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Score: 88%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Mooktown Games
Developer: Binary Graffitti
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle

Graphics & Sound:

Enter any area where people are left to sit in front of a computer for hours and you will more than likely find at least one puzzle game either on the computer’s desktop or hidden in some obscure file where the boss won’t see it. MiXem is the latest puzzle game to try and compete for the coveted spot of “What I did today at work when I should have been working” and, while it manages to provide a very easy concept for players to get into, some may find it a little too easy.

As is usually the case with puzzle games, graphics aren’t a major focus with MiXem. Aside from a Tiki god dancing in the corner and a few butterflies flittering around the screen, the primary focus are the colored blocks that take up a good majority of the real estate on the screen.

Music is also typical of most puzzle games. Each game type has its own background music that you’ll hear non-stop, though it doesn’t get on your nerves and will typically just blend into the background once you start playing.


MiXem builds itself from the simple act of mixing colors to produce new colors, something all of us should have learned by preschool. Yellow and blue makes green, yellow and red makes orange…

Each level begins with an assortment of yellow, red and blue blocks at the bottom of the screen that slowly move up as time passes. The object is to combine these three blocks into green, purple and orange blocks and clear rows before the column of blocks reaches the top of the screen. Any row of three or more like-colored blocks will cause them to clear, while snagging six in a row will also earn a special Lava Shot that can clear any row.

Gameplay is broken up into three modes: Depth Quest, Time Attack and Endless. Depth is the game’s main mode. Here your job is to clear the blocks to a certain depth in order to proceed. Initially you’re limited to only five depths with others unlocked as you progress deeper into the game. The mode tries to throw in a “story” to explain why you’re doing this, though it really isn’t that important and the gameplay is sturdy enough that it really doesn’t need explanation.

Time Attack is what will likely keep you playing long after you’ve mastered the other two modes. However, any motivation you have to keep coming back to this mode will probably be due to personal motivation rather than an in-game one.

Endless mode is, as the name suggests, endless. Blocks keep popping up and you keep mixing and matching. Unlike Depth mode, where the game stops after reaching a certain depth, Endless keeps things going until you lose interest.


If anything, MiXem could use a little fine tuning as the game becomes much easier once you learn the trick to always getting a six-block row.

Combining two blocks, for example a yellow and a blue, produces two green blocks. This allows players to easily make a six-block row (in this case, green) with some elementary planning. An attempt was made to foil your plans by throwing in brown blocks that can’t be destroyed, though this doesn’t prove to be much of a problem since you can simply right click on the block and swap its position with another, more useful block. Of course, there’s always the chance that you’ll make a mistake, especially when trying to top a high score in Time Attack, but even mistakes can be corrected by using the Lava Blasts that build up after constant six-block clears.

However, even with the ease of nabbing six-block clears, MiXem will still provide some challenge, especially if you choose to start the Depth Quest at the lower depths (anything below 60) since it piles on just enough pressure you keep you hooked.

Game Mechanics:

Getting into MiXem is as easy as getting those eventual six-block rows. Once a block comes into the column, you can either swap its position with another block by dragging it or mix it, resulting in two new colored blocks.

Even though it does tread on the easy side (as least as far as puzzle games go), MiXem is still a fun game when played as a simple time waster. It’s unlikely to hold your attention for extended plays, but that might turn out to be a good thing since it would give you time to turn in your TPS reports or do more than your usual 15 minutes of real, actual work.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows PC with 3D Graphics card and Sound Card

Test System:

Windows XP; Pentium 4 1.8 GHz; Radeon 9250 256 MB; 640 MB RAM; DirectX 9.0b

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated