Wake The Cat iPhone Review
No matter how much of a cold-hearted cynic you may be when it comes to cutesy App Store games, you may still find it difficult to resist the charms of Wake the Cat. A kitten wants to play with a ball of knitting yarn, but has collapsed from boredom now that granny's fallen asleep beside the fire. Only you can save this particularly adorable day.
From a top-down perspective you need to gently flick that ball of yarn towards the kitten and wake it up, and there are around 60 increasingly tricky levels to work through. At first you'll simply need to flick the ball in the right direction, but you'll soon have to take into account the various obstacles that block the path of the yarn.
Each set of levels are based in different stages of granny's house, and so the levels are themed accordingly. The Hallway is littered with toy trains and wooden floors, for example, while the Bedroom is full of pairs of portal slippers and boxes of toys. All of these details are rendered beautifully too, and it takes a cold, cold heart to avoid smiling when the kitten pops out of boxes and lampshades to give you a mournful look on the menu screens.
Some of the levels might require you to deftly deflect the ball of yarn off a couple of objects so as to gentle nudge the kitten awake, while others have you stopping and starting toy trains to change the path of the yarn, or the angle of deflection. More challenging still are the orbital blocks which cause the ball to take a rotational path around the screen, or the fans which blow the yarn off its path. If you want to achieve a three-star rating, you'll have to completely the level as quickly as possible, and with the fewest shots possible.
All of these challenge types make for great variety, although we did find the difficulty progression to be a little chaotic - some solutions are immediately apparent, but then the next level might require you to weave multiple obstacle types together using a physics system that's sort of reliable, yet can occasionally let you down and obscure the path to success.
Beyond the mild frustrations of trial-and-error, that wobbly difficulty curve and physics system only really causes a problem when placed in the context of a hint system which recharges over time. If you want permanent access to hints, you'll need to stump up another dollar or so. If you're really struggling to make progress then you'll need to spend another 99 cents to open up the entire game. With that said, we made plentiful progress through the game without resorting to spending a single extra cent, but it's a word of caution for younger gamers.
Despite a handful of niggles, we can't say we weren't charmed by Halfpixel's new mobile game, and we're always pleased to see something different in the ever-present three-star, physics puzzle genre. If you're not afraid to put a little trial-and-error effort into your gaming, we think you'll be won over by this playful puzzler too.
Wake the Cat costs $0.99 from the App Store, but there are additional in-app purchases available. Unlocking permanent hints costs $0.99, while you can unlock every stage in the game immediately for a further $0.99.
What's Hot:Beautiful artwork and themes, some clever physics puzzling twists, and a generous selection of levels.
What's Not:A sometimes erratic difficulty curve with physics that will occasionally let you down.