Kitten Escape in Review – Katnipped!

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For puzzle fans, developer nagisa have rustled up a great addition to the Rush Hour puzzle genre which doesn’t mouse around. At 99 cents, Kitten Escape sports hundreds of levels, an online scoring system, leaderboard and a good set of selection tools at its disposal. So, is there any reason to drop the cat? No, grab it. But, if you want to know why, read the review!

Kitten Escape is great from the get-go. Moving blocks around is just like the wooden or plastic version. Swipe left, right, up or down to move pieces out of the way so that the big, red cat can escape. Each piece moves swiftly and resolves with a satisfied ‘thud’ when clicking into place and upon finishing a level, your cute cat escapes with a satisfied meow.

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With each move, the step counter in the upper left corner increases by one – a number which is very important if you are to succeed in the online learderboards. But, during play, if you notice a better way to complete the puzzle, or just want to depreciate that number by a couple of moves, the ‘undo’ key is a great way to bolster your ranking. While I’ve not tried to undo any of my disaster levels to 0 from 100, I can confidently say that the system is at least deep enough for 30 or more undo’s – a pipeline which reminds me of the infamous Pentium 4, but Kitten Escape is a great performer which won’t overheat your iDevice nor be tromped on by a three-letter company.

Selecting levels is easy – a task which can be activated from the very start of the game. No need to get hot and bothered in solving all 8 original levels. In other words, if you ain’t satisfied with the introductory ‘lesson’ levels and want to chomp into the more meaty stages, you can. Level selection is good, make no mistake of that. But, it could be made more robust by including a preview of the next challenge. As it is, you either select from a roll-counter, or move the tiniest of cursors to select one of the hundreds of extra levels with arrow keys. With no thumbnail preview, your selections are like blind dates, a box of chocolates, or Apple’s next app rejection: without rhyme or reason.

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For those who get interrupted by a teacher, a stupid business call, or a conference, be comforted: Kitten Escape will not let the cat out of the bag. Your progress is saved whether a call comes in, you accidently hit the ‘home’ button, or someone asks to borrow your iDevice which comes back encrusted with the oily ‘pull my finger’ icon burnt into the last page of your springboard.

I will admit that yet again, my ineptness has kept me from truly soaring far in this game. As it is, I am on Level 5 with a not-so-clever score of 100 moves on level 4. But, that is par for the course – I simply suck at puzzlers, though I find them a great way to waste doddle around and enjoy the lazy 5 minutes before my I must give up my seat on the train to someone who looks less healthy than me.

For the dedicated, Kitten Escape is worth hundreds of hours worth of play – there are that many levels. Fortunately, those hundreds of hours don’t have to be spent listening to repetitive music. In fact, Nagisa haven’t injected the app with annoying puzzler music. Rather, pop in your favourite John Denver track from iTunes, start Kitten Escape and start flipping through levels in pure country-music bliss. Some apps which allow iTunes playback have stability issues – not Kitten Escape. Like the blocks from which its graphical wood is carved, ‘dis be one solid cat. I only wis dat it did da iTunes muziks from da app itzelf. (Yeah, you read that right – my best cat voice).

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So, is Kitten Escape good? Yeah. It is fun? Yeah. Is it worth the 99 cents? Triply yeah’d. If Kitten Escape had a preview mode for its level selection screen (which needs a facelift), it would be kitten-kissed. But, the game is damn fun. Challenging, with online scores, an undo pipeline for the faint of heart, great wooden pieces which thud into place and of course, the cat’s meow, Kitten Escape is like CatNip and heartily grabbed by TouchMyApps.

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App Summary
Title:Kitten Escape (v1.7)Developer:nagisa
Price:$1.99App Size:0.5 mb
  • Great Rush-hour game
  • Great ‘wooden’ graphics
  • Solid wooden thud and the cat’s meow sounds are icing on the cake
  • Level selection is huge – can be played for hundreds of hours
  • Online score and leaderboard
  • Music from iTunes catalogue can be played through Kitten Escape
  • Automatically saves your progress
  • Level selection needs preview/thumbnail review
  • Would be nice to be able to be able to select iTunes music from app

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