The backstory in Bombcats is bizarre. The felines in this particular title have found that their offspring are imprisoned in glowing blue bubbles. Now, the most rational course of action might be to calmly find a way to get the kittens safely out. But no... this is Bombcats, and these cats blow up to break their kittens out of their prisons. Of course, the kittens also blow up. I'm really not sure what you accomplish in Bombcats, but it's pretty fun.
Fuzzy Gameplay And Controls
Right from the start, I got a strong Angry Birds vibe from Bombcats. It's possible to make a reasonably okay game by aping a massive cultural sensation, but it's probably not going to be a good game. However, the more I played this game, the more the comparison seemed purely superficial.
Your goal in each level is to break the kittens out of their magical energy cages with some type of explosion or collision. Sometimes that's your cat, and sometimes it's something the cat triggers. There are usually a few ways to make it work, but one is going to be the best. If you do things right, you will also pick up three glowing suns in each level. You need these to unlock future levels, and they also work as handy visual guides to completing the level properly.
There is an assortment of seven Bombcats which are slowly introduced as you advance. This is one of the times the game feels very Angry Bird-ish – fair warning. Each feline has its own unique power. One sticks to walls, one bounces, another is super-fast, and so on. You have to use the cats ability to your advantage if you're going to beat the level.
Most challenges give you a single cat, but some might have a few starting from different locations. Just tap and drag to aim the cat, then release. Each furry projectile has a certain number of shots before it blows up, but there's also a fuse that detonates after a little bit. The game eventually teaches you how to re-launch in mid air, ride walls, and pull off other neat tricks to save a second. The controls are just that simple – Bombcats is incredibly easy to get into.
That's all fine, but it would start to wear thin if something else wasn't going on here. After the first handful of levels, Bombcats starts to mix it up quite a bit. The "basic" gameplay mode is Kitten Rescue, but there are three others you'll become acquainted with.
Marathon gives you a few extra jumps to get your cat as far as possible without blowing up. Pass checkpoints to earn suns. The Challenge game takes an old level, but gives you a new cat, or combination of cats with only a limited number of attempts. Time Trial takes five levels you've previously played and strings them together. You have to complete them all in a certain time to get all three suns. I love this one.
The highly varied levels are what set this game apart and actually make it pretty compelling.
This is another place you're probably going to be reminded of that super-popular game. The graphics in Bombcats: Special Edition are very vibrant. The colors are over-the-top, as are the proportions. All the cats are ball-shaped and the landscape is topsy-turvy.
The textures are simple and cartoon-y, which is fine. That's the overall look of Bombcats. I like that the background shifts as you move around the level. It give this 2D game a feeling of depth.
I played this title on the Nexus 7, which I feel is a fairly sluggish device these days. Still, Bombcats seemed to run just fine. There was no lag to speak of, and levels loaded quickly.
In-App What Now?
This app looks like something that would be overflowing with in-app purchases. And indeed, in a parallel universe (iOS), it totally is. The "Special Edition" modifier on the Android version is there to tell you this game has been re-tooled just for us. The developers went through and re-balanced the game so it didn't use IAPs anymore. They did keep some of the IAP-friendly features like the bonus slot machine, but that's pure profit for you.
So you'll pay $2.99 up front for Bombcats: Special Edition, but all the in-game currency you need can be gathered by playing. I can confirm you get a lot of it. You can spend it on upgrades, costumes (why?), special powers, and one-time boosts. All these extras can help you get just that little bit of extra distance, or find the perfect shot to ace a level.
I'm confident that if you play through the first few levels, you're going to like Bombcats. It's not the Angry Birds clone it initially looks like, and there are a huge number of levels – almost 200 as of the initial release. I was skeptical, but this game is better than I expected.