More of a Cataicastrophe than my puns. Cataica is a disappointing Asteroids clone in which you pilot a ship hell-bent on killing all of the space rocks that come in to view. Sadly your ship moves unresponsively, and the game is not interesting. Granted the game is not a train wreck, but in a sea of great and inexpensive games on the App store something that is a little less than mediocre should be entirely glossed over.
The screen slowly fills with asteroids of different sizes, the ship slowly moves about the screen. When I say slow I am not talking turtle slow, but more like molasses sliding up a hill slow. Cataica uses tilt controls to pilot and thrust the ship, the only problem being is that in order to move the ship at any acceptable speed the player needs to tilt the iPhone a ludicrous amount. This makes playing at a comfortable angle of incline impossible, because you are constantly having to rotate to angles at which your screen is no longer visible. In order for me to fully utilize my ship’s potential I had to play the game with 0 degrees of tilt and my neck craned down all the way and even then I would lose sight of my screen. A simple option to heighten sensitivity would have greatly enhanced my experience with this game. Sometimes, the most simple things can really be a wrench in the gears and it is unfortunate because the game could have been decent.
An annoying tidbit: if you tilt the iPhone too much (say 45 degrees at times), the screen will flip because the game thinks you have rotated your device. As if the game was not fun enough right-side up.
Many may remember just sitting in the middle of the screen while playing asteroids and wonder why being able to move quickly is a big deal. When one has different ships with different speed and acceleration stats, one might expect that such movement is integral to the gameplay. Otherwise, why even bother?
Cataica’s graphics are certainly serviceable. The ships’ and asteroids’ sprites are clean, and the space backgrounds are easy on the eyes. I would have rather seen these assets applied to a more original game mechanic. Some simple twist on the Asteroids formula would have been appreciated. This is not something Cataica does, as one of the highlighted features in the game is: “Artificial Asteroids”.
I really do not mean to be too harsh on Cataica, it has a pleasant vibe about it. I just found it to be too sluggish and uninspired to be worth playing over Space Invaders Infinity Gene. If the tilt control sensitivity and screen flipping issue get fixed, and if new weapons are added, Cataica would be worth a look.
The good news kids is that game is temporarily on sale for the meagre price of zero dollars. The bad news folks, is that like finding your painting to be the only thing left after a robbery at the local art expo, some things are not even really worth the price of free.
If at all interested, pick this one up while it is still free for the duration of this week. I find the game hard to recommend at free, one can imagine that I would be even less inclined to do so even at the price of 99 cents.