In this season of high budget titles and even new hardware, some may be looking for something simple and fun to play in the middle of this madness. Released back in November on the iOS and Android, Super Cat Bros (Super Cat Tales on iTunes) does just that.
After the quick intro showing you all the playable cats crashing after being attacked by the monkeys, you take control of Alex as you set out to find your friends.
The game does a great job of teaching you the controls through a few tutorial levels and the controls are quite simple, relying only on your two thumbs. Holding on either side will move your cat, double tapping and holding after while make it run. The simplicity of those control makes this sidescrolling platformer a breeze to learn and makes it that much more enjoyable! The fact that the system is not a 1-hit K.O. system is quite pleasant. Instead, when you hit or get hit by an enemy, you become dazed and if you get hit while dazed is when you die. The same applies for environmental damage, you fall in the lava, you have a quick chance to escape before just dying.
To keep true to the genre it’s inspired from (Super Cat Bros, if the reference doesn’t jump at you, I don’t know what to say), the game features retro-inspired graphics and music as well as a few other elements reminiscing of the classic Mario games. The overworld reminds me Mario Bros 3 / Super Mario World way of travelling between levels and much akin to Super Mario Bros 2, where each character varied a bit from one another, in this title, each of the cat from their own special ability. Those ability range from climbing up higher on a wall or breaking brick walls even to having a cat with a helmet light to travel in pitch black caves as every other cat seem to be afraid of the dark. After failing multiple times at normal level, the game even takes pity on you and gives you the chance to get a Golden Cat which grants you invincibility for the level after watching an ad.
The game even features animal companions to help you in your travel such as a penguin that will chill lava or another animal that will reveal secret areas for you if you are having an issue finding them. All of these companians can be purchased with the coins you collect in every level.
The inspiration doesn’t stop there either. Every of the areas got their own end boss that rely on mechanics of that world as a challenge. Some involving swimming away while others involve trying to make them fall on their back to kill them. The ease of the boss challenges were kind of an issue with me as they just felt more like a small obstacle than a world conclusion. The only one that is a challenge is the last (probably) boss, this comes from both the level being difficult while running away from the boss and the fact that my phone (Galaxy S4) can’t handle that amount of objects on screen at the same time, maybe once I get a new phone, I’ll give it another chance.
Considering this is a mobile game, here’s the point most people are generally concerned with. The game is free, with ads and a timer for gaining back lives. The ads were not a bother as they don’t even appear that often and up until the final boss world, I personally never even noticed the life timer. The game does feature in-app purchase such as No Ads, Infinite Lives, Inifinite Golden Cats. I don’t know if the prices are CAD or USD within the app but the three mentionned are 2.79$ each, really reasonable considering the amount of fun this simple title brought me.
You can see a gameplay example right below, please keep in my that this game only plays with left and right screen touch as control, making it easy to pick up and go!