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CONSOLE: iPhone/iPad DEVELOPER: Reactor LLC PUBLISHER: Reactor LLC
RELEASE DATE (NA): October 14, 2011 GENRE: Horizontal Space Flight
// review by EscapeRouteBritish

Apocalypse Meow

With every great success, there are a thousand imitators out for a slice of the sweet money pie. Each "Internet Meme" spawns unofficial games all vying for quick bucks, and that's where we find Nyan 3D. I'll give you two guesses what that's a copy of. On face value, this game is trying to profit off of the Nyan Cat intellectual property. Underneath the subtle disregard for other people's works, the game is actually quite fun. However, the game was not made with the permission of Nyan Cat creator Christopher Torres. Being "parody," it doesn't have to be.

The goal in Nyan 3D is to survive an onslaught of obstacles which come hurtling towards you from offscreen. By tapping the left or right if the screen to change altitude, you can avoid the obstacles. Having a close shave will get you a Near Miss score bonus. Between this, generally surviving, and collecting tokens, you can increase your score. This is all the game ultimately boils down to, increasing your score and trying to beat your previous best. The gold tokens will allow you to perform a dash move, while the blue tokens grant you a shield which protects you from one hit. The difficulty is fairly high, making the game addicting due to the ability to quickly retry after losing.

Nyan 3D encourages multiple plays. It does this by having content locked out unless you meet the ridiculous criteria required to unlock them. Such criteria includes flying a certain number of meters, having so many near misses, or collecting enough tokens. These unlocks are time consuming, in a deliberate attempt to convince the player to buy a shortcut with real world money. The shortcut in question costs 99¢. There are also two purchaseable add-ons for the game. To call them add-ons seems criminal, as they already exist in the game code. To complain about this kind of practice seems like a waste of time now, because everybody is doing it. I still believe that if you feel the need to charge for any part of your game, just charge the full price up front.


Kitty out in space and I wanna touch it!

The sound design is a mixture of many different sources, but it is fine as a whole. Using the built-in music player provides you with the ability to listen to your own music stored on your device. Unfortunately, the music player is broken, and will continue to play the game music, and your own music, at the same time. To fix it, you have to tap the music toggle off, then on, which sorts out the problem. Why the issue persists in the first place is beyond my comprehension.

The graphics are nothing truly spectacular, but I do appreciate the overuse of particle effects. The default cat, Shuttle Cat, is easily the cutest and my favourite. There are other cats to unlock, each with their own music and slight variations in obstacles. The music that plays while controlling Shuttle Cat is like something you'd expect to hear playing when travelling through space in a video game, so it fits snugly. The default graphics are better than those for the other cats. The game looks incredibly polished and professional, despite the graphics being rather basic.

Those reeling after the loss of Flappy Bird, or players who simply enjoy a quick burst of casual play, can find what they're after in Nyan 3D. What I'd like to see is a version of the game with all the download content included, with a competitive up front cost. I would have no issues buying such a version, even taking into account the blatant 'inspiration' derived from a popular Internet meme.

Of all the Nyan-likes that I have played, Nyan 3D is quite easily the one I would most recommend. It takes up little room on your device and is a go-to time sink for those moments when you just want something to play, wherever you might be. Buying all optional content will cost just under $4.

What optional content, you ask? Let's see...


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