Level-based puzzle game? Check! Physics-based with momentum, arcs, and gravity? Check! Up to three stars for completing a level? Check! Cute graphics designed to appeal to the base nature of the internet? Check! Actually adds something to the flood of apps that followed 'Angry Birds'? Check! Does -- Wait a minute, does Catorize actually do something new and interesting with the physics puzzler genre? Yes it does.
Version Reviewed: 188.8.131.52
Let's start with the basics here, and as you've read in the introductory paragraph, Catorize is framed in exactly the same way as almost every physics-based puzzle game since the Avians were thrown in to the sky by Rovio. A screen full of levels to select from, stars to earn depending on how accurate and efficient you are in solving the level, and a high level of difficulty if you are looking to solve a level with the maximum three stars.
What's unusual about Catorize is that it uses almost the same control system as Angry Birds. Rather than a 'cat'apult at the start of a level to throw multiple felines, you can impart multiple throws on a single cat. Just draw back with your finger to set the power and angle of the next jump the cat will make, release your finger from the screen, and meeeeeeooow into the sky you go.
Obviously the fewer jumps you make, the more stars you can earn. Completing a level is a simple matter of collecting all the colours scattered on the screen by rolling over them (the plot is that all the colours have been stolen, by the way). Once you reach the last colour, the level ends. That's actually quite a rare occurrence in the game, it's more likely that you will fall down and touch the floor, bounce off the edges of the screen, or jump too high and become a lost cat.
Catorize is not an easy game to play, even just getting a 'pass' in a level, let alone the three stars, is going to tax you. Thankfully there is a good learning curve on show here, with the first level designed to show you the jumping mechanic, blowing winds and mid-air jumping in the next, sand traps in the next, and so on.
The level design is also smart and inventive with the various game elements used to create levels where the solution is relatively easy to see, but actually quite hard to put into practice. I'm happy with this level of difficulty, but I worry that it will make the game a touch too inaccessible for the regular user.
At least the game allows you to restart a level as quickly as possible. With only one life per level, staying 'in the zone' is an important consideration, and while I think there is an extra half second that could be trimmed out of this part of the app flow, it's fast enough to not lose the rhythm of the game.
Cateroize is quite a dark game, and by that I mean the graphics, rather than the dastardly depressing plot. With a black bezel around the gaming area and muted colours on a black gaming world view, this game is going to do wonders for your battery life, but there's nothing in the graphics that make Catorize a 'fun' game to play.
Nevertheless, I'm enjoying Catorize. From the pun-like name and strong cartoon styling, to the level design and challenge that it provides, this is a strong 'b-grade' gaming title. The name won't sell a handset on its own or convince someone to buy a specific smartphone in store, but it certainly makes you feel like someone out there loves developing for the platform and is willing to put the effort it.
Reviewed by Ewan Spence at