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iPhone  header logo

Box Cat

For: iPhone   Also on: Android

Box fresh

Product: Box Cat | Developer: Rusty Moyher | Publisher: Rusty Moyher | Format: iPhone | Genre: Racing | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
Box Cat iPhone, thumbnail 1
In this age of copious retro revivals, it can often seem that frustration and cruelty are the two most important ingredients of a retro game.

If they were, most of us would have given up on gaming while the old skool was still just skool. That's something that Box Cat developer Rusty Moyher understands.

Yes, it's made a pretty taxing game, but instead of laying traps for you it's created a system of risk and reward that spurs you on, rather than filling you with hatred.

Feline good

At first glance, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Box Cat is a rather simple creation. You take on the role of the titular angular feline, enacting revenge on the cars that have run over several of your furry friends.

You control your cat either with onscreen buttons or by tilting your phone. From a top-down, pixelated viewpoint, you run across a busy road, crashing into vehicles and making them spin out of control. Send enough of them spiralling to their doom and you'll face a boss that takes the form of a flashing neon truck.

This truck can kill you outright, and your only defence against it is a charging dash attack. Once you've used that to slice through the automotive menace, you potter along to the next road and repeat the process all over again.

Trucking rude

It's not just cars that are out to get you, though. So is time, and if you run out it's an instant Game Over. Birds fly along the side of the road carrying grey clocks that grant you precious seconds, as well as shields that protect you from harm, and gold coins that turn you into Super Box Cat for a brief period.

The clever thing is that you progress by clearing objectives. These start off relatively tame, and you don't need to clear them in the same run, but they gradually get more and more difficult. Completing the three objectives in a set unlocks a new cat for you to use, and moves you to the next level.

You'll end up repeating the same screens over and over again, but with subtle differences. Maybe this time you can't smash a specific coloured car, or perhaps you're trying to get through to a certain level without collecting any coins.

Catalytic conversion

The system works because as you play you get better, and the difficulty of the objectives increases to match your new-found car-destroying skills. Things do get tough, but only when you're good enough to handle it.

Alongside the main Adventure mode there are High Score and Survival variations. It certainly isn't the biggest of games, and some will find the repetition and the air of twee nostalgia a little too much to bear.

Box Cat isn't perfect, but if you like your presentation at the retro end of the spectrum and your gameplay dripping in arcade heritage, it's certainly worth a look.

 
Box Cat
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 28 November 2011
A retro-styled, arcade blast from the non-specific past, Box Cat is fun, frantic, and well presented, but its progression system and repetition might not be to everyone's taste
 
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