Cat Gym Black ($0.99) by Birgit Stock is a physics-based platformer where you’ll have to get a fat cat to better himself by working out at the gym. The cat is typically lazy as you’d expect, but when threatened appropriately, it’ll change its attitude.
Essentially, Cat Gym Black looks like the result of what would happen if Angry Birds and Cut The Rope had a baby. Every round of the game takes place in what looks like a box from Cut The Rope, with slingshotting controls borrowed from Angry Birds.
The object of the game is to keep the black or white cat, depending on which you choose, out of the swim training pool. As platforms move up out of the pool on one side of the screen and down into the water on the other, you have to slingshot the cat back and forth and ensure that it successfully lands.
As you trace back on the cat with your finger, a trajectory line will appear to help you map out your next move before releasing to fire. Don’t depend on this too much, though, since it’s only so accurate. Maybe I’m just super clumsy and uncoordinated, but I found it to be extremely difficult to make multiple successful jumps in a row, which resulted in the poor cat landing in the water. Your score, which counts the number of successful leaps, will return to zero at that point. My best game has a high score of five.
The one thing I find particularly odd about Cat Gym Black is the way that saves work. If you have enough save points, you can hang onto your score when the cat falls into the water by hitting the red save button just below the pool. Each save costs 50 points, with one point being earned every time you land on a platform you’ve already been on. That all sounds great, until you realize that quitting the app from iOS’ app switcher by sliding up on the thumbnail resets the score to 100. That doesn’t seem well thought out.
Besides the one quirk that the game has regarding redeeming yourself, it’s the strange, yet original concept that Cat Gym Black brings to the table that makes it amusing. You can find the game on the App Store, and you can try the free ad-supported Cat Gym before jumping into Cat Gym Black for $0.99. Both are designed for iPhone and iPad.