Developer: Fun Unit
Platform: 3DS (eShop)
Release Date: March 27, 2014
ESRB: E for Everyone
Teyon is known for releasing titles that are pretty unique in concept, and developer Fun Unit's latest 3DS eShop title, Skater Cat, fits that bill pretty well. It's a side-scrolling action game starring Ollie, a cat who skates, and the objective in each stage is to make it to the goal on the opposite end as fast as you can. In order to do that, you'll need to catch up with and befriend other stray cats who are running ahead of you. In turn, each cat that Ollie meets up with makes him skate a bit faster.
However, Ollie also has a food meter that he needs to keep replenished by collecting cat treats throughout the level, and if the meter dips too low, any cats that are following him will begin to drop off and new cats won't follow him, thus reducing his overall speed. You'll also need to avoid pits and obstacles along the way, including the likes of spikes, trash cans, and rolling dogs with spiked collars; running into any of them will cause one cat to stop following Ollie. Upon arriving at the goal, you'll be awarded 1 to 3 medals depending on how fast you made it and how many cats were able to follow in the end.
It's a fun concept to play in short bursts, so it excels at being a pick-up-and-play sort of game, but it can be harder to hold your attention in longer play sessions (say, more than a few levels at a time). One reason for this is because one level isn't too different from the next. Obviously the difficulty rises as you progress, but aside from more obstacles, enemies, and larger gaps, there aren't too many different designs that really shake up the gameplay. There are a few levels that make use of an anti-gravity switch, which can make things a little more varied, but not much else aside from that. Also, there's only one music track throughout all the levels (and it sounds eerily similar
Still, Skater Cat has a great cartoon-like visual aesthetic to it all, and it's especially cute when Ollie makes up a thumbs-up motion to the player when a new stray cat starts following. And even though there are only 30 levels overall, the replayability factor is pretty moderate thanks to the medal system and a few unlockables (including the ability to use your own Mii in place of Ollie). The game also makes use of StreetPass so you can exchange completion times and ghost data with other players, adding even more to the replay value if competition and speed-running are your thing. In the end, Skater Cat is probably best suited for a younger crowd but may also appeal to those who enjoy "runner" games and going for the fastest time.
+ Great, clean and attractive cartoon-like visuals
+ Some replayability and unlockables
- Short length (can be completed in under 2 hours)
- Music is repetitive
- Not much variety in levels
Overall Score: 6.5 (out of 10)
Skater Cat is a cute game that is fun in short bursts and will appeal most to speed-runners, but it may struggle to hold your attention in longer sessions.
Disclosure: This game was reviewed using 3DS downloadable code provided by the publisher