Aqua Kitty - Milk Mine Defender

From previous experience we've always believed that cats and water don't mix, but we're willing to eat our words after playing Aqua Kitty, one of the first offerings on Sony's recently-unleashed PlayStation Mobile store.

Essentially a clone of Defender, Aqua Kitty features a moggie who isn't afraid of getting his fur wet. Armed with a powerful underwater sub and accosted by all manner of robotic fish enemies, our whiskered hero must plunge into the depths of the ocean to prevent his fellow feline scientists from being abducted from their underwater laboratories.

Fishy goings-on

Like Defender, Aqua Kitty takes place on a horizontally scrolling field of play that loops infinitely - flying off the left-hand side of the screen causes you to re-appear on the right.

Your main gun is fired using the X button, and you've got a special turbo laser activated by the Circle button. This has limited ammunition, so use it wisely. You can switch the orientation of your craft using the L and R triggers, which becomes an essential skill on later levels, when your sub is surrounded by hostile forces.

As if you needed telling, Aqua Kitty is most definitely a throwback to titles from yesteryear. The obvious homage to the aforementioned Defender is backed up by some lush and pixel-rich 16-bit graphics (presented in gorgeous HD), while the music will have chip-tune lovers in seventh heaven.

Under the sea

The presentation and gameplay come together in near-perfect harmony, creating an experience that's as challenging as it is enjoyable.

If you wanted to be mean you could grumble about the limited number of levels, but the fact that the later stages are tougher than a sailor's boots after a year at sea balances this complaint out a little.

Aqua Kitty may not be the most innovative release, but it boasts tight gameplay, attractive presentation, and - thanks to the PS Vita's physical controls - a fantastically responsive and precise interface.

If PlayStation Mobile continues to receive titles of this calibre then it could have a very bright future indeed.

Aqua Kitty - Milk Mine Defender

Channelling the spirit of Defender and utilising retro-style visuals and sound, Aqua Kitty looks and plays brilliantly, marking a very positive start to the life of Sony's PlayStation Mobile service
Damien  McFerran
Damien McFerran
Damien's mum hoped he would grow out of playing silly video games and gain respectable employment. Perhaps become a teacher or a scientist, that kind of thing. Needless to say she now weeps openly whenever anyone asks how her son's getting on these days.