Astro Aqua Kitty review for PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

Platform: PS Vita
Also on: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One
Publisher: Tikipod
Developer: Tikipod
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

It?s kind of crazy that Astro Aqua Kitty is the sequel to Aqua Kitty: Milk Mine Defender DX. It?s not that the games are that far apart in terms of the basic idea — both are about cats on the prowl for milk — but, rather, that Astro Aqua Kitty is a massive leap forward in terms of quality. I mean, I don?t want to suggest Aqua Kitty was a bad game, by any stretch of the imagination — it was fine — but Astro Aqua Kitty finds developers Tikipod creating something really special.

Obviously, the fact that the two games came out seven years apart probably plays a big role in that. But really, the major difference is that Astro Aqua Kitty is significantly more ambitious in every way, and it?s the better for it.

Where the previous game was essentially just a single-screen arcade shooter, Astro Aqua Kitty is an expansive metroidvania, one that finds the cats exploring a sizable outer space world. Rather than simply defending the titular milk mines of the previous game, here you search through a vast network of interconnected caves, blasting away enemies, seeking out supplies, and systematically upgrading your stats. There are also a lot more ways to play, since you have a number of Pilot and Engineer cats at your disposal, each with their own unique skill sets.

Thankfully, even with the expanded scope, Astro Aqua Kitty still excels at one of things its predecessor did pretty well: shooting. In fact, things are drastically improved here — again, where the first Aqua Kitty game was a pretty simple (but fun) shooter, here you have substantially upgraded firepower. What?s more, the game gives itself lots of opportunities to show off; there are few things as satisfying as entering a new cave, and obliterating literally every single enemy in the area before you move on to the next zone.

And, of course, it manages to cover all this violence with an irresistible layer of cuteness — since, again, these are spaceships filled with cats just trying to get some milk. Add it all up, and Astro Aqua Kitty is a delight in every way imaginable.

Tikipod provided us with a Astro Aqua Kitty PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: A