Moshi Monsters: Katsuma Unleashed is a side scrolling platform game, much like Super Mario Bros, that puts the popular orange cat-type-rabbity thing, Katsuma, in the driver's seat (or should that be platformer's boots)? With simple controls, using the +Control Pad or Circle Pad to move Katsuma around, the face buttons to jump and attack and the touch screen to select special powers, your child will make their way through six worlds collecting Moshlings, finding hidden coins and gathering Rox, the game's currency. At the end of each world there's a boss to defeat (their weak points are indicated with arrows, so they're not too tough) and a Moshi Monster to free, who'll grant Katsuma a new special power.
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However, while it undoubtedly holds a lot of appeal to a young audience, it's worth bearing in mind that the difficulty here has been set quite high, which may catch younger children off guard. One of the trickier bits is having to switch between powers in quick succession by tapping the touch screen while still controlling the character with the buttons - something those with smaller hands and fingers may struggle to do. It can all take a bit of getting used to for younger players, especially as movement isn't as immediate as in other games. On the plus side, though, there's plenty to do in each of the levels, with several sections and areas being "locked off" on your first pass through. Encouraging you to replay levels once you've beaten certain bosses, and unlocked the powers you'll need to access them, you'll be able to pick up all sorts of collectibles if you venture off the beaten path - collectibles which are essential to freeing the Elder Furi when you finish the game.
While it's probably a bit too challenging for the younger Moshi Monsters fans, Katsuma's Revenge is a game that older players will love, and that even younger ones should be able to do, with a bit of pointers in the right direction (or a bit of help from mom and dad!) While it is a bit tougher than Mario in places, with unlimited lives, and no time limit on the levels, this is one young Moshi Monsters fans will enjoy.
If you're familiar with Moshi Monsters already, you'll likely know that the little critters are more like cute Pokémon than anything actually 'monstrous'. One character, Zommer, resembles a zombie complete with missing eye, but it's highly likely that children will just see him as another character to collect and not something to be scared of. Especially as, if your child is showing an interest in the game, Zommer and the other Moshis probably already adorn their lunchbox or backpack. Other than that, there's nothing really for parents to worry about here. The common enemies that Katsuma dispatches are all robots and disappear in a burst of cogs and springs, and even the boss enemies just keel over and disappear (or run away) when Katsuma defeats them.
Format Reviewed: Nintendo 3DS