In 2010, MovieCat ($1.99) took the App Store by storm. It was one of my favorite quiz apps mostly because of how simplistic the format was, marrying uniquely presented film topics with adorable cats. The art style was just as unique, and had its own charm to it, and the trivia was easy enough to get into with multiple difficulty levels. Over three years later MovieCat 2 ($1.99) doesn’t change a whole lot, but it’s still the same great formula you know and love, updated with newer references and films. And I’m pretty much okay with that.
Just like before, the sequel offers up the exact same format — you’ll answer five questions per round, with nine lives (chances) to spare, and at the end, you’ll have a chance to unlock a special Cat Scene. Lives will deplete depending on the difficulty (Easy, Medium, or Hard), and the categories for each round are randomized every single game. Should you hate a specific set of categories, you can shuffle them up to three times. It’s my favorite feature of the game personally, as I tend to have a small amount of knowledge on Chick Flicks — so it allows me to skip them and move on to more fun topics.
If you’re curious as to how contemporary the game is, it’s pretty up to date, offering questions from late 2013 films like Gravity. Once you’re done answering every question, a picture will appear from a film in the form of a Cat Scene, which you’ll promptly have to identify. These scenes (of which there are 25) are significantly easier this time around, but that doesn’t really hurt the game much since they’re basically just a “bonus round" anyway. Leaderboards return in MovieCat 2, with the addition of achievements.
This time around there’s 1,000 puzzles (an improvement upon the first MovieCat), and six new categories — PropArt, Rhyme Time (limerick based questions), In Quotes, Kitty Fare (children’s movies), Classics, and Details, Details (small factoids from films). Out of all of these Classics is by far my favorite, since the core game doesn’t tend to focus on old films all that often outside of the “Awards" category. It’s a great way to get younger audiences acquainted with older films, and I honestly think another Classics derivative would be a neat idea for the future, since the franchise tends to focus a tad too much on newer movies.
Having said that, the Kitty Fare category is great as well, as it may help older audiences acclimate to younger films. I’m not a big fan of PropArt or In Quotes (the former is too vague and the latter is basically just a generic category), but Rhyme Time is probably the most imaginative addition, and Details, Details can offer up some interesting (and tough) questions. 14 categories also return from the original, which is just as well, because it doesn’t feel like MovieCat 2 is “missing" content as a result.
This time around there’s a two player competitive mode, with the ability to go head to head with another player on the same device. You’ll take turns answering questions and earn scores based on your time and remaining lives, so things can get pretty heated down the home stretch. You’re able to pick your own avatar (like The Bride from Kill Bill or The Dark Knight‘s Joker), which is a nice touch. The only real disappointment comes with the fact that you can’t earn Cat Scenes in this mode — it just ends abruptly.
It would have been nice if the winning player had a chance to earn special multiplayer only Cat Scenes (or just the solo ones) — even a few would have been great. To take it a step further, a co-op or party mode supporting four players would have been a solid addition as well. Two player support is an improvement for sure, but it’s not mind blowing.
Despite a lack of high-concept features, MovieCat 2 manages to capture the fun of the original game with an updated collection of trivia. Even if you’re just going at it solo, it manages to be an enjoyable experience that any movie buff needs to try. Also, if the sequel is anything like the first game, you’ll have few major updates and more Cat Scenes to look forward to.