Not for the cat lovers out there.
Ok, some games are truly hard to explain without sounding like a mad person. Wake the Cat is one of those games that must have been hard to explain within the development team as well. The premise is that a cute cat is sleeping, and dreaming about the good things in life such as fish. For some unknown reason I have to be a sadistic villain by throwing the cat a ball of yarn to wake it up. In Cut the Rope I understand the reason why I have to guide the candy to a wanting mouth. In Wake the Cat I really would rather let the tired cat sleep.
Puzzles are physics based, and starts with some truly basic puzzles. Aim the ball of yarn, and let go to let it roll. The aim of each level is to get the ball to the cat. Early on levels are truly pedestrian in difficulty, and I started to think that this might be a game solely aimed at kids aged three to six. Then trains that can be stopped, and started got introduced giving some more objects to interact with. These trains can be used as walls to ricochet the ball off of. At other times trains are not possible to interact with, and thus act as obstacles. Generally blue objects are available for the player to interact with. Pipes can be turned and fans turned on and off for example.
So far the game feels quite coherent with everything more or less possible within an ordinary house. Sure I don’t understand why the trains, or fans themselves don’t wake up the cat. When magnetic generators, and magic teleportation slippers are introduced the game goes all-weird on me. If that happens in your room you need to either see a doctor, or stop doing drugs.
The difficulty is uneven ranging from pedestrian to near impossible due to only having one possible solution. For those into physics puzzles the lack of ways to affect the gameplay will be a deal breaker. Objects are already in place, and at best you can turn or start/stop an action. Even my two kids aged four, and five wonder why they can’t move the fans and trains themselves. They are used to that from games such as Casey´s Contraptions.
The presentation in Wake the Cat is cute, and follows a typical iOS formula when it comes to level design. Three stars are awarded if you are quick enough in your yarn rolling. Hints can be used, but you have to wait for the next one or buy unlimited hints through IAP.
Wake the Cat feels like a strange idea slapped onto a rather limited physics puzzle engine. I can’t even say that it is great for kids, as they don’t have the patience for solving the puzzles in one specific way. And not even my kids get why they should wake the cat. They know they aren’t allowed to wake up our cat Harry when he is asleep because he goes medieval on their stuffed animals when that happens.