Tetris, Bust-a-Move and cats – as Julie Andrews sang in The Sound of Music, these are a few of my favourite things. Cats Block combines all of these in a cute little package tied up with string.
Using electrical waves to travel through the universe, the square cats have crash landed on earth. One of these lucky kitties has been found and adopted by a small human girl, taken in and treated like the God he rightfully thinks he is. He may be a square cat from outer space but he now assumes this small child is his servant, much like the mindset of our slightly rounder and furrier Earth cats. Given his own room, this new home acts as the game’s hub where you can play with the cats, change furniture, watch TV and learn more of the story by unlocking items and completing challenges.
Cats Block is a simple colour match game. Match three cats of the same colour horizontally, vertically or diagonally to clear the board and earn rewards. There are two game modes, story and survivor. In story mode each level has a different quest to complete and clear the stage. Some stages are time limited, some you have to match a certain number of chains of the same colour cat, and some you have to match chains of three with cats wearing different headgear – leaves, apples and what appears to look like a golden donut. Every time you match three of any colour during gameplay, a meter fills up allowing you to spawn a piece of this nifty headgear to be placed on your cat’s head as they enter the stage. However, spawning can be rather random and you often end up wasting all your cats’ and your own nine lives waiting for the right one to turn up. When you only have thirty seconds to clear a stage this is panic-induced frustration at its best. This haphazard spawning is a bit of a problem and we would like to see a patch to fix this issue.
Story mode has five levels each with ten stages. Now I’m not a maths genius and Pythagoras is a dirty word, but that makes fifty stages in all to complete, a relatively short game. Survivor mode is unlocked about half way through the story and much like marathon Tetris, it allows endless gameplay for those who want a longer challenge. Survivor mode keeps track of the length of time played, rank reached and score. There is no online leader board, which is disappointing as it would have added another dimension to the game.
Cats block is bright and colourful with simple graphics and music, and oh what delightfully annoying music it is. You will find yourself humming it everywhere – in the shower, in the car, at your desk at work; your colleagues will hate you (well slightly more than they already do). It’s an irritating little earworm, yet endearing all at the same time. Once it’s in your head there is literally no escape.
Cats block is a basic three-colour-block game. Unless you are stuck waiting for special items to spawn, the main story game won’t keep you occupied for too long. Gameplay is extended by the survivor mode and it’s the perfect game to fill snatches of time on your Vita. Cute, colourful and fun.
K Nicol Rating – 6/10