Switch version tested
Review code provided
Captain Cat struts onto the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and mobile platforms courtesy of our friends at Hidden Trap. But is this feline puzzler the cat’s pyjamas or a stray too many? Let’s take a look.
Captain Cat uses a simple concept as all good puzzlers should. Catch some lunch by lowering your fishing hook to the bottom of the sea while avoiding obstacles and gathering a series of collectables along the way to score a three-star rating on each level.
As you begin each level you can sail left and right to find your preferred starting position then drop your hook. The hook sways back and forth in a pendulum motion and with a touch and hold of the A button, you send it in the desired direction. If you need to change course simply release A to tie a knot and the pendulum starts again and so you make your way down to the briny deep.
As the levels progress new obstacles are placed in your way, touch any of these or worse yet, have any of them touch your current stretch of line and its a failure. Eels, Jelly Fish, Puffer Fish and more will show up to stop the Captain from catching his dinner. As well as the aquatic residents there will be tidal currents, warp holes and bubble traps to contend with adding a nice bit of variety to movement and pacing.
This variety is a mixed bag though as the introduction of new mechanics comes in at very random pace, most of the more challenging aspects only turn up towards the later levels which is a shame as it wasn’t until then that the game really started to show promise. With only two worlds to work through, each containing twenty-five levels this is a short-lived experience for the main campaign. There are two bonus worlds, however, one called “Perfect” where you must work through twenty-five levels catching your dinner with only one shot with the hook and “Infinite” where you must go as far down into the dark depths as you can to set a high score.
These extra modes are fun but again short lived. Everything about Captain Cat has been designed for mobile phone play and it really shows. That’s not to say it’s a bad concept but to be ported to Switch in its vanilla form seems like a waste. Adding a few extra worlds and a leader board would have gone a long way here.
Presentation wise there isn’t much to gripe about. Levels are colourful and the animations are fun. Captain Cat himself is especially amusing to watch and makes me hope my cat never learns to fish. Music is simple and fits nicely with the gameplay alongside some watery sound effects. The title screen music might just be the strangest thing I have heard in a long time but it’s each to their own on that one! As mentioned this is a mobile title so controls are simple and easy, left analogue to move the Captain’s boat and A are all you will need here.
The Nintendo Switch is no stranger to a port or two. This writer considers it to be my greatest hits console with so many favourites being remastered or ported as well as a huge line up of new and exciting titles, but there are some ports that just don’t really need to make the jump such as the majority of mobile phone games, sadly Captain Cat is one such. Though there is nothing necessarily poor with the concept of the game its the lack of content and challenge that just lets it down too much. With so many other puzzles available Captain Cat is too short-lived to rush out and buy but there could be some moderate fun for the younger players if you see it offer.
TBG Score: 5/10
Platform: Nintendo Switch, Mobile, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: 21/06/2019
No. of Players: 1
Developer: Digital Tentacle
Publisher: Hidden Trap
Download link: eShop