Video Game Review: ‘Meowzers: Action Cats’ is Purrfectly Serviceable

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CHICAGO – It’s pretty safe to say the internet is the best things to happen to cats since the litter box. Unless you were born without a soul, the odds are you have a favorite LolCat Meme, too. There’s “I should buy a boat” cat, Lawyer Cat, Lime Cat, Monorail Cat, and everyone’s favorite, Grumpy Cat. With kittens as popular as ever, it was only a matter of time until someone made them the protagonists of a mobile game. “Meowzers: Action Cats” is one of those games, and like a kitten in a carrier, is a curious package.

While the mobile, free-to-play, action/puzzler finds you in control of a team of furry felines as you trace your way around perilous bushes, yappy dogs, and fragile vases while attempting to obtain precious stars and nomming on the occasional mouse or two, it’s a game whose enjoyment factor depends ultimately on the user.

Meowzers: Action Cats
Meowzers: Action Cats
Photo credit: SillySoft

The gameplay is very similar to that “maze tracer” game you may remember from a string of prank videos a few years back. You know the one, you have to look very closely at your screen while navigating your computer mouse through the twists and turns of a…BLAMMO! there’s Linda Blair in all of her “Exorcist” accoutrement, including a blood-curdling scream sure to have you jumping you right out of your chair. “Meowzers: Action Cats” contains no such prank however, instead challenging you navigate a path around trees, bushes, dogs, holes, vases, and a variety of other path-obstructing objects as you attempt to collect all of the blue gems on a given level. It’s..quite simplistic, actually, and anyone who considers themselves any sort of *serious* gamer would very likely grow tired of it very quickly. If you pony up a dollar or so for the extra cats and the adventure mode, the proceedings become a bit more complex, as navigating one cat to collect the gems, another to distract a dog, and a third to collect the star on any given level can be occasionally harrowing, but the game will likely wear out it’s welcome among gamers fairly quickly.

Meowzers: Action Cats
Meowzers: Action Cats
Photo credit: SillySoft

However, there are more and more and more people playing games on their phones and tablets than ever before. Lots of these people don’t consider themselves hardcore gamers, and a lot of them are kids. For kids, especially younger kids (like 3-5 years old, or so) I wonder if perhaps “Meowzers: Action Cats” is perfect for them. As everything in this world becomes oriented to a mobile-platform, and the ability to tap and drag, and navigate a tablet computing device becomes increasingly more important in workplaces and educational settings, It’s probably an excellent idea to get kids as much hand-eye-tablet coordination as possible, and while I’m not a teacher, or a parent, or a child (despite what my parents may believe), I think “Meowzers: Action Cats” may very well be the unintentional edutainment title of the year so far.

Whether intentional or not, this game seems quite oriented toward entertaining young children. The graphics are bright, the three available cats (A boy cat, a girl cat, and a kitten) make three distinct noises - so you’ll naturally have your favorite, and there are dozens of levels to play if you pay out for the adventure mode, and the included survival mode (which has you facing stiffer and stiffer competition as you try to collect as many gems as possible) is completely free to try out - and endless, so if your kids have discerning tastes, let them toy around there for awhile to see if it keeps their attentions.

Meowzers: Action Cats
Meowzers: Action Cats
Photo credit: Team Meat

The only caveat to this “great for kids” framework I have kicking around in my head is that the game intentionally fudges around with grammar in the name of presentation. Your high-score is referred to as your “High-Purr” “I can Haz” pops up more than once, replay becomes “Repay”, and there are a bunch more of these intentional grammar flummoxes in the name of humor. It’s actually pretty cute if you can read, and if you’re a little bit of an older kid, there are certainly far worse ways to learn how to identify puns and plays-on-words - heck, a whole generation learned them almost exclusively from Eminem and look what it did to us.

Anyway, “Meowzers: Action Cats” isn’t the cutest cat on the block. If you’re looking for a hard-core puzzler, or a game that will challenge you for hours upon hours, you’re probably barking up the wrong tree- sorry, purring, up the wrong scratching post. But if by chance you have kids, or you yourself feel like you need to get used to the way a tablet functions for either work or school, purrhaps this game is for you.

“Meowzers” is available on iOS and most mobile systems for free. video game critic Paul Meekin

Video Game Critic

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