It's curious how a time limit can change the way you approach a problem. If you have all the time in the world then you're more likely to mull over the solution, taking in your surroundings and looking carefully for potential answers.

However, once a time limit has been imposed on you, your controlled attitude rapidly disintegrates and you're compelled to try anything in the vain hope that you've chosen correctly.

Point-and-click shtick

In McPixel, the problem is that things keep blowing up and killing everyone. You've got to find each solution in under 20 seconds - a challenge made all the more difficult by the fact that the answer usually makes no sense whatsoever.

For example, one level is set on a plane containing a bomb, a spade, and a snake. You might assume that opening the door and dumping the bomb is the route to survival, but you'd be wrong.

Instead, you need to extract the spade from the wall and use it to smash the bomb into the snake's gaping mouth - the resultant explosion is safely contained with the reptile's stomach.

Other puzzles are just as dazzlingly obtuse and illogical, meaning that experimentation is required to solve every problem. In fact, McPixel positively encourages this kind of play, as you get a special reward for finding all of the possible outcomes on each level - both good and bad.

Explosive stuff

Each chapter in the game is divided into six levels, which loop continuously until you've solved them all. Successfully find the solution three times in a row (a devilishly hard task) and you're treated to a bonus stage, where logic - already barely on speaking terms with McPixel - books a ticket out of town entirely.

The game's insane sense of humour, faux-retro visuals, and infectious chip-tune soundtrack make for a thrilling and amusing concoction, but once you've solved all of the stages you're unlikely to return unless it's to show your friends just how deliciously unhinged an iOS game can be.

Even so, McPixel simply has to be experienced at least once, and the effect of its unashamedly nutty gameplay won't be forgotten easily.