Catball Eats It All
This feline has no qualms snacking on a bird's head if it means avoiding its arch nemesis, the diabolical Dogwall.
From a presentation standpoint, Broken Compass Studios' Catball Eats It All is a knockout. Here we have an off the wall yet charming title, a series of graffiti sprayed levels and one adorable ball of fluff. Seriously, you'd have to be a bird lover to not want a Catball plush toy. It's adorable.
Unfortunately, we don't review art. We review video games, and while Catball's enjoyable, its bothersome controls prevented this iPhone and iPad title from standing out even more. A shame, because the rest of the package is so good.
As the title implies, the game stars a Catball that literally consumes everything. Catball eat socks. Catball devours hearts. Catball snacks on eyeballs. That's kind of gross, but to Catball, it's quite delicious.
The game sort of works like Katamari Damacy, in the sense that you must roll over the tiny objects first, then move on to the medium and then largest things before time expires. That, dear reader, is where the similarities end.
You see, the goal is basically feast upon the entire stage until there's nothing left, and you must achieve this simple sounding task before Catball's arch nemesis, Dogwall (complete with foreboding music), appears. Once that happens, it's lights out.
What ensues is a frantic race against the clock, as Catball travels through each location gobbling as much as possible.
Here's where the game gets messy. To move Catball left, you press the left side of the screen, and to move him right, the right side of the screen. Then the developers ask you to make him temporarily float by pressing one side and rapidly tapping the other.
Thing is, Catball has a tendency to get stuck on objects or slowly roll down the screen. On top of that, it's a bit tricky guiding the feline into tight areas. More often than not, you'll get stuck wrestling with the controls, resulting in a disappointing restart.
Ultimately, the controls are a definite sticking point. There's fun to be had, sure, but losing because of some snafu puts a huge damper on the experience.
At the same time, Catball's playable, and we've yet to curse the app out, which is important. Besides, the game is free with the option to unlock a level pack for $0.99, so you stand to lose nothing but time.
Cute, twisted and somewhat entertaining, Catball's worth a look.
Review code provided by Broken Compass Studios.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.1 or later.
What's Hot: Visually stimulating graphics, adorable Catball, whacky premise, fun music, free to play, universal.
What's Not: Bothersome controls.