With Christmas right around the corner, I am now looking for festive apps for you folk to play over the season. Last week, we looked at Christmas crafts, and so this week I tried to find something different, like a game with the same merry theme.
It did not take me long to find Christmas Stories: Puss in Boots in the App Store, and as I was a big fan of the animated films with smooth-talkin’ Antonio Banderas providing the voice of the booted moggie protagonist, I guess I was drawn to it.
It promised no in-app purchases, which is always a plus these days, along with great game play, and lots of challenges. It had also garnered some good reviews and seemed to have an interesting story. A star was stolen from a Christmas tree and cats were involved? It’s like the app had been written just for me!
As I have more cats than I care to mention, I figured I’d have an advantage here.
I could not wait to see what Puss in Boots had in store for me.
How it works
This app has a dizzying array of options, and that was just when you’re choosing your level of difficulty! Give yourself a bit of time to get into the story and grasp how it works, particularly if you’ve not played this kind of app before.
When you first open it, you’ll get taken through a brief premise of the tale, with an appearance from Puss in Boots himself. This is when you find out that the star has been taken, and Puss announces, “I’ve got to stop Christmas from coming!” Gasp! You’ll get this intro every time you open the app in the future, but you’re given the option to skip through it.
Next, you enter your name and finally, you have to choose the difficulty level.
There’s Kitten Mode, the easiest one, that will give you all the hints and direction you need when you get stuck.
Then there’s Santa Mode – a bit more difficult – that cuts down on the assistance somewhat.
The Puss ‘n Boots Mode is for the confident, wily cats among us, who know exactly what they’re doing without any help whatsoever.
There’s even a fourth Custom Cat option, where you can change the settings to your specific preferences, including how quickly the hint recharges, turning the sparkle indicator on and off, and so forth.
These are all options that can be changed wherever you are in the game. If you start off and find it too easy, you can ramp up the difficulty later on, or if you were too confident at the beginning and highly regret it, you can switch to Kitten Mode.
Your adventure begins when you find a stray cat on your doorstep. You take pity on it, and bring it into your house. Everyone goes to bed.
At some ungodly hour, however, you are jolted awake by the cat named Simon that can now suddenly talk to you. Imagine, if you will, what that would be like in real life.
Just as you’re grappling with this new and rather shocking revelation, Simon insists that you follow him to the North Pole via the moon glade (that was right, the moon glade) to try and track down the thief of a Christmas tree star.
First you need to pick up inventory items in your room, like gloves, a hat and other pieces of clothing to help ward off the cold; then, before you know it, you’re heading to a set of gates with Simon. To unlock them, you must match star patterns in the heavens above. The open gates allow you to pass over the moon glade, where you’ll meet Santa, some other cats, and try to figure out what the heck you need to do next.
The levels are pretty involved with sparkle indicators all over the place, not to mention loads of items to collect.
You’ll have regular tasks to complete, like assembling pieces of a ripped image to find further clues, and when in doubt – tap away at random wherever you are. Odds are good you’ll find something you need to add to your inventory.
As you follow the story along, you’ll be given more information on what’s happened to that star so you can hone in on the thief. Santa mentions early on that there were human footprints at the scene of the crime … or boot prints, to be specific. Hmmm … man or moggie?
When I tried it
As I consider myself to be pretty fantastic at all the puzzle apps I’ve recommended in the past, I thought this app would be a piece of cake. Not so fast! In fact, I felt like a complete idiot for the first hour; and I had chosen Kitten Mode!
I confess that it took me quite a while to match the star constellations at the moon glade gates, so poor Simon had to just stand there and wait for his dense master to get it right. Once we passed through, we had a few more gates to deal with before we got to Santa; the tree with the missing star; and lots of big-eyed kitties.
I’ll leave you to find out the rest on your own.
Puss in Boots is cute and his app is deceptively so. It’s a lot more involved than it originally seems, which is a good thing if you like a story and treasure hunt with lots of tasks, puzzles and challenges.
Despite the fact that it is promoted as an HD game, I found it to be a bit fuzzy (or furry) in a lot of places. I also tapped on certain areas that were ablaze with sparkles, but could not seem to figure out how to get further or what I was supposed to do. I’d like to blame these issues on the app, but then I could just be a nitwit.
Anyway, I’d recommend giving it a go. It has a lot of Christmas scenes to get you in the spirit, and did I mention that there are loads of cats? Fantastic.
Lots of game for the money. No in-app purchases. Moggies.
- Not as HD as it claims to be. May make you feel like a moron.
- Christmas Stories: Puss in Boots
- Cost: $2.99
- Seller: Big Fish Games, Inc. Devices: iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone
- Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and older)