Who doesn’t love kittens? If you’re saying “I don’t!” right now then I put it to you that, just like a fine wine, you just haven’t found the right one yet (of course, if you’re allergic you get a free pass here). Kittens are adorable little creatures. Well, they are when they’re asleep anyway.
Wake The Cat is first project from new indie developer Halfpixel Games (published by Chillingo) and has the greatest element needed in mobile gaming, a simple premise. In this case, it’s chuck a ball of wool at the sleeping cat and wake the little blighter up. The mechanics of the game will be instantly familiar to anyone who has played a mini golf game before, press on the ball, drag your finger to indicate direction and strength then release to action the shot. If you hit the kitty, she wakes up and if you miss she purrs on and you have another go.
Cute is the name of the game here. Right from the off we are presented with a loading screen showing a little cartoon kitty that looks awfully happy to have been disturbed from its slumber. In the game actual, all the objects are designed to appear realistic with a slight over exaggeration in colour to appeal to your senses. Add to this a plucky soundtrack that isn’t overly offensive.
What’s interesting about this particular game is the range of obstacles and actions you have. In the beginning you have only a few objects in your path that require a few easy bounces to get your goal. After a few levels you are introduced to blue objects, all of which can be altered to some degree with a quick touch (trains can stopped, fans can be turned off, barriers can be lifted and so on) and red items that cannot be affected in anyway. Soon after getting the hang of these, slippers are introduced and act as a portal to a matching slipper. Before you know it, you’ll be attempting to navigate each level in flurry of timed touches and well aimed shots.
Each level is scored on both time and shots taken, but you’ll get a three star rating on a given level by waking up that lazy mog in one shot (a task not that hard as you can restart the level easily enough once you have the feel for it). So if you want to be in with a chance of being high up on the leaderboard, you not only have to be accurate, you have to be fast. Here’s where the games replay factor kicks in, it’s incredibly annoying when some chump is 10 points higher than you on GameCentre so you want to go back and attempt a few levels a bit quicker.
At the moment there are only 60 levels on offer and if this writers’ experience was average, most of you will be able to tackle all of them with three star ratings in a few sittings. I’m not saying it’s too easy, but it’s hardly headache material for the adult mind. Still, at present there is at least one more level set on the way so hopefully more will follow in due course. I for one love it when games are supported months after release with new updates.
It’s fairly difficult to find much fault with Wake The Cat. Saying it’s too short seems somewhat premature when updates will buff out the experience. It is true that none of it feels particularly innovative or original, but it is enjoyable enough for that to be forgotten.
+ Intuitive controls
+ Good puzzle learning curve
– Nothing too original
+ Cute and lively
+ Charming and plucky