Catcity is a game based on the Pac-Man concept. Basically, there is something that chases you while you collect things of interest. It would be easy to rip on games nowadays for their lack of originality. However, I think that games have run into a similar problem that books have hit. Most concepts have been done, redone, and then revamped. We recycle ideas like aluminum cans these days, or so it seems. The shortcut would be to whine and moan about how redundant games have become, grind my teeth in self righteous indignation, and then retreat to my cave of perpetual correctness while I bear the burden of “fixing” the Internet. I hate shortcuts.
Yes, Catcity is going to look a lot like Pac-Man. One massive difference is that you play as a cat, not a blob of yellow goo from a nuclear reactor gone awry. I don’t actually have an explanation for why Pac-Man is what he is. I just made that up. In keeping with the Pac-Man theme, there’s something that will chase you while you hunt down objects and collect fish. A bulldog named Buster prowls the streets and bites you if you get too close. The number of bulldogs in the level changes with the level difficulty. In the easy level, there’s only one. In the medium level, there are two. There is a mode for kids that you can unlock after earning 3,000 coins which allows you to disable Buster for short amounts of time.
The cat is controlled by tapping the screen. I’ve played other Pac-Man variations that use this control type, but they were difficult to manage. Catcity is smooth and easy to use. You can tap clear across the screen, and it will register. If you need to quickly change direction, the new tap will also register. There is a star on the screen that shows the ultimate destination and a green path to show the route.
The game allows you to choose your cat character. It’s not an in-app purchase. You buy them with the coins you earn from playing the game. The app automatically gives you three cats to start with. While the cat purchases are in the thousands, 5,000 at most, you earn about 130 coins each time you play. It wouldn’t take forever before you earned enough coins to buy your favorite character. If you’re impatient, you can purchase more coins, but it isn’t a necessary part of the game.
Do you think that we have reached an entertainment “wall” for new ideas? Are games becoming redundant, or are the new spins creative enough to merit attention?