Match-3 games are a dime a dozen in the casual gaming world. We have Bejeweled to thank for that, and they’ve definitely set the bar very high. Most of the time, when I see a new match-3 game, the developers have tried to add in some twist or gimmick to distinguish it from the other multitudes of match-3 games, and usually they fail pretty miserably. This is partly why I found Cookie Cat so appealing. Blessedly free of most of the gimmicks, Cookie Cat just delivers a refreshingly simple match-3 game.
You are a small white cat selling Christmas cookies from a roadside stand. Why? Couldn’t even begin to tell you, but it’s a match-3 game, so who really cares about the story? You make matches with a swipe of your finger and rack up points. Occasionally a customer will come by and you’ll get a special bonus if you make a match using the cookie they request. Sometimes a cookie will start burning. Make a match with the flaming cookie, and it will wipe out the entire row, and I think that’s pretty much the only power-up in the game. It’s blissfully simple.
I loved how smooth the interface was, and the controls were completely intuitive. There is a hint system for when you get stuck, although I never got around to using it. The clock runs out pretty quickly, so more often I would get stuck and just lose, but I am not a great match-3 player, so you shouldn’t take that as a bad indicator. The game is really quite easy, especially since there are no blocks or barriers, and chaining combos are a huge part of the game. The graphics were endearingly cute in a charmingly illustrated manner, and the music was on the repetitive side, but not so intrusive that you couldn’t just tune it out after awhile.
The free version gives you a remarkable number of levels, but there is no save function, so failing a level means starting over all the way from the beginning. The full version gives you an auto-save function, the ability to listen to your own music while you play, as well as a couple of other game play modes for an added challenge, like a time trial version.
Although, to be perfectly honest, I was quite happy with the free version. It’s not the best game ever, but this is definitely one of the better match-3 games out there. It lacks any real challenge or complexity, but it is cute, free, and fun. You can’t really ask for much more. Now that I think about it, my biggest complaint about Cookie Cat is that he/she/it makes the cookies in a frying pan. A frying pan? Great job on the game, developers, but next time, try to spend at least a little time in the kitchen.
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