Oh, Catball Eats It All, we knew you back when you were just a twinkle in your developer’s eye, hoping to get Kickstarter funding. Now you’re all grown up, and available for everyone to download from the app store, for free!
While Catball’s gameplay certainly recalls the cult fave Katamari Damacy as well as classics like Sonic the Hedgehog and Pac Man, the game stands out in the casual gaming world as an original contribution in a sea of followers.
Whether the user is playing on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, the game begins with a tutorial segment. It is here that the player learns the basic controls of the game and gains first-hand experience in avoiding a game ending encounter with Dogwall, Catball’s arch nemesis. Perhaps most importantly, it is here that the user witnesses that it is finally time for Catball, that bottomless pit of hunger, to — quite literally — eat it all.
A level in Catball is not complete until the voracious feline has devoured every object on the screen. Yet players must earn the right to consume every last pixel in sight by first eating all of the range of objects in a particular level (e.g. Teddy Bears or Cowboy Boots).
Although the free version of the game is limited to two courses, it is enough for curious gamers to get a feel for Catball. The game seamlessly blends the freedom the user feels as he rolls through the incredible graffiti-based worlds with the pressure of trying to fend off Dogwall as the clock, represented by a globe in the screen’s upper-right corner, ticks down the seconds. If the player runs out of time before the world is completely eaten, it’s game over.
The controls are easy to understand, and shouldn’t be difficult for most gamers to master. To play the user simply places his thumbs on the edges of the iDevice. This enables him to propel Catball forward, backward, and execute jumps at various heights. The game responds to turn controls as well as touch controls.
The game also includes Catball skins that can either be purchased or unlocked through game play. Additionally, Catball is Game Center enabled, and allows users to post messages to Facebook from within the game.
Users who purchase additional content through the game can get all Catball skins at a discount, get all levels at a discount, or get everything in the game at a discount. Anything that is available for purchase is marked with an adorable cat-faced shopping bag.
Download Catball Eats It All from the App Store for free to unlock the first two courses, then purchase the complete game from within the app.
What I liked: Catball proves good design and entertaining gameplay are not mutually exclusive. The game’s art work is cleverly rendered and its soundtrack creates a specific mood.
What I didn’t like: There were small glitches — for example, the Facebook window refused to close after I canceled a post — but nothing that interfered significantly with game play.
To buy or not to buy: The game is free to try, so all users should check it out. Those users who decide to download the full version of the game will not be disappointed.
- App Name: Catball Eats It All
- Version Reviewed: 1.5
- Category: Games
- Developer: Broken Compass Studios
- Price: Free, with in-app purchase to unlock the full game