Feb 16, 2015
When cats aren’t busy playing the keyboard, flying on rainbows across the sky and generally being cute for the Internet, they have to eat. At least that’s what the game Feed the Cat suggests.
Feed the Cat turns the concept of feeding the cuddly creatures into a puzzling affair in its most literal sense — players must solve puzzles by swiping food across levels and into hungry cats’ mouths. The concept is simple and adorable, but the execution fails as the game’s levels are about as challenging as actually feeding a cat in real life.
In each level, players have two or three hungry kittens spread across the game board waiting to be fed. Available food items, which equal the amount of cats on the level, are put in precarious spots on the board. The objective couldn’t be more clear even if it wasn’t the game’s title — players must swipe the food through the level to the cats and feed them. Of course, feeding these cats isn’t as easy as its name implies.
Various complexities stand in the way between cats and their feed. The game board is also filled with endless pitfalls, and levels are designed in a maze-like pattern to cut off small portions of the board. Swiping up, down, left or right will not just move a single food item, but instead will move them all in the selected direction. This means players will have to carefully map out two or three moves before making one, otherwise they will end up falling victim to some of the game’s traps.
Unfortunately, puzzles offer little challenge, at least not until getting deep into the game. After failing levels once or twice using a trial and error method, it is rather simple to feed all the kittens. Players won’t feel a crucial need to think critically or develop a strategy until reaching level 70, or even beyond. A little outside the (litter) box thinking and a few more obvious moves will help players complete challenges with ease, which is actually disappointing for a puzzle game.
The presentation of Feed the Cat is befitting of its genre. The cartoon caricatures of kittens are adorable, and the food looks so cute players will feel bad feeding fishes to cats. Aside from that, however, the design is boring and uncreative. Pitfalls placed throughout levels lead to an endless space, which makes no sense given the subject matter. For a game of this type, players expect to see colorful, interesting levels, but instead, level design uses bland, repetitive earthy tones. In fact, levels are barely distinguishable from each other, and there are no zones or worlds that switch up the style.
Feed the Cat has a simple concept, but is full of untapped potential. The game’s puzzles inspire creativity, but that is about the only part of the game that shows any signs of imagination. Challenges are easy to overcome, and combined with the lack of zones to progress through, players feel no sense of satisfaction when solving puzzles. Overall, Feed the Cat is much more Grumpy Cat than Nyan Cat.