This evening I decided to check out what was new in the Indie section of the Xbox Live Game Marketplace. It’d been a couple weeks since I’d last looked and there’s pretty much a guarantee one or two new games will come every day.
Well I saw Sky Cat amongst the list and thought to myself, “What an intriguing title!”. The description talked about helping a cat dodge obstacles as it plummets through the sky. Well the first thought that popped into my mind was a horrible cat splatter. I remembered how much the girlfriend and I enjoyed playing Trials HD on the Xbox because of how fun it was to fail and see the motorcyclist take horrific spills. Well this game isn’t quite like that.
Rusty the cat is continuously falling, and depending upon the difficult must sidestep a number of platforms of varying size. The longer you last, the higher your score goes. You can actually direct Rusty downward to make him fall faster. Doing so will net you a score multiplier, but it also is riskier.
You can also pick up fish to give you bonus points. It looks like there are a variety of other power-ups or temporary score multipliers, but I haven’t put enough time into the game to find out yet. So far I’ve encountered a star that grants you temporary invulnerability, ala Mario. I’ve also seen a shield, but I’m not sure what that does. I’m guessing it allows you to hit one obstacle and survive.
I’ve only got two complaints in my limited time playing the game. The first is that the controls are a little loose, particularly when moving horizontally. The cat seems to have just a little too much momentum and it can be difficult to slow it down when moving side to side. The other issue, and probably the more egregious one, is the apparent lack of a high score list. I thought it might be available in the full version, but it doesn’t seem to have been included. A game like this is built on the old-school gaming principle of achieving the highest score. Disappointing to say the least.
I gave the trial a spin and for some inexplicable reason I picked up the full version for 80 points($1). There was something really cheery and upbeat about the look and the music that hooked me. And at just a dollar, it was no more expensive than a number of the Apple Store or Android Marketplace purchases I’ve made. Part of me wants to kick myself for buying into something so seemingly stupid, but I guess that’s the appeal of these cheap games. If there’s some particular quality about a game you like, a dollar just doesn’t seem like that much money.
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