PixARK Review: What if Minecraft and ARK Had a Baby

PixARK is a gorgeous-looking game that mainly caters to casual players that are already familiar with Minecraft and ARK: Survival Evolved.

The first time you try PixARK you can't really comprehend if this game is trying to be more like Minecraft or actually more like ARK: Survival Evolved.

On one hand, there are a lot of pure RPG elements, such as character stats, leveling, and quests. But on the other hand, you have to do all the stuff you need to do in Minecraft, such as collecting resources, building houses, and harvesting crops on your farms.

Visually, PixARK leans more towards Minecraft, but the blocks are smoother and more colorful. And this is not the first time we see someone adopt Voxel graphics in a game, the world of which consists of breakable blocks.

However, the best part about PixARK is that it has much lower system requirements than ARK: Survival Evolved. So in this regard, it allows players to play the game even on a casual laptop.

In any case, if you're wondering what this game is all about, then keep on reading our review below.

World Full of Dinos

The first question mentioned above, whether PixARK is more like Minecraft or ARK has a simple answer: It's both! Together these two sources of inspiration created a world with over a hundred dinosaur species roaming several different biomes, and your job as a player is to survive in this kind of environment.

At times it can be hard, but as soon as you adapt to most of the mechanics PixARK can really start growing on you. Of course, you will find already familiar gameplay elements of both Minecraft and ARK here, so you need to be familiar with at least one of them, or you may find the Voxel world of PixARK too confusing.

But even small kids can play the game and enjoy it pretty much on the same level as more mature players, since everything looks like a cartoon, and even the most dangerous kinds of dinos aren't that scary.

Most of the animals look really cute, despite being able to hurt your character. But if you manage to tame them, then these funny creatures will serve you well and let you explore the giant open world around you.

PixARK can be played either in a casual way or you could take on quests that involve hunting and taming creatures, crafting and building, etc. Again, if you've played either Minecraft or ARK, then you will find all this way too familiar, albeit some of the mechanics may differ slightly.

Gameplay Mechanics

It is important to understand that PixARK requires a lot of free time, just like Minecraft and ARK. Just imagine that each type of building requires different types of materials. You will have to craft floors, walls, and ceilings, that each consist of various blocks. The construction process also requires a lot of precision, or you'll end up with a very fragile building.

Soon after building your first house you gain access to better resources that allow you to build much stronger structures. Fortunately, you don’t have to destroy an old house and build a new one, because individual blocks can be replaced.

Leveling is just as important since it affects your crafting and taming abilities. Taming creatures is probably one of the most important mechanics in PixARK. All the different species live in various biomes, but you can only tame certain creatures when you achieve a specific level. In addition to different types of dinosaurs and unusual creatures, there are also more familiar animals like pandas and crocodiles. But dinosaurs are the best for taming, since they are more powerful.

PixARK can be played either in single player or multiplayer modes. The maximum number of players is 100, but experience shows that servers run much better with around 50 people at most. Otherwise, you risk running into network lags and glitches. Administrators can set their own servers and focus either on PvP or PvE.

Lastly, if you like playing in Minecraft's creative mode, then you will find PixARK's similar mode enticing. It includes all the necessary tools for creation, but many parameters need to be programmed manually, which can take some time.

Pros:

  • Shiny, smooth Voxel graphics
  • Huge open world
  • Cute dinosaur models
  • Low system requirements

Cons:

  • Offers nothing new
  • Requires some optimization

The developers really tried to add a proper sense of character development to PixARK. But this game feels more like an ordinary sandbox rather than an RPG, so this kind of approach seems out of place.

And even if you look at PixARK as an RPG game, then it simply lacks depth. Even the quest system is optional, and frankly, there is no real need for quests to begin with.

Virtually every action, whether crafting or hunting creatures, will grant you XP. Then, you can distribute them across your stats, and there are no limits to what you can do.

In this regard, PixARK solves the problem of arbitrary RPG elements, but otherwise, just enjoy it for what it is a cute survival sandbox game full of dinosaurs.

[Note: A copy of PixARK was provided by Snail Games USA for the purpose of this review.]

Our Rating
7
PixARK is a gorgeous-looking game that mainly caters to casual players that are already familiar with Minecraft and ARK: Survival Evolved.
Reviewed On: PC

Correspondent

Sergey has been a freelancer in the video games industry for more than five years, writing for various publications around the world. His favorite games are MtG, Dark Souls, Diablo, and Divinity: Original Sin. Sergey doesn't own consoles because a PC is all he needs.

Published May. 30th 2019

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