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Catch-22 Review

By Dave Flodine, on October 16, 2012


Catch-22
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • So simple yet devious.
  • Relaxing music.
  • Once you get going, it becomes a zen game.

CONS

  • Would have liked to see more done with such a novel concept.

VERDICT

The name encapsulates the gameplay of this high score zen puzzler beautifully.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info
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It's very rarely the name of a game captures the entire spirit of the experience, but every now and then things work out that way. A catch 22 for those not in the know is kind of a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' situation, where taking one course of action might have dire consequences, but then the other option really doesn't put you in that much better a position. Interesting that such a nerve wracking scenario translates to what can be described as a zen gaming experience.

You control two marbles rotating around a circle in opposite directions. You start off controlling one, and by tapping the screen you jump over the other (to avoid smashing into a million pieces). Jumping also collects the coins. You may notice that the marbles leave streams behind them, and this comes into play rather quickly as once you collect the last coin, the game slows down briefly as you inhabit the other marble, and suddenly all the jump streams left by your escapades form the new path of your now opponent. Each switch increases the score multiplier, and it takes more and more coins to switch back, causing you to think each decision to jump or duck.

Once the initial bout of confusion ends, the game can quickly turn into a relaxing form of mediation, as time slows, and you anticipate each jump needed to advance. The music definitely aids reaching this plateau. While achieving this can be a great feeling, it falls into critique as the game can become too easy when you enter this stream of consciousness, and seeing that the difficulty doesn't necessarily increase so much as the time between switching marbles, it can get to a stage where the whole experience feels kind of tiresome.

This is only if you reach that zen state however, and really the game is so simple and elegant that it's hard not to recommend regardless of how skilled you become at it. This is a time waster done right and ironically, definitely worth the time you will certainly give it.

Screenshots

Screenshot 1 of 2 Screenshot 2 of 2

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