Bombcats: Special Edition is Bombcats sans all those annoying in-app purchases, and for $0.99 you can direct a few agile felines on explosive adventures filled with gems and heroic rescues. Since I didn't download the original back in May, I'm seeing this with fresh eyes. Are they worth the dollar or did these cats turn me into a true dog lover?

The goal for most of the levels is to save a kitten that's trapped around a light blue bubble cage. With the use of a finger, you aim an adventurous cat towards the kitty in distress and at the point of impact, you can either tap your cat to explode, or just wait for your feline bomb to go off. The chain reaction leads to the kitty being saved and your bomber going up in smoke and vanishing into thin air. Since it's targeted for kids nine years and I'm up, I'm just going to believe these bombcats go poof and get transported to the next stage. To believe that they would ignite themselves into oblivion is much too dark for a title of this nature, right?

Since you must also collect three suns along with the rescue mission, Bombcats: Special Edition requires a bit of strategy, timing, and coordination. Certain stages are easy beyond belief and require a simple flick of the cat to the endangered kitty, but expect a harder challenge the deeper you get into this seemingly innocuous adventure. Although my cat is all smiles, he already missed that sun that was situated near the red obstacle which propelled me to the other side. Even though I'll get two suns and even rescue the kitty, I'll have to restart the level due to my early mistake.

Chillingo knows that showering their apps with upgrades and achievements is usually a good thing, and Bombcats: Special Edition has tons of extras that you can purchase from the various gems you collect and earn with each mission. More characters and upgrades will be unlocked as you successfully complete more levels, and if a certain section gets too hard you can actually move on to the next level by spending a few gems. I recently used up a bunch of my money buying my bombcat some pretty cool looking lenses.

Repetitiveness is not a problem, since the developers give us enough challenges to keep us busy and engaged. Whether it's time trials, measuring how far our felines can jump, or counting how many bombs they can detonate to save the day, these intrepid lifesavers are far from boring.

If you're in the mood for a casual experience that doesn't use too much of your brain power but is cute as can be, Bombcats: Special Edition is a worthy enough download. I never thought exploding cats would ever count for a diverting experience, but in this context I see the appeal. The fluffy, Beach Boys inspired music score also lends to the game's overall light touch, and it serves as an interesting counterpoint to Bombcats' more incendiary tendencies.


App Store Link: Bombcats: Special Edition iPhoneiPad | By Chillingo Ltd. | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.0 | 92.1 MB | Rating: 9+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating