There are a few quick ways to my heart. Food, Blizzard games, Magic cards, but cats is probably the easiest. The Cat Machine [official site] has discovered this great secret, combining easy to learn puzzle mechanics with cat trains. Cat trains which you must direct onto the right tracks so that they can take off into space and stop the Earth from falling into the sun. As solo developer Matt Luard put it, “it’s all very scientific.” It came out yesterday, so launch trailer and speedy thoughts after a few minutes with the game below.
That trailer fails to tell you what the game is but gives a perfect impression of it anyway. You have to build tracks to direct cat trains around a map. Each cat and track is colour coordinated. A train will go down the track that is of the same colour as its lead cat, who will then fire off into space. You have to clear all the cats out and direct the final one to the white lane, which is always in a static position.
There’s humour here in spades. Beyond cute kitties typing at laptops and donning science glasses, every bit of text is filled with jokes. Not all of it hits the mark, but it’s exactly as irreverent and fun as the concept itself, so if it looks like your bag then chances are the writing will be too. If it isn’t then at least it never seems to get in the way of the puzzles.
Those puzzles, at least in the early game, are both satisfying to complete and complex enough to require a bit of thought, though judging by the menu there’s only a few dozen of them.