a life if a micro-game isn't completed in time. Mixing up different micro-games should keep your eyes glued to the PSP screen at all times - looking up or away will likely lead to failure.

Story mode is the central gameplay mode in Hot PXL. It revolves around a central character named Djon who is half-skater, half nerd. The game's ten chapters each reflect different portion of Djon's life relating to urban street culture. During each chapter, there are a series of eleven micro-games. A boss micro-game is played at the very end of each chapter. The boss must be beaten within the time limit and you must not run of lives. Playing through story mode unlocks new options and alternative versions of micro-games.

Hot PXL may sound too similar to WarioWare; however, there are some differences. Without a doubt the game is made for older audiences, given its "urban" flavor and slightly more risque microgames. Hot PXL really stands out by receiving bonus points for finishing a micro-game fast and not making a single mistake.

Additionally, there is an iTunes-style microgame playlist creator, allowing gamers to define exactly the type of game they want to play. Presets include playing the microgames you performed the best at, favorite micro-games, boss micro-games only, etc. There's even a smart playlist where you define the criteria of the game you want to play, and the game will automatically put together a playlist for you.

To increase longevity, Hot PXL will also support downloadable microgames. Atari has promised downloadable content will be available from day 1, and indeed, when taking a look at the Hot PXL website, there are already 70 downloadable micro-games up.

Further enhancing replay value, Hot PXL has two Ad-Hoc (local) multiplayer modes. There is "mega party" mode and two-player versus mode. The mega party mode is basically a gigantic pass 'n play multiplayer mode, while the two player versus mode is turn-based with the players alternating their turn.

Those who like urban street culture and fast paced gameplay may want to keep a watch on Hot PXL. Fans of WarioWare who own a PSP may also be interested. Hot PXL may only seem like a WarioWare clone to some, but its unique art style does set it apart. There should be plenty extra gameplay modes and exciting challenges to keep you occupied to boot, not to mention the downloadable content. Hot PXL slated for release at the end of September.