Don't ask me why, but there's something about a videogame with a ridiculous premise that always appeals to me. In this case, it's the story of a fat cat named Tombo who lives in a tall tower and gets food air shipped in on a weekly basis to fill his growing belly. For me, this brings up a lot of common sense questions. How does he pay for the food? Who has such a delivery service that they send orders in by air balloon? Do they deliver in my area?
Anyway, this goofy premise is the story of Fatcat Rush [$0.99], an on-rails 3D sidescroller that allows you to go on an eating rampage. It seems one of your food deliveries has made a wrong turn and exploded all over the tower you live in, so you can either sit up at the top like the proud fatass you are and starve, or you can go on an adventure to recapture your food. Not much of a choice here, guys.
You'll control Tombo's jumps as the game automatically propels him along. You can also slide using a button on the far right which will let you kick barrels open to reveal food, but beyond that the game keeps it pretty simple as far as controls go (and they are very accurate, which is lovely.) Both buttons can be combined for a long jump, which you will certainly need as you go plowing through the later levels in search of hamburgers, sushi and whatever other weird stuff you apparently order every week. What the hell is a ketchup lollipop, anyway? Gross!
You have three hearts in each level you play, and the only way you can lose them is by crashing into things like the aforementioned barrels or falling too far. Keep the rhythm of your jumps going, and this shouldn't be a problem, although it certainly gets trickier as you go, but you can pick up health shakes to restore hearts as well. Also good to look out for are fish, which help your boost meter and score. For each fish you grab, your score multiplier is going to go up, so if you're in it to rack up the points (which you will also earn in-game achievements for), you're going to want to keep an eye out for these guys.
There are a total of 15 levels in Fatcat Rush, and they are very well designed and engaging. Different environmental hazards await you as you make your way up the tower, and it keeps the gameplay interesting. I think this game's biggest appeal is going to be with score hounds that like to replay each level to perfection and figure out a way to get every little secret food item and rack up plenty of fish on the way for big numbers. You can unlock outfits too, including one that makes you look a bit like Mario, which ought to please the old school fans.
Fatcat Rush is lovely to look at and fun to play, and I have a feeling that it'll capture a lot of attention, especially at such a reasonable price. I think it could have benefitted from online leaderboards since it's clearly a score-oriented title, but it ought to still provide plenty of solid on-the-go action regardless. And let's face it -- watching Tombo hurl his fat body around trying to capture foodstuffs is kind of great in itself. Fat cats are always the best.
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