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For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Bounce with me

Product: Catch-22 | Developer: Mango Down! | Publisher: Mango Down! | Format: iPad | Genre: Arcade, Platform, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Catch-22 iPad, thumbnail 1
Despite the title, Catch-22 isn't a point-and-click adventure based on Joseph Heller's novel. If you find this intelligence disappointing you can take heart in the fact that its addictive one-touch gameplay will soon have you enthralled.

This is a game in a similar vein to Super Hexagon – a single, simple premise that becomes more and more fiendish as you play. It's colourful, difficult, a surprising amount of fun, and has a low enough entry threshold that anyone can play.

Right in the orbs

The game is all about a green ball and a blue ball that are constantly rolling around an orange planet. You control one of the balls at once, and need to collect coins. Once you've collected the right number of coins, control switches to the other ball.

But, and here's the science part, as you leap to collect coins and avoid the other ball you leave a glowing trail in your wake. When control switches, the ball you abandon will follow your last circuit around the world, jumping when the trail arches into the sky.

The number of coins you need to collect to swap goes up by one every time, and every leap you make translates to an obstacle to be navigated in the next level. It's a really clever piece of design, and makes you consider each jump carefully before you tap the screen to spring up.

In a neat twist, if you manage to crash into the other ball just as the changeover happens you'll ricochet off it, clearing all the tracks and giving yourself a fresh start. It's a dangerous tactic, but it's one that's well worth perfecting.

Heller good

Catch-22 is a brilliant example of how touchscreen devices enable developers to really get to the core of the gaming experience. In spite of the simplicity of its mechanics, it's constantly pushing you to have just one more go.

It might not grab everyone, the lack of content might leave some unimpressed, and it lacks the twitchy magnificence of arcade iOS gaming at its very best, but as a brief, addictive blast Catch-22 works remarkably well.

Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 8 October 2012
Catch 22's simple set up reveals a game that quickly becomes pretty tough, but always eggs you on to try again
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Oct 2012
Post count:
@Bliepjes | 02:01 - 9 October 2012
Hey NotSpam! The 1.01 update will be there today or tomorrow fixing what you describe. It's due to laggyness of the framerate, which was mainly caused by gamecenter. I think you will find what you look for in responsiveness in the new update! Thanks for playing our game!
Apr 2011
Post count:
NotSpam | 18:55 - 8 October 2012
>"Catch 22's simple set up reveals a game that quickly becomes pretty tough, but always eggs you on to try again"

Spot on. Actually has grown on me a bit. I still find the controls are a few degrees imprecise, which is the worse thing - it makes it hard to predict accurately where/when collisions will occur when the animations/ responsiveness are not fluid as they should be.

Otherwise it definitely eggs you on and is chilled out fun. :)