Aqua Kitty: Milk Mine Defender DX review for PS Vita, PS4

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4
Publisher: Tikipod
Developer: Tikipod
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: Leaderboards
ESRB: E10+

I don’t think that game premises get much cuter than that of Aqua Kitty: Milk Mine Defender DX. You’re playing as a kitten, and your goal is to defend the world’s naturally-occurring milk reserves from alien invaders. If that doesn’t fill you with warm fuzzies, you may as well be dead.

Of course, a game is more than just its premise, which means that Aqua Kitty DX needs to be judged on more than simply how cute it is, but other factors as well, like how nice it looks or how well it plays. And on that score…well, it has a super-cute premise, right?

Aqua Kitty MMD DX 2

Okay, that probably overstates the depth of Aqua Kitty’s problems. It’s by no means a bad game — just a very, very repetitive one.

Admittedly, that’s kind of the point of the whole thing. This is an arcade game where you just go back and forth across the sea floor, shooting enemies as they appear and protecting the kitty milk miners (AWWW!) from the alien ships trying to steal them away. It’s just…that’s all there is. There’s an endless mode, and you can always try for new high scores on each level, but everything you’ll get to do in Aqua Kitty DX basically reveals itself within its first few minutes, and if that doesn’t do anything for you, you’re pretty much out of luck.

Similarly, the graphics aren’t anything amazing. They’re sprite-based and sorta retro, but they don’t have much of a personality beyond that. Considering the game is going for a ’80s arcade feel, I guess that they fit, but they’re still unfortunately forgettable for a game with such a distinctive idea behind it.

Aqua Kitty MMD DX 1

Now, in Aqua Kitty DX’s defence, I will say that the controls are pretty easy to grasp — definitely an essential thing when you’re going for a “just one more time” kind of game. The R button sends you right, L sends you left, and X is to shoot. It may seem a little strange at first, using the shoulder buttons instead of the thumbsticks, but it doesn’t take long for it to feel like second nature.

I don’t think that simply having good controls and an adorable premise is enough to make Aqua Kitty: Milk Mine Defender DX essential, though. Worth picking up for a few minutes here and there, sure, but if you’re hoping for anything more than that, you’d better look elsewhere.

Grade: B