Cat on a Diet is a physics based puzzler which has gamers aid Dr. Meow's quest for cookies. Although he's slightly overweight, our feline is determined to eat as many cookies as possible, even if it could cause him to get injured in the process. Chillingo has a knack for releasing hard to put down apps. Is Cat on a Diet the latest in their line of first rate downloads, or is this app far from purr-fect?

A tutorial isn't needed to get Cat on a Diet up and running. All you need to do is survey the puzzle at hand and figure out the best way to get Dr. Meow into the cookie filled jar. Your best aid is your finger, as a simple swipe or slide will manipulate the boundaries and objects that will either impede or aid the cat in his journey. The beginning stage, which takes place in the attic, enables gamers to slice through wood, which will either give the feline a clear path to the jar or swing him to the next step.

It's not entirely all about the cookies, as players are also tasked with collecting as many cupcakes as possible before hitting the jar. The cupcakes are usually accrued by objects smashing into each other or swinging to the tasty treats, but occasionally they can also be grabbed by Dr. Meow. A really cool bubble gum power up enables him to fly, and in the following photo he'll grab the two cupcakes. As soon as he's right above the jar, my finger will pop the bubble, thus sending Dr. Meow on an eating spree.

Although I've spent most of my Cat on a Diet experience solving the puzzles in rapid succession, players can take a bit more time to check out the nuances of each level. Certain sections will enable you to unlock outfits for Dr. Meow, so make sure you check for crevices and cracks on each level, and you might actually find something. After finding a little slit in the wall, I tapped my finger on the area and unlocked a new look for my cat, who I now call Dr. Zorro.

With over 90 puzzles to solve, Cat on a Diet is a more than worthy download at just $0.99. The developers have crafted intricate and cleverly designed environments which should keep you stuck to your device for more than just a few minutes. While many apps peter out after the first several levels, Cat on a Diet surprisingly builds momentum with more complex and entertaining stages. On the level depicted below, I had to perfectly coordinate my wood cutting and steel unscrewing to send Dr. Meow to cookie heaven. It took a few tries, but even my epic fails were engaging.

Cat on a Diet is a highly satisfying puzzler which brings a ton of nuance and creativity to the genre. It's the type of app that could have simply skated on a cute hero and an addicting control mechanic and exist as an engaging enough download. The developers took this cat further and created a world one doesn't want to leave anytime soon. Feeding a pot-bellied feline even more cookies may be a no-no in the real world, but it's a guilty pleasure if you're living in an iOS universe with Dr. Meow.


App Store Link: Cat on a Diet for iPhone & iPad | By Chillingo Ltd | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.2 | 44.5 MB | Rating: 4+

7.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating