Endless runners, and tower defense are two of the most popular genres in the App Store, but they have yet to be combined together. That was until the release of Naughty Kitties, which provides a 2D side scrolling ship shooter with an endless set-up. Rather than manually firing with your ship, you drag and drop kitties on to it to battle back the on-coming enemies. It’s a relatively unique mechanic that makes the style as inviting as possible with the cute theme, and drag and drop controls. Anyone can pick up, and start enjoying Naughty Kitties, and yet there are still some nice strategic elements to be drawn from the game as you go.
You begin with a simple ship with three spots for kittens, and you have machine gun, grenade launcher, and repair kittens at your disposal. The enemies come at you consistently, and each kitten has a limited energy meter to fend off those enemies. New kittens are cycled in as you outfit your ship, and you will need to constantly switch out your units to stay on top of the action. There is also a bonus for getting all three of the same kittens on your ship, and all in an attempt to survive for as long as you can. There are boss battles every so often as well as a special fire blast power-up from your ship to keep things fresh.
The overarching set-up of Naughty Kitties is where the game comes up short. It suffers from the same trappings of most endless game with a repetitive base structure that has you playing the same sequences over, and over. There are two additional unlockable environments, as well as unlockable cats, but it takes a long time to get to them. You need to level up numerous times to reach the upgrade territory, but it takes so long to level up because you can only complete one mission at a time. It seems that each endless run takes you through the second boss battle, and then you’re overmatched. The problem is that you can’t restart after the second boss battle, and instead have to go through the simple beginnings with identical enemy waves. It’s a real grind doing the same thing to finally unlock subtle changes to your arsenal, surroundings, and enemy structure.
Naughty Kitties (Free, Universal) has a promising beginning that seems to stretch out endlessly leaving you with the same game each time out. The game is just too repetitive to recommend, and it’s worth noting there are in-app purchases to help you upgrade faster.