Kitten Sanctuary ($0.99) by Clockwork Pixels is by far the cutest match three game in the App Store, and it’s got great gameplay too.
In this game, aliens have come to earth to capture the poor, defenseless kittens with traps. Its your job to track down the kittens and free them from their alien cages by matching objects to clear the board.
There are a lot of match three games in the App Store, so a new entry into the genre needs to be well-designed to garner attention for itself, and I’m happy to say that Kitten Sanctuary is definitely a matching game that got my attention.
Aside from the adorable theme, gameplay is solid. There are red tiles on the board which must be cleared by making matches where they are located, and when all those tiles are cleared, you free the kitten. Matches can be made vertically, horizontally, and diagonally.
In addition to clearing the red tiles, you will also need to gather supplies (by matching certain types of tiles) for your kittens, which need food and water to keep them happy. Unhappy kittens may wander away, to be captured by aliens once again.
As the game progresses, levels will get more complicated, with additional tiles, double red tiles which take two passes to clear, crates that you must clear around, and locked tiles, which also must be cleared by matching similar tiles. There’s always a timer in every level, and you must finish the level before the timer runs out or the aliens win the kitten.
Your rescued kittens are dropped off at one of four kitten sanctuaries (beach, forest, mountain, and lake), which can be decorated with items. Each kitten has its own personality, likes, and dislikes. In addition to providing basic necessities for your kittens, you can also buy them toys to play with (purchased with coins won in each level), which is a fun game addition. Sometimes kittens will get depressed, and its your job to raise their mood with toys.
There’s a bit of variation in levels. Sometimes you won’t be rescuing kittens, but preventing an alien from building a trap instead. In these levels, you will need to match tiles frantically, preventing them from building up while gathering enough supplies to end the level.
In all, there are 50 kittens to rescue, with 100 levels and three different game modes (including a zen mode with no time limit). There are tons of decorations to buy, and nine different toys to keep your kittens busy.
My only complaint is that Kitten Sanctuary lacks Game Center support. I would love to see that added in an update, because Game Center would make this game complete.
With all of the adorable kittens, it’s hard not to get addicted to this game. This review almost didn’t get written because I was too busy saving all the kittens from those pesky aliens.
If you’re looking for a new casual game, or are a seasoned match three lover, I highly recommend downloading Kitten Sanctuary. If you’re on the fence, there’s a lite version available so you can try the game before you buy. Hurry over to the App Store, you’ve got to save those poor kittens from the aliens!