By Joseph Lim
Developer: Bolvërk Games
Publisher: Bolvërk Games
Genre: Action, Casual, Indie, Strategy
Platform: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality
Kittypocalypse is a strategic tower defense game, reminiscent of the classic Bloons Tower Defense, where monkeys fend off invading waves of colored balloons. Like their primate counterparts, humans are on the defensive. Laser towers and Gatling guns are speedily constructed and readied. However, they face unlikely foes: kittens.Cat lovers beware. Your kittens are aliens in disguise, waiting for humanity’s demise. During the tutorial, you will be standing on a lush field next to a Puss in Boot like kitten. While you marvel at it, a tinny feminine voice will tell you quite bluntly that “in this tutorial you will learn how to navigate as well as kill kittens.” Understandably, you will be horrified, because you have never thought that your obsession of cat memes could have been a result of kitten mind control experiments. According to the game, kittens have brutally occupied earth and surviving remnants of humanity have fled to a backup planet. Your task is to conquer the kittens and take control of earth once more.
Putting the ingenious story aside, Kittypocalypse borrows many standard features from tower defense games. The Laser, Tesla, Missile, Minelayer, Blobcelerator and Annihilator are well established tropes. The number of tower choices is manageable, not too many and not too few. Perhaps I should commend the game for staying true to the basics in light of other similar games which create diversity simply to encourage ingame tower purchases.
What’s noticeable is that each tower has a distinct purpose, defined by immunities and weaknesses that kittens have to certain towers. I appreciate that the Gatling tower isn’t something you install early in the game because it is cheap and can be discard later on because it is expendable.
Moreover, the kittens are smart, nimble and persistent. They target weak blind spots in your tower’s range, forcing you to make strategic choices which are expected and enjoyed in intense tower defense games. These kittens are not like mindless balloons or dumb zombies which attack at predictable angles and predetermined routes. I have come to consider them as worthy foes: complex, adaptable and cute.Yet, Kittypocalypse truly stands out because it effectively uses the possibilities virtual reality provides. The 3D environment allows kittens to act smart. They can run down valleys, go up hills and dodge bullets by swerving in unpredictable directions. This added dimension is what allows this game to feel novel despite its unoriginal features. Yet, it does break from an important convention. In most tower defense games, your perspective is fixed high above the terrain, giving you a authoritative but detached view. Kittypocalypse allows gamers to roam the battlefield at any angle, giving them a sense of involvement unattainable when playing tower defense on a desktop or a mobile phone.
The graphics are detailed and immensely appealing. From the dusty wild west to lush rocky valleys, the environments of all 15 stages are unique. You will notice that the design of the kittens are subtly tailored to that of each stage. You might drop your guard at the sight of an adorable cowboy dressed kitten. Likewise, the key to success in this game is to simply enjoy, but not become attached to, the cute kittens. Yet, I guarantee that a few waves of kittens later, you will be lasering, mowing and kabooming kittens with hysterical joy like the most serious of YouTube critics.
My verdict is simple: this game is amazing. The plot itself is a spark of genius. Although your perspective towards cats will forever be altered, this game invites you.
Story: 4.5 out of 5 – Kittens take over the earth.
Visuals: 4.5 out of 5 – The visuals are crisp, sharp and aptly suited to the theme of the game.
Playability: 2 out of 5 – The game prevents you from exploring
Replay value: 2 out of 5 – It’s a creative game idea, but I find little reason to return other than to introduce to friends.
User interface: 5 out 5 – You just have to sit back and enjoy.
Final Score: 4 out of 5