Captain Cat is a simple game with a simple premise. As console platforms start to see their small collection of casual games expand, Captain Cat should be thought of as one of the lighter examples of the casual genre. What it lacks in staying power and depth, it attempts to make up for in style.
Our titular character is hungry. Our cat wants dinner and is prepared to grab his fish supper with the longest fishing rods known to man. Each level has a simple goal – hook the fish. You do this by lining up the boat on the surface and then pressing and holding the fish button drop your fishing line. Each time you stop, your hook starts to sway from left to right and you need to judge when to press fish again to continue onwards. It is a giant line drawing exercise to get to the fish successfully.
Captain Cat places a few things in your way across its levels. Other fish may pop out and break the line. Water currents will carry the hook along in the direction the current pulls. Portals switch entries and exits. Jellyfish start swimming up the screen making timing tricky to pull off. Then there are fishing lines that can temporarily dig through walls and that changes things up again. Every few levels adds a new mechanic to the playing area and the last area of levels all require you to complete the level in one shot. These can be frustrating as you really have to line up the shot.
Thankfully controls are simple. Aside from moving your boat around (which strangely makes you constantly drive in one direction and then turn at the edge of the map rather than steer with the analogue stick) the game can be played with just one button. It is all in the timing and getting the right angle is critical. It is a shame then that sometimes the game feels a little sluggish with following through on your commands. There is also a mechanic where you need to slow down and stop after being dragged through a current. I’ve completed the game and I’m still none the wiser as to what was the best way to slow myself down – it really seemed hit and miss.
Each level has three stars. One for completion, one for finishing under a certain time and another for using less than the suggested number of moves. You can tackle these in separate runs and this provides the small amount of replayability Captain Cat has.