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iPhone  header logo

Cat on a Diet

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Chow down

Product: Cat on a Diet | Developer: Nawia Games | Publisher: Chillingo | Format: iPhone | Genre: Casual, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.2
Cat on a Diet iPhone, thumbnail 1
In the western world we seriously pamper our pets -especially when it comes to food. Little treats here and there, the finest chow money can buy, and even sneaking bits of food off our own plates so Mr Fluffykins can join in with our Sunday roast.

Cat on a Diet's Dr Meow is one such overfed feline friend. Only he's not after more kibble, he doesn't want to chew on Whiskas Sticks (whatever they are), and he's not concerned about pet-safe choccies.

Instead, he's after an entire jar full of cookies, and you're going to help (or perhaps "enable") him to do so, across a multitude of levels in this quality physics-puzzler from Chillingo.

Exactly how did he get his PhD?

The action is contained on a single screen, and you simply need to get your fat cat from one point of the level to the container of cookies, earning bonus points if you can collect cupcakes along the way. You can't directly affect the movement of Dr Meow, so you need to change his environment to get him from A to B.

This starts off fairly simply - you slice into wooden blocks so that instead of sitting on a flat surface the good doctor begins to roll down a freshly cut slope.

IAPs explained
One of the few elements that leaves a slightly bitter taste is the range of IAPs. They're not essential in any way to complete the game - and you'll have more fun not using them - but if you do turn to them for help, you'll be splashing out a lot of money on them.

The Muffin Magnet attracts the muffins to your character, and the Soap Bubble allows you to push Dr Meow about the regular stages in a bubble. They're all consumable, though, and start at 69p / 99c for just three uses, which is a complete rip-off.
As with any good puzzler, the difficulty gradually ramps up from there, and pretty soon you're unscrewing fixtures, trapping Dr Meow in bubbles, activating magnets, and reversing gravity, all to get your kitty pal to his beloved biscuits.

The levels suffer from a shortage of visual variety, and they're oddly dark and creepy places for such a light-hearted puzzler, but what the game lacks in graphical experimentation it makes up for in its puzzles.

There's rarely a moment when you think, "hang on, didn't I just play this level?", which is something even the iOS greats like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope suffer from.

He probably studied physics

As you progress you unlock Dimension X levels, which, in a break from the regular levels, chuck Dr Meow into a bubble and ask you to navigate a single-screen maze, picking up every cupcake to complete the stages. You'll have to contend with the other gameplay elements introduced in the main mode too.

As an extra bonus, there are costumes to collect by finding and tapping on hidden cracks in the backgrounds of levels. The best one I've found so far is a novelty moustache and glasses combo that makes Dr Meow look like Groucho Marx.

Like Om Nom in Cut the Rope, it's Dr Meow that makes Cat on a Diet special. He's so squishy and helpless that you can't help but love him, and his face pulls all sorts of expressions when he's poked and prodded.

Although a little lacking in the presentation department, this is an excellent physics-puzzler. Dr Meow will find a place in your heart, just as much as Cat on a Diet will find a place on your Home screen.
Cat on a Diet
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 3 October 2013
Helping a cat become obese has never been more fun. If you enjoy flinging birds at pigs, or feeding candy to aliens, then this one's for you
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