Konami have a rich history of great franchises spanning multiple console generations; there’s the obvious stuff like Castlevania, Contra, and even Rocket Knight, but there are also tie-ins to other media franchises like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles too.

There’s one videogame tie-in from Konami, however, that I was not previously aware of until relatively recently: that of Felix the Cat. Originating back when films were silent, Felix had quite the stint that even lead to its own animated series. and apparently that also resulted in a videogame adaption too.

So, is the game meowsome, or is it just a cat-astrophe? That’s what we’re here to find out.

Many thanks to the publisher for the review code.

FELINE FINE
As a NES game, it should come as no surprise that the narrative won’t be winning any awards. An evil villain known simply as The Professor has kidnapped Felix’s girlfriend and demands that the monochromatic cat hands over his magic bag in exchange for her life. Rather than doing so, Felix instead decides to go out and kick his arse instead. It’s the normal damsel in distress trope that was so common during the early days of console gaming, but it gets the job done at the very least.

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Anyone who has ever played a platformer from the 8 bit era should feel right at home with Felix the Cat, as it feels very much akin to a lot of the platformers of the time. Going through nine worlds, each comprised of two or three stages, you’ll have to jump across a series of platforms in order to reach the goal. Movement is pretty tight for the most part, although imperfect button placement and a lack of ability to remap them may annoy people who are used to the jump being mapped to the B button.

Where Felix the Cat sets itself apart is with his magical bag, which will allow the titular cat to transform after collecting a certain number of Felix tokens. What you turn into depends on whether you’re on land, sea, or air, and there are some pretty nifty transformations on offer. My personal favourite was a dolphin that you can ride upon, but there are hot air balloons, tanks, a top hot and cane, and many more. Usually each one is better than the last, but the main reason you will want them is that you can effectively take an extra hit before dying. Each costume (and Felix himself) can only take a single hit, so accumulating transformations can help allow for any mis-steps you may make.

Not that the game is particularly difficult, as Felix the Cat is certainly aimed at a younger crowd. Much like the Kirby series, the difficulty is incredibly accessible for an 8 bit platformer, and is made even more so with the addition of rewind and a single save state. Whilst many will no doubt be purchasing the game for nostalgia purposes, I can also see younger kids digging the game too due to the bright and colourful worlds full of straightforward platforming and chirpy chiptune beats.

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The one thing that the game does lack, however, is any kind of notable extras to justify its astoundingly high price tag. Whilst I wouldn’t normally comment on the value of a game, as it’s something extremely subjective, the lack of anything other than an hour-long NES game is something that needs mentioning. Unlike many retro collections, there’s no instruction manual, no gallery, no controller remapping, no … anything, really. Sure, it does include the identical Famicom version (for some bizarre reason), and the monochromatic Game Boy port, but that’s about it. After seeing the amount of love and attention Limited Run poured into Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties, I find it crazy that they didn’t bother adding anything for a game that’s actually fun to play.

And that really is the main take away: Felix The Cat is a fun game. It’s very charming, and holds up pretty well, even if it doesn’t offer anything majorly unique for the time. It’s just that it’s really hard to recommend a package that’s so incredibly bare-bones. This is a game that could and should have had so much more.

VERDICT
A lack of content makes Felix the Cat a pretty hard sell for the price they’re asking for it. It’s a fun little platformer, with a cute transformation gimmick, but given its simplicity, lack of difficulty, and zero extras, it’s also not one that I’d be able to recommend unless it was on a deep sale.