Rescue the Princess!
Princess Kitten has been kidnapped by the evil foxes. It's your job to rescue her with your team of four felines. As with all running games, once you start a level your characters will run automatically and continuously, although there are minor platforming elements. You'll have to jump up and drop down between platforms, leap over pits and traps and single enemies that you don't feel like engaging. All four kitties are controlled at the same time - so when one jumps, they all jump.
A Feline Force of Carnage
With each run through a map, you'll be collecting fish, looking for keys and battling foul foxes in order to collect gear. The point of the game is very much to repeat each map several times over. The fish are used to level up your feline gang, granting the ability to add three points to a combination of health, strength and speed on each ding.
The combat is pretty straightforward. Your lead kitten will run into an enemy fox, take and deal damage and then bounce to the back of the line so that the next can take a shot. There's no way to escape battle once it's started, so it will end either when the strike force or your enemies have been defeated.
Release Date: 04/07/2014
Strike Force Kitty is developed by Deaf Studios.
There are melee and ranged weapons available. A lesson I quickly learned was that equipping the lead cat with a ranged weapon was a bit of a waste, as they would always take damage before firing.
Your troupe of cats will make a painfully cute ‘Meow!' when they're out of health and tumble off the screen, unable to be used again until you start the next run.
Cosplaying Kittens in a Pop Culture Wonderland
One of the game's strongest points is the volume of costumes that are available to unlock. You'll instantly recognize some of the outfits that the foxes are wearing in what is a pop culture frenzy. Lara Croft, Gandalf, Robin Hood and Chun Li are just some of the early ones you'll come across.
The art style has a very cutesy-cartoon feel to it, and I give credit to Deqaf Studios for creating what is an original looking game. The way that the deadly strike force skip their way through the forest is adorable. Sadly, the music and sound effects don't compare. While serviceable, you'll struggle to remember any of the music once you stop playing.
Gear and Grind
Equipping gear will improve one of the three attributes, as indicated by an icon when hovering over a piece of a costume. Having one of your kittens fully commit to cosplay by making them wear a full outfit will imbue a special talent such as double shot, party healing and block chance. This adds an element of strategy to your gear setup - some talents are better than others, especially when doubled up, and deciding which cat wears which outfit becomes an important decision.
Sadly though, my experience with Strike Force Kitty lies more to the negative side. Repeating the same level several times just to get the last piece of the stronger outfit alone is extremely repetitive and grindy. It's entirely possible to go through five or six consecutive runs without unlocking anything. A fast forward button would be a welcome addition here.
My problems didn't end there, either. There are some pretty bad technical issues with Strike Force Kitty. Even when playing for a short, 10 minute spell it was obvious that the game was becoming increasingly laggy and jerky with each run.
What's worse, the controls, which are a bit iffy even on the first run, are also impacted by the degrading performance. If performance remained the same, players could adapt to the input lag - but the inconsistency in how the game runs means that you're never really quite sure what to expect. Sometimes the game will respond immediately to your input, sometimes there's a large delay and sometimes your commands are flat-out ignored.
There are problems with the size of the game, too. Having got reasonably far into the game, my tab locked up. Upon relaunching the game, I found that all of my progress had been lost. Apparently I should have changed the amount of cache space available to Flash - but there was no such recommendation within the game.
What started out as an initially promising experience quickly became something that I lost interest in. The poor performance and intense level of grind needed to make progress results in Strike Force Kitty being a game that just isn't for me, despite the strong theme and adorable concept.
If you're a fan of grind-heavy unlock games, then it's worth trying a couple of runs to see what you think. It is free, after all, and I'm still tempted to go back to my fantastic fellowship of ferocious feline fox-fighters, despite the problems.