Developer: Chillingo
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Five minutes on the internet will teach anyone that cats are ridiculously cute. None more so than the cat featuring in Chillingo’s latest puzzler, Wake the Cat. It’s a simple tale of a cat that needs to be woken up with a ball of yarn. Beneath such simple exteriors, though, it’s surprisingly challenging the further one gets.

At first, stages mostly involve simply rolling the ball in the right direction so that it nudges the cat awake. Controls are simple and intuitive with the player dragging a finger in the relevant direction then letting go. Miss and the game leaves a dotted line to show the previous turn’s trajectory, a convenient move to help players learn from their mistakes.

As the game develops, this is an immensely handy aid as things turn quite challenging. New elements are introduced gradually to do this. Trains move back and forth across tracks, with some able to be manipulated by the player. These can then be used to bounce the ball around and, hopefully, towards the cat. Other obstacles such as fans and a device that entices the ball towards it, also affect the trajectory and play a vital role. Such potential pitfalls can be used in one’s favor but it’s a constant challenge to figure out exactly how. Further on, pipes and slippers can be manipulated midway through a level, as well as during the initial moments of a stage.

It all comes together to form a fun yet challenging puzzle game. There are hints available, offering a solution to a level with one free each hour, but I didn’t find myself overly tempted to succumb to them. It was fun figuring out things for myself, even if some levels did take a while.

With 60 levels and 180 stars to gain, I suspect Wake the Cat will be a pretty long lasting experience. With its ridiculously cute exterior and an intelligent selection of puzzles, it should satisfy anyone looking for a quick puzzle fix.

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