Since you are currently online and on a videogame-focused website no less, I’ll just go ahead and assume you know that the internet has a love affair with reviews of terrible entertainment. You have people who watch bad movies and make fun of it with their mockery and curse word filled rants. Heck, if a genre exists there is probably someone out there that has a webshow devoted to finding the weak links in said genre and ripping them apart for the sake of comedy. Amidst “angry reviews” of movies, music, comic books, and television, the one genre that seems to have the largest chunk of the bitchfest pie is videogames.
“Teh interwebz luuuuv deem sum laughin’ at dose terribull videa gamez LOLLOLOLLOL. “
- Billy Everycommenter
I’m right with you. For some reason seeing something fail and fail so very hard just makes you happy in some dark way. You get some warm tingles in your schadenfreude gland that feel oh so right. It could be for any number of reasons - it's not just limited to how much easier it is knock something down a peg instead of just pulling ourselves up a peg.
So why is it that when I – a videogame internet reviewer – am served up a genuinely terrible game on a virtual silver platter, I get ranter’s block? People that know me in the real world know that I am some kind of negativity ninja who knows just where to stick my twin sais of wit and sarcasm in order to best attack a medium’s weakpoints for massive damage. I mean, it is my job to call a spade a spade, and call a bad game bad. In this case, beating this little iOS title around with its own flaws just makes me feel like a big bully. It's like using a rocket launcher to kill a butterfly. Not even some giant Mothra-like deal; a normal, tiny butterfly that is already stuck in a spiderweb being urinated on by a squirrel. Ok, I’ve stalled enough. Let’s take Ol’ Yeller out back and mercy shoot it.
Say hello to goodbye, Catasplat.
Catasplat is another in a long line of projectile games that is ever so popular with mobile apps and free flash games. Story? You have living creatures made of some sort of goo called Splats. You are launching them at a large floating target. Roll credits. Story of the year. Gold star! A++.
In each level you must place a splat on one end of a simple seesaw-like contraption. You then have another splat jump on the other end in the hopes of hitting as close to the bullseye of the target as you can. You have some control over the angle the “catapult” sits at as well as the force being applied from the jumping splat. Occasionally there will be obstacles that you must aim around but each level is exactly the same. You get four splats to hit the target and the closer to a bullseye the higher your score. Since one splat is always needed to launch another this means that you only get to launch three of the four. The closer to the bullseye you hit, the higher your score, and once your level score is high enough you go on to the next level.
Wait... what year is this?
The closest thing this game has in the way of a gameplay hook is that as you progress you will be introduced to different splats. They are different colors and they have different names and shapes, but most importantly they have different weights. This means that when using a green splat (weight: 1) as a launcher verses a tan splat (weight: 3) the trajectory will be (say it with me boys and girls!) different. I can’t hear you! Different! Good.
There will be levels with various combinations of splat types which will cause you to consider the proper chain of events needed to get the highest score possible. Or there would if it wasn’t so glob darned boring as heck. The music is a forgettable but grating loop of 12 seconds of noise that made me miss the complexity of listening to my old dial-up modem trying to connect to AOL. The sound of the splats splatting had me searching the options for a mute button within five minutes. Once I got there the menus were so static, lifeless, and laughable I wondered if my phone had somehow opened a time portal to a flash game from the 1990's. My mind was so creatively numbed from this game that I started daydreaming about time paradoxes in order to not lose consciousness.
Ok it's not all negative. There is one thing this game does well. It works. It isn’t broken and never crashed. Of course, this is like being fascinated at a trout that doesn’t drown. It is the bare minimum that you expect out of it.
My list of “ways this game failed” is kind of a checklist of features the game has. While I can see they didn’t want to directly copy the slingshot concept from Angry Birds, the way the angle, weight, and power are implemented is clunky and quite unsatisfying to use. The splats launch at a speed that gives no sense of actual speed. You in no way know what the score needed to clear a level is, so you have no real goal to motivate you. You only know you failed a level because the "next level arrow" is grayed out. There is no variety in how the various splats act or behave aside from their slightly different weight values. There are no powers or augmentation in their trajectories. Just blobs of color with eyes.
I just take no joy in this. I usually critique a game negatively because it disappointed me. I expected more and it failed to give me a fun experience, or I could see the potential in the concept and there is a stumbling on the execution. Underneath it all I can usually find some positive things and I always hold out hope that the developers either fix the problems or learn from its mistakes and make a better product next time. Here, I’m not disappointed because that would imply that I had great expectations in the first place. From the second I downloaded the title to the time I put it down, I was just filled with emptiness. I’m not just saying people shouldn’t buy it. I’m saying the game shouldn’t exist anymore. All I have left is a parodic paraphrasing of a 1995 goofball comedy classic.
Mr. Siso Solutions Limited, what you've just developed... is one of the most insanely idiotic games I have ever played. At no point in your boring, directionless campaign were you even close to anything that could be considered an entertaining moment. Everyone who has played it is now dumber for having experienced to it. I award you my lowest score ever, and may God have mercy on your soul.