Super Phantom Cat (iOS)

CAT_BOXSuper Phantom Cat is a 2-D platformer similar to classics like Super Mario Bros. Play as a blocky cat or any number of other critters as you stomp enemies, break blocks, and nab power-ups.  It’s available for download on iOS devices, but reviewed on iPad here.

If you’ve played a Mario game, you know what to expect here. On the bottom of the screen are touch controls to move your character left, right, jump, and use whatever power-up you’ve collected.  In each stage are bits of data (like coins) scattered about, and if you pick up enough, you can unlock a new character to play as, but they’re all mostly the same gameplay-wise.  You can hop on enemies to defeat them, and hit bricks with your head to break them up.  Sometimes you can find a power-up that’ll increase your health if you get hit, or let you shoot fireballs to defeat enemies and break bricks, or a ground pound ability to slam down on blocks below.  Hidden in each level are three stars.  Can you find them all?  You’ll want to, because getting enough stars is how you unlock new stages.  And that’s pretty much Super Phantom Cat in a nutshell.

The game has some problems, though. It’s pretty derivative, and I’ve certainly played better 2-D platformers before.  The touch screen controls can be a problem, too.  Usually in these kinds of games, the touch controls are hard enough, but here, the virtual buttons for left and right are spread way too far apart and I found myself pressing the wrong button on several occasions (maybe it works better on iPhone).  At least the game is cheap, and if you can’t get enough platformers you may still enjoy this one anyway.


Kid Factor:

Violence is pretty minimal. When you stomp or shoot enemies, they just break into smaller block pixels and disappear.  Reading skill is helpful for the instructions, but the game is pretty easy to figure out how to play regardless.  Younger players may get frustrated at the controls and difficulty later on.  Parental supervision is slightly recommended for the few in-game purchases and ads you can view if you want an extra life.

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