At this point, The Oatmeal is more a games company than a webcomic 😁 Their latest offering, though, is a newfangled type of video game thing: Kitty Letter (it took me way too long to get the litter/letter pun here). Think Boggle meets Plants vs Zombies and you'll be about halfway there. You're given a sequence of letter tiles, each with point values (so, like Scrabble), and you swipe between them to write a word. That then turns into a number of cats based on the word score (so if your word has tiles with a value of 6, you get six cats spawning) which march across the map and attack your opponent. That opponent is doing the same thing and spawning their own cats, resulting in a desperate rush to overwhelm each other with words. Throw in a few randomly spawning powerups (lawnmowers that suck up cats in a specific row, forks that divide large groups into tactical chunks, hot sauce that makes certain letters more powerful etc.), some niche extra abilities (such as palindromes spawning tacocats), and a bizarre single-player story mode, and you have Kitty Letter.
The story mode isn't particularly long. I blasted through it in about an hour. But it's made with the typical Oatmeal humour and weirdness, each level throws something slightly unique at you (like insta-kill Death Cats, zombie cats that spawn anywhere, boss battles etc.), sound design and animation are both great, and it's ultimately quite a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it ate through my battery and then froze on the final cut scene, but otherwise it performed pretty darn well, even for my old LG V20.
There's also an arcade mode that just keeps going until you die (so basically a training mode) and, of course, multiplayer versus other real people. That's diverting enough, but beyond some inventory management (i.e. when to use power-ups, when to prioritise sending out cats versus blocking enemies) there isn't a huge amount of immediate strategy. At the same time, there's no penalty for trying a combination that isn't a word, so it does slightly become a game of "who can work through letter combo sequences the fastest". I certainly don't feel like I played that well, yet the two matches I tried still were pretty easy to win, just by frantically swiping. A fun-enough diversion, but I don't think it'll keep me coming back for more very often.