Skycat and the Starchildren

App review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
Skycat and the Starchildren App Poster Image
Whimsical arcade game moves beyond one-button jumping.

Parents say

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Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of play

It takes some practice to master the controls, which require jumping by tapping the jump button in the lower left, and dashing by swiping the screen with the other hand in one of three different directions.

Violence

There is no on-screen conflict since the premise is simply that the cat is searching for its friend. The cat can fall off the bottom of the screen, but the only consequence is that players lose one life and have to restart the level.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

You're prompted to rate the game in the App Store, but unlike some apps this one doesn't try to coerce players into rating the game a perfect "5" to encourage updates and new levels.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Skycat and the Starchildren is a side-scrolling arcade game featuring a cat who is given a magical scarf that grants him super powers so that he can travel through the sky and find his friend, Fatcat, who accidentally took off in a rocket ship. Players help the cat survive to the end of each stage by tapping the screen to jump over gaps. Skycat visits a variety of fantastical and futuristic worlds, none of them violent.

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Is it any good?

SKYCAT AND THE STARCHILDREN is a little more sophisticated than some of the other running-and-jumping games for the iPhone because it requires you to do more than just tap at the right time to jump over gaps and obstacles. You can change the size of the cat's jump by holding down the jump button longer, and also drag your other finger on the screen to execute dashes and double-jumps in mid-air, which can be angled in one of three directions. As a result, Skycat is less elegant to control than the one-button Canabalt but offers various strategies to try in order to get the highest ranking on each level. The fantastical theme and cute story about a cat trying to find his lost friend add some charm as well.

App details

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