A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Monday, August 14, 2017

App Review: Simon’s Cat—Crunch Time

Simon's Cat--Crunch Time
Today we bring you our review of a relatively new match-3 game: Simon’s Cat—Crunch Time. We love Simon’s Cat, so we have been looking forward to trying this game. Turns out it is really cute and very easy to learn, but on the levels labeled “Hard,” they are not kidding!

Easy to start…

In Crunch Time, you are basically taking a trip through a series of backyards and fields. To progress through the levels, you solve match-3 puzzles by connecting strings of colorful cat treats. The puzzles present different scenarios. In one scenario, your object is to feed the cats by collecting a certain number of each kind of treat. In another, you match treats to collect the fish crackers hidden underneath them. There’s another where you feed a dog, and one where you collect acorns to throw at a squirrel.

Of course it starts out super-easy. But pretty soon you reach the levels that allow you only a certain number of moves to complete your objective. If you run out of moves before you’ve fed all the cats or whatever, you lose a life. (You start with four lives; if you use them all up, they will regenerate over time.) You can also do a “Level Rush,” in which you try to complete a certain number of levels within a time limit. And of course you can compete with other players, but we aren’t into all that, so we don’t pay any attention to it. C’mon, we mainly want to see the cute cats and have something to do during commercials while we’re watching TV, right?

Old SoLT made this video of herself playing one of the early levels. Looks easy, right?

But then it gets more difficult…

Simon's Cat--Crunch Time_screen shot 1
This is a shot of the early part of your journey, when things are
pretty easy. We love the little scenes you come across as you
advance through the levels.
There are boosters you can use to help you clear a level (by clearing a whole row for you, for example), but be careful how you use them. Old SoLT squandered her boosters on some levels just because she wanted to get through them quickly, but now she is stuck on level 53 and has no boosters to help her (there are videos on YouTube about how to get past level 53, so she is not the only person who has this problem). She also doesn’t have enough coins to buy any more, and it is really not that easy to get coins. You get them for achieving certain things (“complete level 50,” for example), but these don’t come along too often, and they will typically get you only two, three, or maybe five coins. A booster costs 70 coins. Yes, you can use real money to buy things, but we rarely do that in games, at least not this early into a game. You can also earn coins and boosters by watching ads—1 coin or 1 booster per ad, but everything you want to buy costs 70 coins (thought that was worth repeating!).

But we didn’t come here to talk about money. Our real point is that if you want to get very far in Crunch Time, you need to pay attention to what you’re doing. You need a strategy. This is a simple game to learn, but on those levels labeled “Hard,” be prepared to put your little gray cells to work. (BTW, “little gray cells” means your brain cells—just in case you’re not familiar with Poirot, or brains.) And if you get to a point where you are out of boosters and low on coins, well, you are pretty well stuck with playing that level over and over until you either get it or give up.

Our verdict

Simon's Cat--Crunch Time_screen shot 2
At a much higher level than we're at now, you'll come
across this neat crop circle along your journey.
This is a fun game and we do enjoy playing it—we love the graphics!— but we think it could be tweaked to enhance the fun factor. We like that Crunch Time is challenging—it would be boring if there were no challenge to it—but we wish you could accumulate coins more quickly so you’d at least feel like you had a chance of being able to buy boosters when you need them. We feel like we’re being pushed into buying stuff to continue with the game, and that annoys us. That’s often THE thing that makes us stop playing a game. We’d like to go back and replay some of the lower levels to earn coins (that's what we do in other games), but that’s just not how this game works; we’ve been playing lower levels for a few days now and have earned exactly zero coins.

So, we regret that we can only give Crunch Time one paw up. This saddens us, because we wanted to love this game, but the deal with the coins is just too annoying. (While writing this review, old SoLT has used up all four of her lives—again—on level 53. Each time, she is just one or two moves away from getting that stupid mole!)


Simon’s Cat—Crunch Time is published by Strawdog and is available for iOS and Android devices. We played on an iPad. The download is free, and you can make in-app purchases. 

One Paw Up--a good app!


  1. That looks like fun! I avoid playing video/phone games because I know I would get addicted, and then get even less done than I do now! :)

  2. Thanks for the honest review. It does sound like fun though...I'll have to check it out!

  3. I love Simon's Cat, but I don't have a smart phone to play it on. Nice review.

  4. I love Simon's Cat ... and I tend to get addicted to games ... double bonus here!

  5. That was a tough level for me too. Try playing the Daily Quest and the Tournaments - they're a good way to get some extra boosters. And when you're playing the level, it can be tempting to chase the groundhog around with small matches, but sometimes it's best to ignore the groundhog and just try to make the longest matches you can, and save up the special treats. Eventually, you may have enough of the treats to make a big enough match to clear the whole board in one move. Good luck!