It’s time for revenge! The cats have been kidnapped by mice! Wait, cats being kidnapped by mice? How is that even possible?! For anyone that has met my real life cat, this topsy turvy turn of events makes perfect sense. He would be happily abducted by carpet fluff if a bag of Dreamies was dangled under his nose. It’s a cinch for a gang of vengeful mice to grab poor unsuspecting cats and hold them hostage in space.
Enter Scram Kitty to save the day. Ensconced in your circular space craft, you are magnetically attached to a rail that borders all levels. Travel the rails collecting gold coins and rescuing kidnapped kitties, but beware the villainous mice that will try to thwart your rescue mission. Use your on-board weapons to fight back and eradicate those evil mice.
Certain rails will only let you travel in one direction, and you must turn yourself into a fireball to jump these and continue. At first the controls for this are a little fiddly, but once you get the knack you will be setting yourself on fire and jumping those rails with ease, if not always with precision.
Watch out for the pesky runaway kitties that attempt to escape as you desperately try to rescue them. These frightened felines will zoom away to a different part of the level when you touch them. You get a short amount of time to find and touch them again, before they fly off to a different section for you to chase ad infinitum. Fail to catch them in the allotted time and it’s back to square one. This wouldn’t be as frustrating if the game controls were better. Many times I found myself stuck on the wrong rail and unable to aim and jump to the required rail as I watched the time ticking painfully down.
While Scram Kitty DX is a fun game, it is needlessly difficult. You will wish for far more practice to slowly work your way up the pain scale and practise your kitty rescue skills before finding yourself in an impossibly hard situation that you struggle to get out of. Prepare to hurl your Vita across the room in frustration and have your real life kitty scram in terror.
For the masochists amongst us, Scram Kitty can be played in challenge mode. Selected levels are available to be played against the clock. To be fair I had enough trouble completing the levels when I had all the time in the world. Challenge mode seemed like one paw too far.
The music for Scram Kitty is fast and furious, yet with a weirdly mellow edge all at the same time. Odd, I know, and it always seemed to speed up at precisely the wrong moment. Against the clock trying to save kitties? Let’s whack the frantic pace up a notch further, really up the ante. Fast music in any game gives me a tendency to panic. If you have ever played Fun with Numbers (no such thing) on the Atari 2600 you will understand the level of tension this adds to a game. Numbers really aren’t fun when you can’t add 2 +2 due to the high tempo music so, sorry kitties, you’ll have to stay stuck in space – my nerves just can’t take it!
There are twenty one trophies to collect in Scram Kitty, all bronze, and are gained by clearing levels within a certain time limit, clearing levels with a limited amount of jumps or no jumps allowed, collecting all the gold coins in a level, and the particularly fun trophy for completing twelve fire jumps in ten seconds.
I want to like Scram Kitty DX, and I really love the concept. However with a clunky control system and brutally difficult gameplay, what could potentially be a brilliant game is sadly let down. Scram Kitty requires precision timing and the execution of perfect jumps to traverse some of the rails. Sadly the fumbly controls don’t allow for this, turning what could be a brilliant game into a source of frustration.
K Nicol Rating – 6/10