Kawaii Killer

Kawaii Killer

This week the Prof and Brian have been discussing woodland wetwork and cartoon critters with the controversial (according to Apple) Kawaii Killer.

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This week the Prof and Brian have been discussing woodland wetwork and cartoon critters with the controversial (according to Apple) Kawaii Killer.

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“Every day in the United Kingdom we spend more than £2.5 million on coffee.  It sounds crazy, but the people who think nothing of spending £3 on a half-fat, vente, vanilla mocha with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles, are the same ones that baulk at the idea of spending half that amount on a mobile game.  I’m Professor Kelvin Harris, the resident scientist for Codec Moments and this puffy little porcupine is my lab assistant Brian.”


“Together we’re on a mission to bring to your attention, interesting and unusual mobile games that cost less than your cappuccino.  You know, the kind of thing that you could play during your commute to work or school, during your coffee break, or even when you’re pretending to read important documents on your iPad whilst sat at your desk.”

“This is Cost of a Coffee.”

“This week’s Cost of a Coffee game is Kawaii Killer from Tabemasu Games.  How best to describe Kawaii Killer?  I would like to imagine that it’s the culmination of a drawn out games industry pitch meeting, where after many hours of terrible brainstorming and many truly awful ideas somebody says… ”how about, Animal Crossing meets Fruit Ninja?”  For the record, this is the kind of inspiration upon which all games should draw.  The story is simple, indulge me as I quote from Tabemasu Games media site:  “You are Davy, a young trapper walking in the woods.  You’ll meet a whole bunch of cute animals that you’ll have to kill restlessly.”  Now personally I like a good plot so this might help; imagine that Jack Bauer has been enlisted to help Sonic the Hedgehog eliminate Dr Robotnik, by killing all the woodland creatures which Robotnik would otherwise use as leverage against the speedy blue hedgehog.  To be fair, that would also set up a better sequel as Sonic embarks on a tragic and personal tale of revenge as he attempts to destroy the shadowy cabal of forest creatures that precipitated Jack’s woodland wetwork.”


“Are you feeling alright Professor?  You’ve gone a little bit off topic there.”

“Yes, sorry Brian.  I’ll admit I started the first season of 24 this week, and I’ve perhaps watched a few too many episodes back to back.”

“What episode are you on Prof?”

“Season 6 episode 18, damn it.”

“Wow Professor, do you reckon if you sped up your Jack Bauer impression and changed the pitch, it’d sound like the medic from Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes?”

“Well let’s give it a go Brian.”

“Damn it.”

“No.  Oddly, it actually sounds more like you Brian.”

“How very strange Professor.”

“The game starts simply enough… smash a fox with a hammer, slice a rabbit with a sword, that sort of thing.  The difficulty soon ramps up though with each of the 13 different animals, including the 4 different bosses, requiring a different variation of taps or swipes to best them; all but one that is, for some reason you’re told to leave the porcupines alone, even though they have a habit of wearing hats that make them look suspiciously like other animals when they pop up… sneaky.  The game features two modes on iOS with Speedrun unlocked after you complete the Arcade mode on easy difficulty; there is also a nightmare difficulty for Arcade that is unlocked when you complete said mode on hard.  Completing these three difficulties will show you the three different ending that the game has to offer and you’ll unlock badges along the way to help with this.  As you complete achievements the badges become available and you can equip three at any time, helping to make the game easier by increasing your score or making things a little bit easier; examples include reducing the number of porcupines wearing hats, reducing the number of animals wearing flowers that can take twice as much damage as normal and stopping wolves from holding up their little shields as often.”


“Where does a wolf get a little shield from Professor?”

“Where does a porcupine get a fox hat from Brian?”

“…Erm, Aldi?”

“Yes why not.  Aldi.  On Android there also a Challenge mode, which we’re sure is brilliant as it features a memory mini-game and a mode that gives the game a Nintendo Game & Watch LCD style makeover.  Sadly we’ve not played it as we’re reviewing the iOS version.”


“Why is there no challenge mode on iOS Professor?”

“Well Brian, it seems that Tabemasu Games submitted an update to Apple recently who rejected it on the grounds that the game contained “realistic images of people or animals being killed.”

“The game’s all cartoon animals Professor, not realistic at all.  Not like my dream where that rabbit told me the world would end and a jet engine fell on my bedroom.”

“That’s Donnie Darko.”

“No, he said his name was Frank.”

“I mean… nevermind.  You’re right Brian it’s not realistic and more to the point, the game is already available and approved on iTunes.  There has been no change to the gore between that and the update so Tabemasu Games are now is discussion with iTunes to ensure that the update is made available as soon as possible.

“Is it worth the ‘Cost of a Coffee’ Professor?”

“Most definitely yes, at £1.99 it will set you back about the same as a specialty tea, which is not something one gets to say every day.  The game’s cartoon style and Japanese pop soundtrack are charming, if not a little repetitive, there is variety in the game modes and replay value comes from unlocking these and the various badges.  Most importantly it’s addictive and great fun, I strongly recommend picking it up now, especially on iOS as a decision by Apple to rescind their prior approval might make this collection of woodland animals as rare as a flappy bird, before you’ve even had a chance to swing a hammer at them.”

“Cost of a Coffee is a Codec Moments production, for more information and to see a video check out CodecMoments.com.  If you can recommend a game that costs less than your cappuccino, you can e-mail the Professor using the e-mail address prof@codecmoments.com.  You can also tweet us @CodecMoments or get in touch using Facebook and Google+.”

“See you next time.”


The Verdict


The Good: A really charming display of cartoon violence.

The Bad: Lack of challenge mode on iOS is a shame, but hopefully one that will soon be rectified.

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