Review Game CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars android apk games
CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars is a game that seems modeled off of the Robot Wars TV show and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. It’s a game that lets you combine all sorts of random parts to create war machines to face off against other players doing the same thing. It’s some fast multiplayer fun with a lot of potential, but it gets slowed down by its free-to-play elements.
When it comes to the visuals, there really aren’t enough great things that can be said about CATS. The rich 2D animation is as good as anything you’d see in the best animated television shows. The vehicles move exactly how you’d expect them to given their centers of gravity, wheel size and material.
This is a lot of cat-related content. Even for a cat person, it might be too much, but if you skip CATS because of the cats, you’ll be missing out. When it comes right down to it, there’s nothing cute and cuddly about these feline friends and what they get up to in battle. It can be downright savage. While it was in pre-release, CATS was called Backyard Battles, and the original title might be more apt.
At its core, CATS is about building ridiculously cool vehicles and taking them into simulated battle. Sure the drivers are cats, as are your guides throughout the game, but in terms of how you interact with CATS it is less a game about cuddly critters and more a game about clever engineering.
Those that enjoy being behind the scenes sorting through collections of parts for those that’ll make the strongest vehicle, fusing parts carefully and placing bets like a racetrack pro will undoubtedly love the game. However, those that like to be hands on in the action, leaving no part of the game experience out of their direct control, will probably find this game isn’t a great fit for their definition of fun.
The idea of relinquishing control within the battles themselves might be scary to some, but with all the button smashing battle games out there, it’s nice to have a little distance, trusting in your vehicle to get the job done (or not). You’re not always going to be successful, but both winning and losing are normal parts of life and it makes the game interesting.
The acronym for Crash Arena Turbo Stars is no accident. In addition to being a multiplayer robot combat game, it’s also cat-themed. CATS starts out with your character a cat being introduced to their shady uncle (presumably an alley cat?) who teaches you the basics of the game. These basics start with the assembly of robots, which is easily done by dragging and dropping weapons, wheels, and other gadgets onto each other in a way that’s remarkably simple and quick. From here, you’re taken through combat, which is mostly a passive affair. Your robot and your opponent’s both charge at each other automatically, and there’s nothing to do but watch how they perform against each other.
Since you can’t really control your robot in combat, the focus of CATS is really on building the best robot you can to defeat your opponents. As you win fights, you gain crates, which unlock new bodies, parts, and upgrades that you can add to your vehicles or fuse into your existing parts to make them stronger. The pace of CATS is such that you’ll be wanting to switch out and upgrade things almost constantly as the competition gets tougher and tougher. CATS seems to realize its pace, so it keeps its fights nice and short. Even in its Championship Mode which pits you against dozens of opponents back-to-back to have you unlock new tiers of parts takes less than a couple minutes. This is great, as tweaking and testing your machines is definitely the more compelling part of the game. The fights may look nice, but they’re only really a reflection of your preparations than anything fun in its own right.
Not quite the cat’s pajamas
CATS moves satisfyingly swift in the earlier parts of the game, but can slow to a snail’s pace due to the game’s free-to-play structure. Unlocking new parts almost always takes time, and fusing parts to upgrade existing ones costs gold, an in-game currency that doesn’t come in quickly enough.
Because the parts you unlock are also random, it can be hard to consistently make vehicles that can improve on your previous designs. At a certain point, it can feel like you’re just waiting to get lucky instead of doing anything meaningful. Other times, you might dump a bunch of gold into upgrading a vehicle part, only to instantly unlock something way better, which can make your efforts feel like a waste.
The bottom line
The core premise of CATS is solid, but the walls that it puts up as part of its free to play design can be annoying. This is less true as long as the randomness of unlocks works in your favor, or if you pay, but both of these only offer temporary relief. As a result, it’s difficult to get a ton of time or satisfaction out of CATS, despite the fact that it’s otherwise a pretty good game.
As unpleasant as what happens in battle is, it’s still suitable viewing (and playing) for the whole family. Everyone can watch and anyone can play. It’s worth noting that even in defeat, these cats don’t die. They’re whisked away by parachute as their vehicles blow up underneath them.
The Bad : * Lack of ability to go hands-on in battle might be frustrating for some.
* The waiting for boxes to open can get excruciating if you can’t splurge on gems.
Conclusion: CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars is free-to-play with the only in-app purchase being gems, which is its premium in-game currency. The gems can be used to buy additional boxes containing parts and other supplies, but what’s in the box is a crapshoot, it’s definitely not a game you can easily buy your wins in. At the end of the day, having all of the parts in the world will not help you if you do not put them together wisely.