The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.
These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.
Without further ado…
Fly Catbug Fly!
Our pick for Game of the Week flew somewhat under the radar amongst a hefty list of new releases, but it's definitely a game that's worth your attention. It's Fly Catbug Fly! [$1.99] from Frederator Studios and Cartoon Hangover, and developed by Ludoko Studios. If you're asking yourself what a Catbug is, you're not alone – I didn't know either until this very game released. For those not in the know, Catbug is a character on an internet cartoon show called Bravest Warriors which was created by Pendleton Ward of Adventure Time fame. It's been running for about a year and a half and airs exclusively on the Cartoon Hangover YouTube channel. Here's a "Best of Catbug" compilation video so you can get a sense of the character.
Now, it would have been easy to just take a popular character (on the Internet, anyway) and slap them into a half-ass advergame and call it a day, but that's not what they did with Fly Catbug Fly! In fact, it's the attention to detail in the game that really stuck out to me, along with the fact that it's just an incredibly fun game. Catbug is a cave flyer that plays very similarly to Jetpack Joyride. Hold the screen to ascend, let go to descend, you know the drill. However, Catbug puts a neat twist on how you earn your score. You're judged on distance, obviously, but you can also earn cash by collecting various weird objects as you're flying Katamari-style. Every so often there's a portal that, when flown through, will "cash in" all the objects you're currently carrying. So not only are you trying to survive as long as possible, but you're trying to collect as many objects as you can and take advantage of every opportunity to cash them in.
Another neat twist in Catbug is the ability to dive by pressing a button located in the corner of the screen. It's a simple addition, but it can be invaluable if you're trying to avoid a hazard, collect an item or hit a portal and the natural gravity in the game isn't dropping you quick enough. You also get three life hearts each game, so it's not instant death should you briefly screw up and run into a wall or something. Finally, if you hit a thousand meters you'll enter the "Hyper Mode" of the current environment you're playing, which is much faster and more difficult than the regular mode. Get a thousand meters in Hyper and you'll unlock the next environment, then the Hyper version of that, and so on until you've unlocked all eight environments in total. Here's the official trailer for the game.
To cap it all off, Fly Catbug Fly! has a surprisingly extensive character progression system. You'll be able to take all that money you're banking during play and spend it on increasing Catbug's attributes, buying special power-up items, and even companion characters that'll help you out during a run. Of course, there's also a huge selection of fashion accessories for Catbug, and as usual I'm a total sucker for playing dress-up with the adorable little guy. As a special touch, however your Catbug is currently configured is what displays during the brief loading screen before a run. It's those kinds of details that make Fly Catbug Fly! so endearing. Oh, and if you're thinking this might be a paidmium game and you'll be grinding your eyeballs out trying to unlock all these cool items, don't worry. There's no IAP in the game to speak of.
What could have easily been a thrown together advergame to promote an internet cartoon is in actuality my new favorite cave flyer, even rivaling what I consider the pinnacle of the genre in Jetpack Joyride, though they're different enough from each other to happily coexist. If you're already a Bravest Warrior fan definitely give Fly Catbug Fly! a try, but even if you're never heard of the show before you really have to give it a whirl if you enjoy cave flyers.
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