A big giant cat from the future? Makes sense to me…
In the future, everything is just too darned happy. To remedy this issue, a giant cat travels back to modern day Tokyo and convinces the inhabitants to start fighting with each other, thus reducing the future happiness. Ok, so the story may not have an amazing depth.
Meow Meow Happy Fight, from Big Pixel Studios, will certainly make an impact on the player. The style is very much influenced by Japanese Kawaii (cute) culture in which anything can be made to look cute by simply giving it bright colours and a cartoony look. Those of you out there who have heard of TokiDoki will know exactly what to expect in the style of this game. It’s like the Katamari games mixed with the animated versions of Hello Kitty and Pukka. The game is simply amazing to look at.
But looking is not all that we want to do, this is a game after all and we want to play. Meow Meow is a twin stick shooter, one of many on the iPhone, with a difference. Rather than following the standard formula of pitting the player against waves of enemies with the aim of gaining a high score, Meow Meow is more of a Deathmatch game.
The player is placed within an arena and challenged to fight against only a few enemies. Both the player and the enemies have infinite lives and the aim is to score the most kills before the time runs out. Coming first allows the player to unlock the next level. The levels themselves all look great, with their Kawaii stylings, and offer increasing difficulty as the player progresses. Markers on the sides of the screen give the player indicators to where they can find enemies to fight, and powerups to aid the player.
There are 24 levels to work through, 12 different powerups to find and use, and 15 characters to unlock. The various unlockable characters range from slightly to incredibly bizarre, but they all share that Kawaii cuteness that can be found throughout the game. They also each have different stats, allowing the player to gradually unlock more and more powerful characters (useful for fighting the more and more powerful enemies). There are also a huge, and I mean huge, number of collectibles to be found within the game. Following the theme of the game, these collectibles are a variety of different standard Japanese things that have been given the Kawaii treatment. These are dropped by enemies and mostly contribute towards your Happy Points total, which is the currency with which the player unlocks the new characters.
The game, unique graphical stylings aside, is pretty much a standard deathmatch shooter, rather than the classic twin-stick shooter that may have been expected. It is a huge amount of fun but is missing the one aspect that makes deathmatch games popular, multiplayer. Although the AI performs adequately, the lack of any multiplayer mode will certainly reduce the appeal. Maybe this is something that we can expect by way of a future patch or in Meow Meow 2?
Another point that may cause players some concern is the level of difficulty. When I said that the AI performs adequately, I perhaps should have described the AI as devilishly competent. Don’t let the overwhelming cuteness fool you, this game is no walk in the park. Even turning on the auto-aim, the players will find themselves struggling to get first in each level. The enemies become more difficult as the levels progress so that, even with unlocking more powerful characters, the game only just manages to be on the better side of frustrating.
So, what we find in Meow Meow Happy Fight is a deathmatch style shooter which, although difficult, will offer the gamer an entertaining experience. The majority of the entertainment comes from the variety of weird and wonderful characters that can be unlocked and the bizarre items that can be collected, as opposed to the actual gameplay, which is only just above average. A decent game with outstanding style.
Meow Meow Happy Fight, from Big Pixel Studios, is available on the App Store, here, for just Â£0.59 while the promotion lasts.