Think of it as a cross between a Tamagotchi and a fishing rod.
Using the 32x32 pixel screen on the Catcha Beast “dimension rod”, you can detect "monsters" all around you, then reel them in for your collection with the fold-out mechanical arm .
Small fry beasts are easy to capture with a bit of practice, but more valuable beasts only appear at certain times - between 7.05am and 7.35pm - or need to be enticed with lures that can be bought with treasure points or traded.
Reel beasts in too fast and the "line" breaks. Don't spin around and hook them in fast enough and they fight back and escape.
We found it difficult to progress beyond capturing "level 2" beasts, despite getting hooked to the point of dizziness on beast-hunting. Possibly because we never fully got to grips with arsenal of aids and tricks set out in Catcha Beast's 36 page instruction booklet.
The 100-plus different beasts that taunted us on the 32x32 pixel screen - and which all have their own foibles - weren't always easy to classify to refine our tactics. But we haven't given up yet.
You can feed captured beasts and they will apparently grow and become more powerful. Captured beasts can also be battled and weapons traded with other beast hunters by connecting two dimension rods together.
The makers of Catcha Beast aren't entirely beastly and have ensured that players do not lose their treasures as a result of these duals.
The dimension rods don't really have the look and feel of a gadget priced at $59.95, but there is a lot of entertainment in this surprisingly sophisticated and tricky game. If the "beeps" and the sound of spinning children gets too much, parents may want to send their little beast-hunters out to see if there any beasts lurking in the backyard.
It takes two AAA batteries and a great feature is none of the information stored on the device is lost when the batteries are changed over. Catcha Beast is recommended for kids aged 8 and over. Frustration might bring out the inner beast in much younger children.
- The Dominion Post