Burger Cat, a puzzle platformer from Ravenous Games, is now available from the app store. Standing in stark contrast to their hardcore speedrun platformer series League of Evil, Burger Cat is an ultracasual, challenge-deprived option for the iOS-toting youngsters in our midst.
Burger Cat Pros:
- Cutesy cartoon graphics and simple animations
- Arcade soundtrack
- Easy-to-use tap controls
- GameCenter integration for achievements to earn
Burger Cat Cons:
- Controls have some responsiveness and precision issues
- No undo option
- Little replay value and very limited challenge
When the titular character’s barbeque is ruined by a nitroglycerin-infused explosion that scatters his burgers, he embarks upon a mission to recover his favorite food using a handful of tools. You are slowly introduced to the magic wand, the pick axe, the trampoline, the decoy mouse, the dynamite, and the rest of his arsenal as you complete each of the 60 levels. Each level requires you to give a cursory glance to determine the path necessary to reunite Burger Cat with his dinner. There are only a couple of basic rules to follow, namely that Burger Cat can climb over blocks of a single height and walking into a wall will cause Burger Cat to turn around and walk in the opposite direction. Once you have a plan of action, you tap the desired items in the upper left corner and place them within the invisible grid to manipulate the landscape accordingly. Tap the play button and watch your effort succeed or fail. Occasionally, you’ll need to place an item during Burger Cat’s autorun through your creation, such as umbrellas to protect against acid rain or dog bones to distract patrolling canines. Endless gaps and spinning spike wheels are about the only real threats to the feline’s well-being. The pace at which Burger Cat moves is on the slow side, and the lack of a fast-forward button was a big disappointment. The overall challenge is minimal, as the game is meant to appeal to gamers who find most other platformers overwhelming. Unfortunately, Burger Cat may have been dumbed down even further than necessary, as my kids got bored with it pretty quickly, too.
Graphically, Burger Cat employs a cutesy cartoon style that does look nice, with brightly-colored and sharp imagery. The basic animations are good, but the scrolling camera is a bit jerkier than expected. The soundtrack has a nice arcade feel that works well for a kid’s game. The controls are a mixed bag, offering simple tap-to-place mechanics and keeping the selected item active for multiple drops within the limited quantities, but there are issues with responsiveness and precision that we found overly frustrating. Additionally, one wrong move (whether due to imprecise controls or poor planning) requires a complete level reset due to the lack of an undo button. Even dragging to pan is occasionally mistaken for placement of an active unit, leading to resets to fix the problem.
Replay value is very low. There are no timers, no points, and no measures of success other than reaching the burger in any manner to complete the level. GameCenter achievements are available, but they mostly focus on using a certain number of each item over the course of play. Available item quantities are also generous, often giving us a few more items than needed to complete the level. A universal app for $0.99, Burger Cat is a 3.5-Dimple offering with limited appeal.
Burger Cat Review,