The game mechanics are quite simple and you'll only really have to use the mouse to interact with Sushi Cat. Drag your cursor to position him where you want and click on the game screen to release him from your chopsticks and let him drop down. Different types of sushi are scattered about the stage, most of the time in patterns. One way to collect everything efficiently is to take advantage of Sushi Cat's bounce, angling him to hit walls in order to follow the sushi's arrangement. Upon reaching the bottom of the game screen, Sushi Cat will end up in one of the score bins lined up at the bottom. The number written there will be your multiplier for that drop. So if say, you were able to collect 5 sushi and Sushi Cat ended up the 100 bin, you will be given a score of 500 for that drop. Not counting score boost items that are.
Panchinko Cuteness Overload
Think you can close your eyes and drop Sushi Cat from just any angle? Well you could, but if you do that he'll be one hungry kitty. Like all round, blue, bouncy cats, Sushi Cat has a limit on the number of times he allows you to drop him. On the upper left corner of your game screen, you will see a display indicating the drop number. The imposed limit certainly makes the game more challenging and adds an incentive to figure out the perfect way to drop Sushi Cat. Otherwise, it would be pointless to implement a scoring system in the first place anyway.
If you have trouble getting a high score, don't despair. Aside from food, there are a few score multipliers and score boost items found throughout the stage. One such object is the Maneki Neko. Managing to grab the famous fat kitty statue doubles the score for a particular drop, so keen eyes and careful drops will definitely go a long way with his help.
Speaking of careful, not all of the platform are static. As early as stage 3, you get introduced to a revolving variant which may push you to either direction depending on how you landed on it. Stage 4 utilizes two platforms which move from side to side, which means aside from angling your drop, you will also have to time it. At a certain point, Sushi Cat even gets too fat to squeeze through tight spaces, which means you'll have to strategize on how to consume the sushi to avoid getting stuck. Though these are simple, the variants do offer to change up your experience per level depending on how accurate you pull off drops. It's pretty basic stuff but undeniably enjoyable.
Sushicat Must Get His Fill!
You successfully complete a stage once you have filled up Sushi Cat's belly with sushi. And that means collecting the majority of food items in a stage. You can see how close you are to finishing a level by either checking his belly to the left of your screen or the sushi conveyor belt to the right. Yes, you can check his belly and its contents, yes it's irresistibly cute. His expression on the indicator even changes depending on how far along you are to sating his ravenous sushi craving.
As you may have guessed, Sushi Cat's art is just too darn adorable and matches other cute cat based games such as that of Cat Around Europe. His round belly and whimsical smiley face makes you want to feed him at all costs. Plus, he jiggles. And that sushi belly makes him look so huggable. There's really nothing wrong with the UI, everything is stylishly done, suiting the theme of the game. Even the fonts were thoughtfully picked out.
The music is nothing to special. It has an oriental sounding mix playing in the background, which honestly doesn't appeal to us. Hey, we're not expecting anything as crazy as the Nyan Cat song, but Sushi Cat deserves his own theme. Sometimes the mix even sounds Jamaican, so we're on the fence on that one. Nonetheless, the satisfying "nom" sound he makes when he comes across sushi almost makes up for that fact. Basically, the music is cleanly done, it's just kind of generic.
So what does happen to Sushi Cat? We don't want to spoil the whole, really short, story for you but the pink Sushi Cat does make an appearance in the next installment of the game. Does this mean his crazy plan to eat all sushi worked? Is she actually a real female Sushi Cat and not some fluffy pink toy mascot? You'll just have to see Sushi Cat's story 'till the end to find out.
Overall, Sushi Cat is a well balanced "pachinko" game. We have nothing but positive things to say about the mechanics of Sushi Cat. It's pretty easy to get into and the frustration factor is very low so we recommend it even for younger players. Like its game play, the graphics are simple but very hard to hate unless you can't stand cuteness and like sticking the heads of your enemies in front of your house to warn trespassers.
Our only gripe would probably be in terms of the music choices, but it's a matter of preference. If you're like us, you can always just turn the music off and still have the same enjoyably addicting experience. The game also has a limited number of set levels, which may leave new Sushi Cat fans hungry. If that's the case, well there's more sushi to be eaten in the sequel, which is already released. We highly recommend this for anyone looking for a simple, honest puzzle. And we admit to having the urge to poke Sushi Cat's belly.