C.A.T.S.: Crash Arena Turbo Stars Game Review


Cats, robots, drills, saws and explosions in a new mobile game from the creators of Cut the Rope

C.A.T.S. somehow collects bingo from the doorstep: this is a fighting game about cats, robots, garage engineering and the spirit of rock and roll – among all fans of mobile games there is hardly a person who would not peck at least a couple of points from this list. Fortunately, a set of formal features is not the only thing that the new game from the creators of Cut the Rope has to offer.

Upon closer inspection, C.A.T.S. turns out to be an evolutionary continuation of King of Thieves, Zeppola’s previous game. In that game, the player creatively decorated their dungeon with deadly traps, grew gems in magical altars, and went to other players to steal gold.

In C.A.T.S. instead of crooks – seals, instead of crystals – boxes, and instead of combat mechanisms – combat parts of home-made cars. However, C.A.T.S. much less demanding: if in King of Thieves you had to get to someone else’s gold personally, then here the battles are automatic and very simple – two killer cars rush at each other from different parts of the arena, using weapons. Whoever runs out of energy first loses.

However, the intensity of passions of militant cats is no less. The mechanics of the game is built around the construction of cars: parts are given out as a reward, they are played in a sweepstakes, they are used to upgrade other parts. There are a sea of ​​possible options: different types of cases, gadgets, wheels of various sizes and, of course, weapons – drills, chainsaws, rockets, lasers and everything we love.

There are even more options to assemble a miniature killer robot from all this: there are several basic types of chassis, which in turn have a different number of slots for wheels, weapons and gadgets. Winning designs can be very different: for example, you can try to tilt the body due to different wheels in such a way that in close combat the car will lift the enemy.

whose weapon will simply miss. Or install a bucket, which in theory should turn the enemy over – but believe me, there are designs against such techniques. You can win even without weapons and without wheels: to do this, you need to make such a machine that the enemy jumps over it and naturally kills itself against the wall – the edges of the arena begin to “shrink” after a while, damaging the robots.

The key constraint in designing a feline death machine is energy. But don’t confuse it with energy from other free-to-play games, which, for example, allows you to play ten battles and then requires you to wait or pay. In C.A.T.S. You can fight as long as you like, and the main incentive to spend rubles is to immediately open boxes with new parts.

They are issued for winning battles, but if you do not pay, you will have to wait a few hours. The difference is unexpectedly very significant: in shareware games, the user often feels disadvantaged – especially when he is not allowed to go anywhere until he pays. In C.A.T.S. even this expectation turns out to be pleasant, because in the end you will be rewarded with new parts and bonuses anyway. Well, if it’s so unbearable, then it’s not a pity to fork out.

But you can fight – and you need to – as much as you like. There are two main reasons to fight: a tournament and random fights. Promotion in the tournament leagues pushes forward a conditional plot: its introductory part is reduced to one sentence – “my uncle, an Italian cat, gave me a death machine for my birthday and ordered me to become a champion.”

Each stage of the championship is a series of battles – to win, you must either stay as high as possible until the very end, or win the agreed number of fights in a row and instantly move to the next league. For this, in turn, they give out more advanced details and money. Random skirmishes are ideal for testing a new car, especially since they also give out their rewards.

The main feature of the battles is entertainment and unpredictability. A squat machine here easily overturns a powerful tank, which, however, continues to snarl due to the design features. Before the next round, you can study the opponent and skip the fight for a small bribe if the opponent seemed too toothy. But nothing can be predicted for sure – the battles in the game are comparable to a horse sweepstakes: this is a combination of strategy and pure luck, which makes you climb into battle again and again, even if there is nowhere to put the prize boxes.

The only thing I want to complain about is that the game seems to be embarrassed by its own capabilities. You can’t brag about replays of battles, and after all, records could have an additional benefit – to study other people’s tactics, draw conclusions. It is also impossible to store cars in a garage, and if you are going to reconsider your tactics, you will have to stupidly start designing from scratch. But these are all, by and large, trifles that will certainly be corrected in the future.

The success of free online games is not always a sprint, but a marathon, so it is difficult to predict how popular a new Zeppola game will become. But the application for success turned out to be impressive: if King of Thieves made rather high demands on the player’s skills, then C.A.T.S. turned out to be much less severe, but no less reckless and exciting. While it’s customary for serious gamers to turn up their noses at shareware games, C.A.T.S. – the very case when you can and should make an exception.