The Average Gamer

Aqua Kitty Available Now On PlayStation Mobile

Aqua Kitty - Kitten Abduction At SunsetToday witnessed the launch of PlayStation Mobile. Originally announced at E3 2012 then a selection of upcoming titles previewed at Gamescom 2012, PlayStation Mobile games are now available to download from the PlayStation Store.

PlayStation Mobile games are different from the usual PS Store offerings as once you’ve bought them they can be played on any PlayStation certified device like the PS Vita, HTC Series One handsets, Sony tablets and Sony Xperia phones.

Developed by Indie studio Tikipod Ltd, Aqua Kitty – Milk Mine Defender is one of the PlayStation Mobile launch games. It harks back to the golden days of bedroom coding in the 80s and 90s when amazing 8 and 16-bit games like Captive, Alien Breed and Hired Guns were created by small teams. Captive, for example, was made entirely by brothers Anthony and Tony Crowther.

Aqua Kitty has a similarly small development team of three people behind it – Dugan Jackson (lead art/designer), Gabor Dorka (code) with Electric Café composing the chip music.

I’ve talked about Dugan’s games before as he’s responsible for the artwork in Curve Studio’s excellent Stealth Bastard and the PlayStation Network titles Gravity Crash and Eufloria and has previously written for us.

Aqua Kitty features classic Defender gameplay across 21 horizontally looping underwater levels. The game comes complete with a nonsensical plot too. There’s a world-wide milk shortage forcing cats to mine the vast underwater reserves of full fat milk whilst battling mechanical sea creatures. In real terms this means kill everything that moves.

You control a nimble little submarine with two weapons. Its main gun is a weak, single-shot, never runs out of ammo affair. The secondary weapon is a bit meatier. It fires triple shots in quick succession but needs to cool down after prolonged use. The key to saving the kittens and unlocking later levels is to balance your use of these weapons. It’s get all too easy to be ambushed by a ton of creatures while you wait for your secondary weapon to recharge.

Collecting the various floating power-ups that appear throughout each level make life a lot easier via extra health or more fire power via some cool looking kitten outriders with guns. There’s also a bomb power-up which spectacularly kills almost everything on screen when detonated.
Aqua Kitty - Explosions
Like the original Defender, there’s a small scanner at the top of the screen showing the locations of your milk mining kittens and all the enemies. This scanner proves invaluable in saving your kittens when, in true Defender style, they get lifted off the sea bed by special kidnapping creatures. You need to be quick to kill these bad guys before they get the kitten to the surface as your submarine can only operate underwater.

While play testing the game for Dugan, it took me a few hours to unlock most of the levels. You can blitz through the game by just saving one kitten per level and sacrificing the rest as you can get up to five of them to protect. However, the real difficulty and the replay value comes from trying to save all the kittens to get a gold award and/or chaining lots of kills to get score bonuses.

Be prepared for some very hectic later levels. I found myself manically flitting back and forth between milk mining stations protecting the kittens and shooting creatures which included crabs armed with pistols. Bane of my life those damn crabs.

There’s also an infinite mode if you want to test your shooting skills to breaking point and battle against never ending waves of sea creatures.

Aqua Kitty is also on Steam Greenlight as there might be a PC version if there is enough interest.

Aqua Kitty is available now for £2.79 from the PlayStation Mobile section of the PlayStation Store