Developer: IJ Software
Platforms: iPhone (reviewed), iTouch and iPad
Release Date: 14 June, 2012
Price: $0.99 – Available Here
Disco Kitten, despite its name, isn’t a music game. It comes under a far harder to decipher genre, although the disco music is certainly there. It’s all about reactions, attention span, and a little bit about knowing rhythms well enough to be able to predict certain occurrences.
Disco Kitten involves a kitten named Punka, who hops about on little platforms in front of these large canisters that absorb lightning that shoots down from above. You have to move rapidly from platform to platform, careful to not get caught out by the lightning as it comes down.
The canisters store the lightning and Punka drains the lightning by being on the canister’s platform, which then goes into Bunka, a giant cat head. Bunka gradually drains energy itself, so you have to try and collect energy as quickly as possible. Quick movements and speedily draining canisters is your friend, which is why it’s great if you get a speed bonus because you can flicker between each platform and gather the lightning as quickly as possible.
Moving quickly between platforms also activates disco time, and gives you bonus points at the end of the level. Disco time is like most bonus modes, it lets you drain lightning faster and leads to more points in general. Disco time is presumably why the app got its name, although I don’t really see it’s purpose apart from having some colours, lights, and making the soundtrack go crazy. As a power-up mode goes, I don’t really see why it seems to be the focal point for the game, but putting that aside, it isn’t really a bad thing in any way either. It’s just a little random.
You can fail the level in a few ways. First, if Punka gets caught on a platform that is hit by lightning, although this doesn’t result in immediate failure. It just drains lightning from Bunka and sends you back to the main platform, unless you’ve run out of energy that is stored in Bunka, in which case you fail the level. Another way to fail the level is if the canisters become full and they then turn to stone.
You play through the different difficulty levels: easy, normal, hard, expert, and master. And with each difficulty level there is a different number of stages within each level. As these progress you get different types of canisters, and the rhythm gets more difficult and you have to get quicker and quicker as you go. So if you’re finding it too easy in the beginning then be patient. One downside is that you have to complete each difficulty before moving on. If each difficulty had the first stage unlocked so that you could unlock it at your own speed and without needing to go through all the easier ones first, then that would have been great.
Disco Kitten looks a little like a stereotypical disco threw up all over it, which sort of fits the title. It also takes one a bit of an Asian anime feel, with the cute kittens and the expressions on the canister’s faces. The graphics are decently done, but they’re just a big too crazy and colourful for my taste. Still, it certainly represents what the app is supposedly about, so it can’t be faulted for that. Especailly when it hits Disco time and the whole game goes crazy.
The soundtrack is basically the same as the visuals, a stereotypical disco with a whole bunch of extra energy and craziness put in. And unfortunately that just results in an extremely repetitive soundtrack that basically doesn’t change unless you enter disco time, when it manages to get even crazier, more in your face, and a little grating. While the fast pace of it helps to keep you on your toes and keep the blood pumping, it might also be a good idea to turn off the music, because chances are it’ll annoy you.
Disco Kitten is a really fast paced game that demands a lot of attention, can get somewhat frustrating because of this, but also works well in small doses. This is the sort of game that you can power through a couple of stages, then hit a wall, put it away, and grab it later on and play it again. It takes some definite patience to master, but is easy enough to learn, and is a pretty easy way to wile away the hours and pit yourself up against your friends, and random strangers on the internet, to judge just how good your reflexes are.