App Reviewed on: iPhone 4
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Meow Number 3. Kitten with a Basket of Fish. Cata Lisa. Young Kitty With Gloves. Honestly, I think most cat lovers would be prepared to stump up the 99 cents just to have the 60 original and rather amusing feline takes on famous paintings that are contained within Pickpawcket. The Kitty Night, in which Van Gogh's stars are replaced by glowing cat faces, is a personal favourite of this cat lover.
To unlock them, however, cat lovers like me will have to sneak their way through 60 museum rooms while avoiding the line of sight of the guard dogs in this top-down stealth game. Each room has a painting, three red gems, and at least one exit, and it's up to the player to collect the painting and as many gems as possible, and then exit without being caught if they want to get their hands on kitty art.
Apart from the sense of humor in the concept itself and the paintings, Pickpawcket can boast some excellent designed stealth puzzles that vary and evolve through the game. The dogs have different patrols from room to room, while different dogs have different lines of sight and speed of movement. Meanwhile the cat has his own arsenal, like hammers to knock the dogs out with and TVs to distract them.
What really makes Pickpawcket, though, are the little touches, and not just in the paintings. It's things like how tapping on the TV makes an image of a cat appear on it, or how when the cat picks up the painting he starts to hop along happily as he moves towards the exit. There's an obvious sense of embracing the silliness in Pickpawcket, especially in the boss levels which are ridiculously complicated and grandiose affairs that require a lot of skill and patience to complete fully.
The only black mark to put against Pickpawcket are the controls, and even then it offers two options; touch and joystick (with the former tapping in the desired direction moves the cat along). Though there are two options, both are demandingly pernickety. In the more tight and narrow rooms the difficulty in bending the sensitive controls to fit the level design can be very frustrating, but there are many more games with far worse controls out there.
Pickpawcket isn't just charmingly funny. It's a fun and challenging stealth game with plenty of varied levels, and one that shows off a classy touch on the part of the developer. At 99 cents it's a steal.