Disco Kitten Review

There are great iOS games, and then there is Disco Kitten. There’s little to be said other than the game being a victim of its own potential innovation, which fails to embrace any qualities other than monotony, frustration and eventual disinterest. It’s also tragically devoid of any sense of purpose or true stylistic direction, exacerbated by some odd visual design choices.

Developer: IJ Software
Publisher: Chillingo
Reviewed on: iOS (iPad)
Also Available On: iOS (iPhone / iPod Touch)
Release Date: Available Now

Disco Kitten revolves around Punka, the titular robotic groove-loving feline of this game. This, however, is where any relation to the title ends. Despite the name there is little disco to be found here, and the game refuses to become the rhythm action title it hints at. Punka is tasked with filling a larger, fatter cat with electricity – the reasons for said self-administered cat electrocution is beyond me – and must do so by collecting the electro-juice from other, willingly zapped animals; and no, I have no idea why either.

Collecting the electricity from the tall, cylindrical animals is a matter of tapping on them whenever they aren’t being topped up by their zappers, and the skill lies in jumping between the creatures of each stage without being zapped and ending your combo.

Buttons in one half of the screen, flashing warning lights (top) in the other. On an iPad, this doesn't work.

Buttons in one half of the screen, flashing warning lights (top) in the other. On an iPad, this doesn't work.

So far, so Tap Tap Revenge on easy. Disco Kitten threatens to become a fun beat-matching game, but is ultimately limited by its own concept. The early warning system of impending zapping is a flashing light at the top of the screen, but it’s on the edge of peripheral vision and as such can easily be missed by less eagle-eyed players. Recovering from broken combos is iPad-smashingly slow, especially when cylinders are close to becoming full – the sole game over condition – and the chants of “PUNKA PUNKA PUUUUNKA!” each time the poor animals are electrocuted to within an inch of their life is irritating.

The visual style leaves something to be desired, especially when looking at Punka itself. While most of the menus and characters are dressed functionally in flat, chunky textures, Punka appears to have been created in ten minutes by a 3D modelling newbie and exported as a series of 2D sprites. It sits horrendously against the backdrop and, amazingly, these ‘unique graphics’ are even lauded as a major feature on the game’s App Store listing. Which is optimistic.

Innovative concept with potential
Bizarre presentation decisions
Generally boring and frustratingly slow

There’s something to like about Disco Kitten – and that’s its potential. But as an actual, functioning title, there’s very little here to satisfy. Save your pennies for a dedicated rhythm action title, or anything else altogether. Or give them to a homeless person. Something. Anything else. Just not this.

Review copy provided by Chillingo
Official Game Site

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