CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars is a somewhat odd game about cats battling other cats using siege engines. I mean it's cool, naturally, but it's also odd. The trick is to cobble together a better death machine than your opponent.
It's All in the Blueprints
Since there's no direct control in a match, victory is entirely dependent on how well put together your vehicle is.
- Watch your Health, Energy, and Damage. Health (the heart) is how much damage your machine can take before exploding, obviously. Energy (the lightning bolt) is how much energy you have available to put towards equipped weapon parts – you can't go over the cassis' maximum Energy level. Damage is how much damage you deal to your opponents with each hit, also obviously.
- Experiment with different chassis. Not only do different shapes offer different ratios of health to energy, but their overall shapes can affect how well balanced they are and where you can attach things. They might tip over easily, or one may have two available slots for equipping main weapons.
- Wheels matter. If your vehicle is top-heavy and likes to tip backwards or forwards, try putting a larger wheel on the side it likes to favor and see if that will offset the balance problems. If you'd rather your opponents come to you, don't put any wheels on at all and just sit in one spot. You've got options.
- Every weapon can do well in the right situation. Rockets are fantastic for ranged attacks, and don't do too badly up close, but they're utterly useless if your target ends up out of their line of fire (i.e. you've been upended or are using a tall chassis when the enemy is short). Drills and chainsaws to lots of steady damage over time but won't hurt if they don't make contact. Buzzsaws are good an mid to close range but depending on where you attach them they may not be able to circle around every part of your contraption. Figure out what fits best with your setup and roll with it.
- Some parts enhance specific types of chassis. Anything with a purple banner hovering over it in the build menu has a chassis-specific effect. These parts will still provide their general stats like health and damage, but the bonus displayed in that purple banner is only available to the named chassis type. Something to keep in mind.
Good For What it is
Anybody going in to CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars expecting an action game is going to be disappointed. That's just not what it is. However, if you know to expect hands-off combat (and you're okay with that) it can still be enjoyable.