Super Phantom Cat 2 (iOS, Google Play)

Super Phantom Cat 2 is a 2-D platformer sequel to a mobile game I reviewed last year.  In the new game, Ari the cat and his little sister Ina are exploring some ruins when they find a giant robot.  A UFO swoops down and captures the robot and Ari’s sister, so now he sets out on a new adventure to save them.  Super Phantom Cat 2 is a free-to-play download for iOS and Google Play, but reviewed on iPad here.

Controls are pretty simple to learn.  You have touch screen virtual buttons to move left and right, and one to jump.  In some stages, you can collect a power that’ll allow you to shoot some sort of projectile or use a certain skill, adding another button to push.  Some of these powers are pretty standard stuff, like a butt stomp move for breaking floors, or an ice shot to freeze enemies and make platforms on walls.  Other powers are a bit more creative, like one that allows you to warp between walls, or one that lets you shoot out plants so you can climb up walls and ensnare enemies.  Stages are typical 2-D platformer fare, where you move left to right, stomping enemies and avoiding obstacles.  Boss stages mix things up by having you continuously run, similar to Super Mario Run.

Each stage has various collectables for you to nab.  Coins allow you to buy items in the shops.  Hidden stars and treasures can net you more coins and special Diamonds.  Gather enough Character Crystals to unlock new playable critters.  They may look different, but they all mostly pretty much play the same.  When you complete levels, you’ll gain experience and when you have enough, you can open up a new shop.  Shops allow you to make items with the coins you’ve collected.  You can make potions to refill your hearts when you lose them all, keys to open certain treasures, and balloons if you fall into a pit.  But you’ll have to wait a while for the shops to finish making those items.  Or you can use crystals to make them instantly.  It’s just part of how free-to-play games work.

Other free-to-play quirks include having energy bars that go down when you start a level, and you have to wait a while for them to refill.  You can also view ads to double your coins after a level, but it’s optional.  Really the free-to-play stuff didn’t give me any problems.  I did feel like the left and right buttons were spread too far apart, although I imagine it works better on an iPhone.  I just prefer to play games on my iPad because of the bigger screen.  One other minor quibble I had was that if you die too many times, they give you an option to play as the invincible Phantom Cat to make the level easier.  Which is fine and all, but they don’t give you an option to pass on that feature and keep playing as the regular cat.  So you’re forced to use your crystals to do this unless you reset the game.

Really the only MAJOR problem I had with the game was that it’s a bit buggy.  When you start a level, it’s rather choppy at first.  After a while it gets better.  Also, the game crashed on me quite a bit.  I don’t know if it’s the game or because I just have an older iPad, though.  The bad part is I did make it to the very last level, but it kept crashing on me so much that I couldn’t beat it.  I think I would’ve liked the game a whole lot more if it weren’t for that.  I will say that the game is mostly improved from the original, as all sequels should be.

Kid Factor:

You can stomp on enemies that break into smaller squares when defeated, but that’s about as violent as it gets.  No worse than a Mario game.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, but not necessary just to play.  The game is pretty easy, so younger gamers shouldn’t have too much trouble with it, but some of the later levels may get frustrating.  Parental supervision is recommended for the in-game purchases and ads.

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