Brothers in Gaming and Tech
The internet seems to be in love with cats, and a lot of people are in love with Candy Crush. So what happens when we put both together, add a small amount of juice from the ‘upgrade’ game arena, make it feel retro, and what do we get? Well some combination of these ingredients makes Combat Cats.
So we do not have cutesy candy, instead we are talking rockets, guns, repairs and gold. We also do not swipe items, but click and replace. A very simple concept indeed 😉
Combat Cats is developed by New Horizon Games, and is their only game to date on the Google Play marketplace, launched on September 17th. It was the product of a small Kickstarter campaign which hit over $2000 with a $1600 target back in June, thus making the time from Kickstarter to marketplace relatively quick. Unfortunately it did not hit the stretch goals for enhanced soundtrack, more weapons or Multiplayer.
But for the game itself, the concept is thus: someone/something has stolen the catnip from Kitty island, and you are tasked with going around the island, in your flying device, to find the one who stole the catnip.
Combat Cats is best described as a brick matching game – each type of brick corresponds to a weapon used in battle. In reality each stage has a certain ‘hp’ which you knock down by matching the offensive bricks, and the repair bricks restore your own HP. The animations are for pure amusement 🙂
As the levels continue, users will notice bubbles appearing on the board – bricks in the bubbles will never disappear unless you pop the bubbles by tapping on them. Alongside the weapon element, there are coins to match to increase monies, and setting off a long combination earns you catnip.
At the end of each stage you are awarded a rating (1-3 star) as well as earned monies and at least 1 catnip. The rating is timed into how long it took to complete the stage: each stage has a target ‘par time’ which guarantees three stars, and each stage is under a minute. The monies and catnip are added to your global totals which can be spent on weapon upgrades, feature upgrades or different ships.
For those with fast reflexes, the main game is fairly short, with less than 30 minutes to reach the final boss, however the boss requires most of the upgrades to beat which will require replaying older levels to reach the level of monies and catnip to buy the upgrades. After completing the story mode, survival mode opens up to offer a new aspect of the game. There are also a range of achievements to be earned, some from game play, others from things like ‘tapping the cat on the main screen 200 times’.
If I were to pick at any issues, it would be that I kept pressing the ‘Menu’ button when coming out of the shop rather than the ‘Map’ button, and then to get back to the map after it would try and show the intro sequence again. Even though the sequence has a skip button, it would make more sense to leave the menu button out of all screens except for the Kitty Island map. But it’s not a killer issue by any means.
Overall, Combat Cats is a well produced fun diversion with good animations, engaging gameplay and high quality sound. If you have an hour to travel and need something, for 64p there is little that can go wrong with Combat Cats.
Cool game, bro!
Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/CombatCats
Test hardware: Nexus 7 2013 running stock Android 4.3
Reviewer: Ian Cutress