Poof vs. The Cursed Kitty (PC) Review

By Az Elias 22.11.2013 1

Review for Poof vs. The Cursed Kitty on PC

The original arcade Mario Bros. game, in which Mario had to flip and kick endless hordes of turtles and crabs creeping out of pipes at the top of the screen, is one that never really saw much attention again, once the platformers that Mario is better known for became the huge successes they are. The idea to revisit the game and give it a bit of a makeover is one that hasn't happened, unfortunately. The arcade Mario Bros. is a game that's designed for endless pick-up-and-play action; one that tests patient players to rack up the highest scores with quick reactions once the enemies start flowing. It is unfortunate that Nintendo hasn't really seen fit to give it a true update with some fresh ideas and levels, and indeed, it does seem like the ideal eShop title that could be sold cheaply and perhaps be more popular than first thought. Developer Arkedo Studio has come up with its own take, however. Introducing Poof vs. The Cursed Kitty.

Poof vs. The Cursed Kitty draws a lot of inspiration from Mario Bros., with the same idea at play: endless enemies hop out from both sides of the screen, and work their way down to the bottom. The difference is that there's a little cat that the controllable dog, Poof, needs to protect, hanging in a glass tube on the bottom floor. Should any enemy manage to break the glass and reach the kitty, it's Game Over. It is very much a blend between arcade Mario Bros. and the average Tower Defence-type game.

In attempts to fend off the waves of bizarre creatures that emerge from the left and right, Poof can pick up and use items that can halt enemy path progress and destroy them, and the game quickly becomes an incredibly frantic and nervous endeavour that requires a quick eye and speedy reactions. At its free-flowing best, Poof vs. The Cursed Kitty is a fun little game, that again causes one to ponder the thought of Nintendo doing its own new take on the Mario Bros. arcade formula. The Tower Defence mechanic in protecting the cat, however, means some rounds will undoubtedly stop short relatively quickly if not paying attention or reacting fast enough, but a new round can be started immediately after to try again. Clearly, it is a quick-burst game that is suited to playing in moments of downtime.

Screenshot for Poof vs. The Cursed Kitty on PC

A hefty number of in-game missions allow for improving Poof's performance during each round when completed. These range from simply jumping on a certain number of enemies to the more difficult tasks, like surviving for a lengthy period of time or defeating baddies with particular weapons. Better weapons and items can be unlocked by doing these, making the game last longer and become even more hectic.

There are a few concerns that feel like they could have been avoided, though. Namely, there is no configuration for controls, whether that is keyboard or gamepad. The WASD method is the only movement option on the keyboard, with items being activated with a mouse click. It's very odd to not allow the arrow keys to be used or even bind the mouse buttons to the keyboard. This type of game is definitely perfectly suited to using a gamepad, but it is also strange that the D-pad cannot be used; the analogue stick is the only way to move Poof around, and not the ideal method at all for platforming in 2D.

The more the game is played, the more points earned, and the more rewards unlocked. A number of background music tracks, level themes and even the clothing that Poof and the kitty wear are all bonuses, but they are randomly applied upon starting a new round. It seems another peculiar decision to not let players choose their preferred setups.

Additional areas of the screen will become accessible through constant playing, but sadly, this is as far as level variety goes. There is only one set stage for the whole game, and despite the backgrounds changing or the very small opened sections later on, it would have been great to have some other levels to tackle, perhaps one with the stage being reversed, and the kitty being at the top of the screen instead, for example.

Screenshot for Poof vs. The Cursed Kitty on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

For a crossover between the arcade Mario Bros. and Tower Defence, Poof vs. The Cursed Kitty is a rather fun little game to pass away the small minutes. Even though there are issues with a lack of control optimisation, no further player customising of the unlockables, and the fact there is just the one same level to play on, it is the perfect example of a game that demands one more go, with those "small minutes" occasionally turning into something larger sooner than expected.

Also known as

Poöf vs. The Cursed Kitty

Developer

Arkedo

Publisher

Neko

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

This sounds like Arkedo going back to its roots, although I still hold out hope for another Big Bang Mini at some point. Hell Yeah was a bit disappointing, so it's good that this sounds more like 'back to the norm' Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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