There are some games that surprise you, that creep up looking familiar and well worn, but when you actually get up close and personal with them, you'll find something that you weren't expecting.
That's definitely the case with Meowoof. It looks like it should be a pretty simple, one-finger arcade game. And in some ways, it is.
In other ways though it's a really interesting adventure that mixes arcade gameplay with much deeper puzzling and platforming mechanics, and manages to create something really rather special.
The game sees you controlling a pair of entangled animals. One of them is a cat, the other one is a dog. Hence the name. Their owner has gone missing, and so they set off on a quest to find him and get fed.
Only one of the creatures is ever moving at once though. The other circles around its stationary friend, its movement restricted by the length of rope that binds the two of them together.
Tap on the screen and wherever the moving animal is, it'll stop, swapping with the stationary critter. Using this easy-to-learn mechanic you need to move through levels, avoid obstacles, and pick-up snacks.
But before long Meowoof starts to change things up. It throws in enemies, which you need to fight by tapping when you're close to them. Then there are the puzzles, which often involve figuring out how to kill a foe that's too far away to reach.
Sometimes you're getting chased by an evil fork, sometimes you need to move through a spinning walkway covered in spikes. There are pick-ups that give you more if you pick them up with the cat or the dog, and plenty more besides.
Where other simple games often seem happy to create a core mechanic and then let that do all the work, Meowoof is constantly shaking things around and throwing new ideas into the fray for you to deal with.Kittybowwow
And that makes for a much more interesting experience. Because you're always finding out new things, and figuring out new ways to use the spinning movement to get to your goal.
There's definitely more depth here than you'll find in most other games of this kind, and if you ask me it's well worth spending some time with Meowoof to find out what it's all about.