Cats are great. They’re so adorable, and each have their own little quirks that makes them uniquely awesome. Mine likes to sit inside my shoes whenever I’ve been out walking for a while. It’s stupid, but cute.
Cats are also pure arseholes. Whenever they’re bored, or hungry, or even just feeling a little playful, they can cause some real havoc.
And so we have Catlateral Damage – a remaster of the 2015 cat simulator, in which you control a cat with a mean streak who wants to wreck absolutely everything.
Is the game meow-some, or is it just plain claw-ful?
Many thanks to Manekoware for the review code.
YOU’VE GOT TO BE KITTEN ME
There’s very little to say about the story that isn’t summed up already by the title of the game. Upon starting the game, you take control of your maniacal moggy, who has been left home alone. You’re given a randomly generated reason as to why your kitty is annoyed with the owners as the level starts, but it’s only there to set the scene for your upcoming rampage. It’s not all aimless carnage though, as you have some goals to achieve before you get too exhausted from your hard work. You can take some brief catnaps to extend your energy a little, or stuff your face with catnip to slow down time, but you probably won’t find the time limit to be too much of an issue – especially once you unlock some ‘purrks’ for your pussy (more on those later).
Playing from a first person perspective, you’ll be running and leaping about the environment knocking over everything in sight to achieve your goals. Occasionally you’ll be tasked with something less destructive, such as riding a Roomba or finding toys, but don’t expect too much variety – your objectives from level to level are mostly pretty similar. It’s a shame that the developers weren’t a little more creative with these targets, as there are odd moments when things get a little bit more inventive. For example, a level in a supermarket has you knocking things across the checkout scanner, but goals like these are few and far between. You can expect to be knocking things off shelves for 90% of the game. The good thing is that these objectives are saved upon completion, meaning you only have to do them once. That alone makes completing each level 100% a bit of a breeze, since you don’t have to do it all in one shot.
The main mode you’ll be causing mayhem in will be the default ‘Goal’ mode, whereby you complete the aforementioned objectives to pass the level. Finishing the level will unlock the next house for you to wreck, but if you can complete at least half of your tasks then a key will spawn in the level that will unlock a special level when found. There are ten levels in total, with the main five being houses that get gradually bigger, and the unlockable ones all being special locations. The houses all feel quite similar after a while, with very little to distinguish between them, but the unlockable locations are all very unique and a lot of fun to explore and wreck. I won’t spoil any of them, bar the previously mentioned Supermarket level, but they’re a blast.
The more you play, the more cat treats you’ll find and unlock. These are used to gain ‘purrks’ for your kitty, increasing your movement speed, jump height, and attack – as well some special abilities like a double jump. It’s a nice touch that helps add more of a purpose to the game, but it comes at a cost: your starting cat feels like it’s moving through syrup. The slow movement speed and ineffectual jump makes navigating the environments a chore at first until you start upgrading. It won’t take long to make things tolerable, but it’s unfortunate that you’ll start the game with a bad impression. On the flip side you’ll be feeling like a ferocious fast feline by the time you reach the end. It’s a shame that things end so abruptly after the final level, without even an end credits screen to signify the end of your journey; however, there’s still plenty to keep you going afterwards.
There are a multitude of unlockables on offer for you to work towards, including a large roster of kitties to play as and some cute cat photos to find. The game also keeps a track of the objects that you have knocked off too, giving you another reason to replay the stages. It won’t take too long to clear the goal mode 100%, but getting everything will take you some time. There are 300 cat photos to collect, and the majority are not found in the main game. Instead, you need to take on the procedurally generated mode to find the remaining pictures. This mode moves objects around and gives you some random targets to achieve, which is a nice touch but the levels don’t really feel that different to the original versions. Given that the game is best played in small chunks, it at least gives you a reason to come back. You won’t be playing the game for long sessions anyway as the gameplay can get a little repetitive after a while. There’s also a sandbox mode that allows you to roam the levels freely without any constraints, but it’s a little boring. Nice for learning level layouts, but you won’t be playing this mode much.
If you dig the core gameplay idea, you’ll find some relaxing fun with Catlateral Damage: Remeowstered. It won’t offer much challenge, and can be beaten rather quickly, but it’s an enjoyable game to dip into when you’re ‘feline’ like causing some chaos. It would have been nice if there was a little more variety to your objectives, but you won’t care too much as you’re leaping through the air high on catnip.