Yes, that is a cat. In fact, it's Lumo's Cat, a new lovely looking tower defence game from the dev behind Lumo Deliveries.
Awwww look at the little kitty
Erm, okay then. The game is all about protecting your cat from harm while she's dreaming. To do that you need to use a small army of weird yellow creatures with different skill sets.
Wait, did you say tower defence?
I did. Thanks for catching up. But this isn't in the Kingdom Rush mould, it’s more freeform than that. The cat sits somewhere in the middle of the level and you drop and drag your defenders to try and stave off waves of mice.
So they're not towers?
No, you can move them about at will. You've got regular grunts, healing units, a fat blobby one that explodes, an AoE specialist, and one that stuns foes with electricity.
A bit more action focused than your usual tower defender
Precisely. There's a lot more going on here. As well as moving your units around, you can long press on them to use some of their skills. The big one, for example, will only blow up when you tell it to.
That's thoughtful of it
I guess so. The healer can heal your cat as well, so positioning is important, although sometimes things do descend into a slightly manic central cluster after about 30 seconds.
Does the strategy run any deeper than that?
It does. Every level you can feed your cat up to three different foods. These effect the constitution of the dream. Some make your attackers more powerful, others alter the conditions of your attackers. Mixing them up is a solid way to find new tactics.
Almost an RTS then?
I wouldn't go that far. The combat is more in-depth than your average tower defence game, but it's still a pretty bite-sized experience. And that decision to be more hands-on doesn't come without its own problems.
Uh oh, I don't like the sound of that
There's nothing game-breaking in Lumo's Cat, don't get me wrong, but when you've got a handful of units involved in a melee in the centre of the screen, it's sometimes pretty tough to work out what's going on.
A big fight probably
Very helpful. Yes, a big fight, but when you're trying to control different units and you keep selecting the wrong one it can get a little frustrating. It rarely results in death, but having that level of control and then not being able to use it might throw you off a little.
Well it's free to play, but not annoyingly so. The currency is milk, and you can spend it on opening up levels. But if you leave the game alone for a while they'll unlock automatically. It's a pretty esoteric system, but it works nicely.
A free to play tower defence game with a cat, but is it worth it?
I think so. It's not perfect, but it is a lot of fun. The art-style is lovely, some of the ideas on show are impressive, and while it does have a couple of problems, they're not deal breakers. Plus, you know, cats are awesome.