Paul Pixel - The Awakening review - A charming adventure game

Paul Pixel is exactly the sort of adventure game that works brilliantly on mobile. It understands its roots, but uses them to shape an adventure that fits neatly into your pocket.

It's not as esoteric as the games it apes, and the more focused nature of its puzzling and locations means you can actually make some progress in a few minutes of play.

It looks great, it controls wonderfully, and it's got a cheeky sense of humour that might not make you laugh out loud, but will put a smile on your face.

Pixel perfect?

The game is set during a zombie apocalypse. You play the titular Paul who wakes up in the middle of the chaos. Not from a coma or anything like that, just from a nap.

First you need to work out how to get out of your house. Then you need to fix a van, save a dog, find a way to get a zombie mask, and talk to a hot dog vendor. So pretty standard adventure game stuff really.

Once you've escaped the city, the game is split into a series of vignettes. Each is made up of a few screens, and you've got a bunch of little puzzles you need to solve to continue. Most of the puzzles involve finding stuff, then using it in slightly odd ways.

Picture pixels

You use the jack to jack up your car, but you fix the wheel with a skateboard. You use the toilet paper in the toilet, but you use it to create pressure so a pipe will burst and you can use it to hit some planks.

But nothing ever feels like too much of a leap. There's logic to everything you do. I mean, not the sort of solid logic that a philosophically sound statement could be based on, but a nice internal logic that never kicks you in the face.

And that's sometimes what you want from an adventure game. To actually go out and have a bit of an adventure, rather than just sitting around combining all of the things in your inventory to see what works.

Paul bearer?

This feels like an adventure game that almost anyone could get their teeth into. It doesn't have the swish and swagger of the Telltale games, but acts as a brilliant introduction to the other end of the genre.

You know, the end of the genre that we all get a bit misty eyed over. If you've got a friend who's not into pointing, clicking, and inventories, then tell them to have a go on this. They might be pleasantly surprised.

Paul Pixel - The Awakening review - A charming adventure game

A bright and entertaining adventure game that never gets bogged down in strange ideas
Harry Slater
Harry Slater
Harry used to be really good at Snake on the Nokia 5110. Apparently though, digital snake wrangling isn't a proper job, so now he writes words about games instead.