Commuting Cognition: Cat Bird

What is this?

I’ve never been a big mobile game player, but I ended up working in a mobile games company (opinions are my own etc), so I’ve been trying to expose myself to more games in this market and attempt to gain an ever-better understanding of them. One of the ways I’ve been doing that is in trying out new games, seeing what they do wrong and right, and try to draw conclusions from them that I can use in the future to make our games better. One of the resources I’ve been using for this is TouchArcade (not sponsored), and their columns listing the new iOS games of the week.

This resulted in me playing a lot more new games during my daily bus rides, but I also feel the need to discuss them somewhere and keep a log of my thoughts instead of just internalising them. So, Commuting Cognition. These will be brief, bus-ride-long thoughts on these games, and should be seen less as reviews and more as first-impression brain dumps. They also may not be daily, depending on how full the bus is that day.

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Cat Bird!

Cat Bird is a gorgeous-looking platformer designed for controllers.

The controls are virtual buttons, two to move, one to jump / hold to float. I’ve gone on at length about my dislike of virtual buttons and i’ll continue that trend for this game; playing this just makes me wish i was playing it on PC, or a Switch, or somewhere where button-based design actually feels right. Seeing these games just feels like a wasted opportunity, especially when there are examples like Super Cat Tales that take such great advantage of the platform they’re designed for; more than that, it just feels lazy.

If you can look past the virtual buttons, the game seems alright. Can’t say i’m fond of the level design since i got stuck really early on and am not sure if i just don’t know what to do or if the jump i’m trying to do is too pixel-perfect; it’s likely the fault is all mine, but that’s not great signposting either.

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