There are games that surprise you with innovative gameplay, others whose graphics and special effects result in depressions in the floor courtesy your jaw hitting it again and again, still others whose compelling storyline or plot keeps you anchored to your mobile device for hours… and then there are those that manage to combine a whole lot of elements and serve them up with an amazingly cutesy interface that will keep you coming back for more. Disney are experts in that last department – a lot of us played Where’s My Water as much for the water puzzles as for ensuring that the adorable Swampy (a cute crocodile – yes, such things exist) did not break into tears. So it is hardly surprising to see them repeat the formula in Mittens, their latest game for iOS devices (an Android version is on the way, we hear).
Mittens is all about a kitten. Who is in love with another kitten. And in the best romantic tradition, has to get stuff for her. Which is where the game comes into its own. For the objects of her desire, be they bottles of milk or balloons, are placed at locations that can at best be called perilously, at worst, outlandish – on house ledges, near circus cannons, next to hammer waving clowns or frying pan waving mustachioed humans…you get the idea. But love conquers all, so our brave kitty has no option but to get past everything and get aforementioned article.
And he does so using a collection of tricks that will be very familiar to anyone who has been playing physics-oriented games on their devices for a while. There are pieces of wood that need to be cut away to pave the path for Mittens, cannonballs that have to be tilted to fire him in the right direction, trapezes and chimpanzee’s bellies (!)that have to bounced off, and air drops that have to be taken from passing birds…and of course, if you manage to grab the gems that are littered on your path, you get to play a few extra levels. Deja vu? Yes, there is lots of it, but it is all so well presented that you mind it not a whit. Mittens looks incredibly cute and does something whenever you touch him and utters a joyous “miaow” every time you finish a task with three gems. He looks puzzled when placed inside a cannon, and his ears flick back in fear as he hangs on to a bird for dear life. And the music is classic Disney – a peppy mix of swing and jazz.
Mittens is very much a triumph of presentation. You are not going to go find anything radically new here, but what you will get is familiar fare, presented brilliantly. Yes, it has its flaws – there is no way in which you can review the route Mittens has to take – you just get a brief overview at the beginning of every task and as you reach towards the end of a level, the challenges get so complex that you actually have to improvise as poor Mittens flies along, as you simply cannot remember which clown was sliding in which direction or which was rolling where and the game gives you no option to find out. But on the flip side, Mittens is incredibly simple to play with hardly any learning curve, and thanks to the ‘cute kitty’ factor amazingly addictive.
Would you pay 99 cents to go “awwww”? We would. Which is why we think Mittens is well worth a download.
Available from: iTunes App Store
Price: USD 0.99