Pixels and physics, two things just about every casual gamer is thoroughly familiar with. Pixel Explorer takes these simple ideas and turns them into a challenging and precision-oriented game of action and reflexes. Using just the mouse, you play a little pixel ball that can transform with nothing more than a [left click]. Turn yourself into a shooting ship that can blast in any direction and work your way through over 30 stages of increasing difficulty, encountering strange new types of pixels while you play!
You have a limited number of transformations to use in each level, putting a bit of pressure on you and your poor mouse hand right from the start. Pixel Explorer won't go easy on you, and you'll have to restart levels a number of times before you get things right. Fortunately, you can collect colored grid pieces to add a transformation to your queue. Getting those grids takes work, though, as you'll have to navigate some serious obstacles to pick them up.
Pixel types are the main feature of Pixel Explorer, and you can check out any block's properties by holding the cursor over it and pressing the [spacebar]. Some blocks are just there to be solid, while others are movable, will damage you, or can push you around the stage.
One neat feature of Pixel Explorer is the ability to be functionally invulnerable while in the midst of your transformation. You'll often have to use your ability to stop on a dime and aim to allow hazardous blocks to pass through you, firing yourself across the screen only when it's safe to do so. And shooting at full power isn't always the answer, as more often than not you'll need a delicate touch to nudge yourself around a tight space or two.
Pixel Explorer's name may be a bit misleading, and there's less exploration and more free-floating arcade/physics action, but don't let that small detail disappoint you. This is a challenging and satisfying game that's constructed with intelligent design at every turn. Some of these stages are brilliantly built, with small puzzles and seemingly impossible situations that require you to think outside the pixelated box and be precise while moving at high speeds. It's not a game for everyone, but if it tickles your fancy, it'll have you hooked from beginning to end.