Cats Away Preview

Okay, I don’t know quite how to explain this, so I’ll just say it plainly: the folks at ZigZaGame, Inc., are making a game about UFOs abducting cats. Yes, the same ZigZaGame responsible for the iOS port of Adventure Bar Story! This promising developer has a fair bit of competition in the JRPG genre but I’m pretty sure they’ve got a lock on the whole UFO cat thing. We scratched at a preview build of Cats Away and, amazingly, found it purr-ty addictive.

The gist of gameplay goes something like this. You hold at the screen to rev up your tractor beam and then drag up once you’ve got a cat or two (or five) in tow. Your tractor beam is very weak at first but gradually strengthens as you rack up feline collections, so you have to strategically target small cats before working your way up to the giant tabbies.

So where does the fun factor come from in a game this silly? For starters, Cats Away does the sensible thing and lets you upgrade your UFO — you have a limited time to maximize your collections and you’ll reap reward coins in accordance with your score. It’s important to pump some cash into your vehicle so it can take advantage of stronger tractor beams and other bonuses; only then will you be able to reach the achievements listed for each world.

And it’s the achievement handling that makes Cats Away truly interesting as long as you can swallow the premise. Performance stars needed to unlock the game’s worlds aren’t tied to your score so much as they are to the number of feats you’ve accomplished — raking in a five-cat combo, building your tractor beam to a lofty strength level, or capturing a high value cat. In tying progression directly to achievements, Cats Away is already a little out-of-this-world as far as iOS goes.

The devs tell us they’re aiming for a July release at a price of $0.99. Check out the game’s Facebook page and ZigZaGame’s Twitter account for the latest news.