If cats are supposed to be so clean, why do they shed hair everywhere they go? Why do they leave muddy paw prints on the carpet when they come indoors? And why, oh why, do they persist in leaving half-eaten creatures lying around?
Say what you want about dogs, but you're not likely to stand on an eviscerated frog when you get up in the morning.
Dogs also have the lead in the Pocket Gamer Pet polls so far, with i-Play's My Dog game setting a high bar for subsequent family animal friend games to follow.
So Garfield 2, the movie tie-in, has its work cut out. Based loosely on the film's plot, you play the famous feline of the title as you explore the castle that you've been mistakenly identified as the owner of. Accompanied by the faithful Winston, the head butler (who's a dog), you'll be given a range of tasks to complete while you look for your way out and an explanation as to why the staff (all of whom are different animals) keep calling you Prince…
And so you embark on an adventure game that finds you wandering the corridors, halls and grounds of your estate. Along the way you'll discover objects that are important to your tasks or to other characters who, in return for your help, will assist you in achieving a greater goal.
This could be a very open-ended experience as you shamble around, not quite sure where to go or why, but it is, in fact, very structured. You're never given more than two or three of these mini-quests to complete at once and you are, quite subtly, channelled into going the right direction to find what you need.
It's almost in danger of becoming tediously linear, particularly when you've got to stop to scare off various nasty creatures at regular intervals, but it's just entertaining enough to keep you playing.
This is in part thanks to the visuals which, while they aren't ground-breaking, are quite attractive and manage to pack a lot of detail in – you enjoy exploring as you wonder quite what you'll encounter next.
Also well-judged is the length of time that these tasks take to complete. They're not so short as to be throwaway but neither are they so long that you lose interest in them. They're also well-layered, so you'll likely be given a new one when you're close to completing an old one.
Considering that these tasks and the characters that provide them drive the story along, it's a good thing that they are as competently structured as they are. The addition of codes to discover that can be entered at the game's official website for Garfield 2 freebies (like wallpapers, screensavers and so on) is also a very nice touch, offering a reward (of sorts) to work towards.
The only furball on the carpet that is Garfield 2 is the regular interruption for fighting off the bad guys. Composed of bats, bugs, spiders, rats and guard dogs, each time you come across one the game cuts to a fight scene where Garfield and Winston take it in turns to scare off the nasties.
We can see what the makers of the game were thinking. Due to the turn-based nature of fighting, the range of attacks that you can select from (each of which is suited to a particular enemy) and the experience points you gain that enable you to strengthen your attacks, it could have been very tactically-demanding.
However, it's been simplified to the point where you can employ the same single attack against each enemy and every encounter follows the exact same chain of events. Instead of being a challenging addition to the exploration they become a chore to be endured before you can carry on enjoying yourself.
It's not enough to spoil Garfield 2 totally, though, which is a lightheartedly entertaining game with more to offer than most adventure games, which can often be too hard or not at all suited to play on a handset.
Garfield 2 ably avoids both of those pitfalls – as you'd expect any cat worth its nine lives to do – and is all the better for it.