One google search suggests there are at least 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 organisms alive on Earth. So, barring homosexuals and – presumably – aquatic life, Noah managed to squeeze them all into his big boat… well, apart from the 3 creatures in Catch The Ark… which makes you think, are they trying to prove something?
There’s Titan, a weird blue koala thing you might find in a CBeebies cartoon; Boon, a fat bird-dinosaur hybrid with a constant frown and Zuzu, a tiny bat-squirrel who wouldn’t go amiss in Ice Age. This wily threesome have been denied entry to Noah’s Ark, for reasons unknown – but probably not to do with the Emancipation Proclamation or Brighton’s Gay Pride March. The opening cinematic is presented in a cartoon medium that would sit comfortably in any kid’s TV show; it’s a shame there aren’t more like this that could – for example – be unlocked. But this is, after all, an ‘endless runner’.
As long as you have opposable thumbs (that includes monkeys, look on Youtube) you’ll have no problems playing this game. The 3 characters sit on a raft, and you navigate them left and right along a river. Such simplicity makes it an ideal game if you’re in a waiting room or on your favourite mode of public transport. The challenge comes from dodging various animals and obstacles, from sharks and crocodiles to rocks and TNT barrels.
The initial incentive comes from collecting gold coins, which are strewn across the level. The more coins you bag (before you crash) the more you can unlock from the game’s store. This can come in the form of a new water-based vehicle to a specialised power-up (a pterodactyl helping you skip past several hundred yards of water comes to mind). You can even buy (for realz) coins, and bag a whopping 1 million if you contribute 10 pounds. Why you would ever do this is another question, but the option’s there.
Once you’ve unlocked everything (it’s safe to say it shouldn’t take as long as Skyrim), you can always get drawn back by the fact your high scores are displayed on Facebook. Again, the reason why you would do this… let’s just save that for a rainy day.
The game excels in its presentation – from the cartoon introduction to the (what I can only think of) as pastel-like DS style graphics (with higher resolution). If you’ve ever played Mario Galaxy 2, think of the Fluzzard level. My strongest criticism – and I’m aware this is an endless runner, but still – is the fact there’s only one level. It would have been nice to use the unlockable challenges as a gateway into, say, a lava or ice world. A cliche, maybe, but it would spice things up a little.
Catch The Ark is a simple, pick-up and play game with no real end. Having put this into context, I can safely say it isn’t all that bad. It’s not great, by any means – but viewed from the perspective of a 10 year old me, there is some fun to be had. Even from a jaded 25 year old me, I suppose. And I guess for young kids, it could be viewed as educational. This was what actually happened, right?Gameplay
+Simple to control; obtaining all unlockables can be addictive
-One environment is a bit limiting; not much to come back to once everything is unlocked.
+Bright and cartoon-like
+Nice water effects