At the beginning of my last review I remember asking who can possibly not like cats and here I am again, reviewing a feline based mobile game. It appears a lot more people like cats than I previously expected. Maybe I have a disproportionate amount of cat haters in my social circles. Or maybe the boss is trying to generate some sort of typecast for me (bring it on Ruaidhri!). The grim reality is that it’s probably none of the above and I’m showing the crazy-cat-man that I try so desperately to hide in public. I’m not weird honestly! To the review!
At first glance, Bombcats appears to be a typical physics-puzzler. You fling your protagonists (cats) around a level to complete your objectives and collect three ‘suns’ while you do it. The real defining point is the bomb part of Bombcats. Essentially, your cat is a bomb (whodda thunk?), with a fuse for a tail, that must get, and explode, within close proximity to Bombkittens (I made that up but I want royalties devs!) that have been mysteriously imprisoned in blue cages. As a premise it’s neither extremely original nor a clone of other games. More a conglomerate of several mechanics and genres wrapped up in one well presented package.
It all starts simply enough, with a few environmental obstacles getting in the way. Before long though, you have utilise each cats’ unique ability (such as extra explosions or gripping to walls) and even be clever with kittens you release (they also have a short fuse before a tiny explosion). On top of the increasingly intricate and demanding levels, there are special levels that challenge you to complete five select stages in a certain time limit and some that require you to get your cat as far across a level as possible before you blow up.
Presentation is the kicker card in Bombcats. Right from the menu design, to the music, right over to the smooth controls. Everything feels tight and well designed. It feels like great care has been taken over each detail to ensure it’s not just another crap app in the sea of garbage that is the app market. I have to admit, one of my favourite bits is clearing a level in style and getting rewarded with a chorus of cats congratulating me (how’s that for alliteration Mr Edwards and thanks for my E in GSCE English!).
The only negative I have about Bombcats is the pricing model. Obviously not the initial cost of zero, but that’s my point. The game has so much content to offer and is so good that it would suit being sold for 69p and not bothering with the in app purchases at all. You can complete the game quite easily without spending a penny, but I feel quite strongly that developers (especially ones as small as RadianGames) should get financial recognition for their fine work and I can’t see this game making much on in-app purchases alone. They should trust the game has the ability to stand on its own right as one complete package.
Now I’m off my high-horse, it remains for me to say that I would recommend this game even with a price point of 99p (Ohh Emm Gee) and the fact that is FREE from the get go means there isn’t much reason not to go download it on your iOS device right now! Android users don’t despair, Bombcats is coming your way in the next month or so.
+ Tight controls
+ Tons of content
– Fair but unnecessary ‘freemium’ model
+ Right mix of cute and function
+ Smooth framerate
+ Excellent soundtrack
+ Plenty of cat noises