Bombcats is Out! (And it’s Huge!)

Bombcats is now available on the AppStore.  It’s free, so there’s no excuse not to download it if you have an iOS device (Android: Coming Soon!).

The reviews for the game have been pretty good.  One thing I’m sensing from them so far: Bombcats is a much larger game than I realized.  And reviewers don’t have time to play it all.  In fact, most have barely mentioned two of four main modes, and it appears no one has gotten to level 60 or so (out of 190 levels), and the one reviewer who made it to the 50s played for 3-4 hours.

If you see a review/preview saying the game is too easy, you can be sure they haven’t gotten to the Snow levels yet (aka the 50s/60s).  At this rate I’m guessing very few reviews (if any) will mention the Night levels (100+), which you get to about halfway through the game.

Rather than try to explain the entire game myself and ruin the surprises and sense of discovery, I’ll spread out that knowledge over the next week or two.  Even at that pace, I’ll probably be spoiling the game for some people if they’re only playing an hour or two a day.  For today, I’ll go over the first 4 modes, as you’ll see them all (though maybe not play them all) in the first 15-20 levels.  The 5th mode and Night levels I’ll leave for a much later date.

This map screen is taken from Kotaku’s review. You can see he has 102 suns (out of 742), and has completed most of the levels on this part of the map.

Take a look at levels 17, 18, 24, and 26.  Those levels represent the 4 main modes.

KITTEN RESCUE (Level 17)

This is the main game mode.  You need to collect 3 Suns and rescue all the kittens in the levels.  You’ll get 1 or 2 cats for each level (first two cat level is 31 I believe).

TIME TRIAL (Level 18)

Combine 5 Kitten Rescue levels with quick transitions, remove the Suns and Gems, and add a timer.  The only goal here is to go fast, and you’ll need to go fast enough to beat the 3 Sun time to advance.  You don’t need to use the same trajectories here as the original levels, you just need to get to the kittens as fast as possible.  Time Trial levels have fairly generous 3 Sun times early on, but get much tougher as you go along.

MARATHON (Level 24)

The first of the optional level types.  No kittens or Suns here.  Instead you get 2 extra jumps, a longer fuse for your cat, and you try to go as far as you can.  There are Sunflowers marking the distances you need to reach, and again you need to get a 3 Sun distance to advance.  Oh, and you cannot use Powers in Marathon mode.

CHALLENGE (Level 26)

The second optional level type.  Challenge levels are similar to Kitten Rescue levels, except you’re using a new cat, with new Sun locations, in a level you’ve seen before.  There are also no Gems in these levels.  The other major difference is you only get 3 attempts per day (though you can buy 3 more attempts for 500 Gems), and these levels can be pretty difficult.  Finally, if you finish a Challenge level, you’ll get a special prize, and can then replay that level indefinitely.

When I mentioned Marathon and Challenge levels are optional, that means you don’t have complete them to advance.  Except eventually you’ll have to complete some of them, because there are Sunlock map spaces that require so many Suns to pass them.  You’ll see a Sunlock every 25 levels or so.

Go Play It

And I think that’s enough of an introduction for now.  As the reviews mention, the game at first appears to be your standard highly-polished animal-based physics-puzzler.  But the more you play it, the more I think you’ll enjoy the depth, variety, and character it brings to the table.

Ready to give it a try? It’s available now, and it’s Free!

Not Alone

As I’ve mentioned before, Bombcats has not been a solo effort.  My family and friends, particularly my wife Cathy Schneider, have been very supportive and instrumental in a long and sometimes painful development process.

Chillingo has been pushing me to make the game better, deeper, and more interesting the whole time, and will be doing their best to make sure lots of people know about it.

On the art side, Nauris Krauze is the man behind much of the art you see in the game, particularly the environment art and cutscenes.

Last but definitely not least, Malcolm Kirby Jr. and Kyle Vande Slunt have provided the excellent music (Malcolm) and sound effects (Kyle) you hear in the game.  In fact, you can stream the soundtrack (or buy it for a small price) on Bandcamp: Bombcats Original Soundtrack.

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