In this bouncy, bizarre arcade adventure from Nitrome, the age old question is answered. Namely, if a one-eyed, rocket-propelled space cat explorer launches off a goo covered asteroid and knocks a floating cow into orbit, does it make a sound? According to Rockitty, the answer is yes. (It's a sort of "p-twang" sound, if you're curious.)
Rockitty is a special sort of cat, the sort that is green and flies about in the deepest reaches of space searching for fish. Unfortunately, this frequently leads her (at least, I'm assuming it's a her) to get separated from her stylish spaceship, and she'll need you to guide her back to it. All while keeping an eye out for space squid. And space cows. And space spikes. And space lava. And space meter maids. Fine, we made that one up. And luckily for you, because we're pretty sure that spaceship is double-parked.
The game is played simply by pointing Rockitty where you want her to go with your mouse, and clicking to send her flying, collecting fish for points along the way. If the surface she hits is anything but pink, sticky goo, she'll bounce right back off in another direction, making the game play a bit like the world's strangest pinball machine. If you happen to land in space milk, you can use your rockets to swim through it. Things like lava and spikes are harmful to Rockitty, and if you hit too many of them in a level, you'll have to restart.
With the exception of the bonus levels, there aren't any time limits within the game, so you can feel free to bounce around and explore at your leisure. Just be sure you don't spend too much time zipping from place to place or you could run out of fuel. And make sure you plan your jumps carefully, or you could wind up flying off into nothingness, a sad footnote in space cat history.
Analysis: If there's one thing Nitrome is good at, it's being weird, and I mean that in the best possible way. Rockitty features some of their strangest designs to date, from beachball-esque space cows, to the clown-like space squid. It's the sort of unabashed silliness you remember from Saturday morning cartoons, something you'd watch while eating Fruit Loops and ignoring your parents when they told you to clean your room. Nitrome doles out the oddities over each of the game's 22 levels, which both helps keep the environments fresh and provides an incentive to keep playing. (I was hoping for space isopod, the prettiest of all space creatures. No luck.)
So in a game as bouncy and fun as Rockitty, it can be frustrating to find out that most of the game comes down to luck rather than skill. After the first ricochet, predicting where she's going to head next can be about almost impossible, and after a series of carefully timed leaps, watching Rockitty go soaring off screen and forcing a restart can be... disheartening.
Although it shares some of the same concepts behind old favourite Castle Corp, Rockitty doesn't feel quite as developed in terms of gameplay. There's a lot to see, but not a lot to do beyond gathering fish and hopefully not getting blown up. I would have liked to have seen some upgrades or more enemies to spice things up, even if it meant reusing some of the concepts to do so. Is this game begging for a space kitty throw-down with an evil rival in a sea of milk? I think it is!
But there's something simply enjoyable about Rockitty, and even if she's not as fleshed out as some previous Nitrome endeavours, bouncing around in space is ridiculously fun. One particularly clever level has you pilot a wooden space ship, and bumping space cows around is always fun. Short, silly, and lovely to look at, Rockitty is a welcome afternoon break to your day. Who knows? You may just wind up being bitten by the space travel bug. Just be sure to remember where you park your spaceship.