Title: Catlateral Damage
Version Tested: PC
Available On: PC, Mac, Linux, OUYA, PS4
Developer: Chris Chung
Official Site: www.catlateraldamage.com
Release Date: May 27, 2015
Where to Buy: Steam, Humble Store, PSN
Cats: you most likely love them or loathe them. From their fur to their claws, to their wildly varying personalities, they have intrigued us as a society for generations. People invest billions of dollars into cat-themed merchandise yearly. The internet collectively loses its mind over cat videos. Some cats alone will make more money than we will in our entire lifetimes. While many of us can’t agree if they’re Hell’s spawn or Heaven’s little angels, one thing we can agree on is that they have very nasty habits of knocking over anything even remotely important that may, unfortunately, be in their way.
That’s where Catlateral Damage comes in. A Steam Greenlight and Kickstarter campaign success, Catlateral Damage is “a first-person destructive cat simulator where you play as a cat on a rampage”. Developer Chris Chung set out on a mission to flip the first-person genre on its head. The goal is simple: knock as much of the stuff in the house onto the ground as quickly as possible as a very angry cat.
During the first play through, only one cat is available to sink your claws into. New cats and kittens can be unlocked by completing various objectives in “Objective” mode and unlocking achievements. “Litterbox” mode is also an option if time limits aren’t your thing, and achievements earned here can also earn you a few cats. During your play through, you’ll have the opportunity to collect adorable cat pictures by knocking them off of the walls and shelves in the different stages. Any goodies that you collect and items you destroy can be viewed in the “Collection” tab.
First person view introduces what it would be like to control a very frustrated feline. The controls are fairly simple, and can be picked up by even the most casual gamer. The left and right mouse buttons act as your left and right paws, the space bar is your jump function and the “F” key acts as the “meow” and “bite” functions of your selected kitty. That’s all it takes to become a true force to be reckoned with.
During your rampage, you will be placed in a new home for each stage you advance to. Each one has its distinct, quirky personality. Some homes are chock full of expensive electronics to topple while others may have a plethora of plants and health food strewn about. Some stages feature opportunities to unlock special stages with a twist. These can range from a grocery store with aisles of food to wreck to the Pawliday Den, a Christmas decorated living room with a large, cat-magnet of a Christmas tree. A personal favorite is the Furightful Lab, where you get the opportunity to wreck a mad scientist’s spooky experiments and equipment. I found myself continuing to play with the sole mission to unlock as many of the special stages as I could to see what the developers came up with next.
The visuals of Catlateral Damage are quite simply minimal, but not in an overtly boring manner. The colors and items in the game are nice, and complement the simplicity of the play style. A few simple music tracks keep the game lighthearted and match the tone very well. However, the overall simplicity of the game isn’t enough to keep players coming back for more. While the generated houses and special stages are quirky and fun, knocking things onto the ground over and over loses its appeal for long playthroughs rather fast. In order to combat the repetitive nature of the game’s premise, the developer introduces randomized events that occur while you are destroying household items. These can range from random disco parties to a period of time where you’re subjected to moon gravity. Sadly, even these get a bit repetitive eventually. It seems like, at this time, there may not be enough to keep players coming back for more.
Overall, Catlateral Damage is an adorable take on why cats do what they do. The premise is both quirky and intriguing, and the visuals and play style are appealing to casual gamers and newbies alike. However, the same simplicity that makes the game so appealing may also keep players coming back for more. The game tends to get rather repetitive, and there’s only so many times knocking things about keeps its appeal. Don’t let that deter you from giving it a go, though. With some development and additional content, Chris Chung just may have a strong platformer in the works. Catlateral Damage is worth picking up for cat lovers, platform game fans, and for anyone needing an outlet to release some frustration.
For updates and the latest news about Catlateral Damage, check out the official Twitter page here.
- Gameplay: Super simple controls with a fun premise. The first person simulation of an angry cat is quirky.
- Graphics: Minimal, but not boring. The colors and design complement the play style well.
- Sound: Light and the playful music match the tone well. However, they can get a bit repetitive.
- Presentation: What makes the game succeed also hinders it. It’s simple in an objective, but unique in what it offers. It may not merit multiple playthroughs, but can be valued for what it is – a romping, fast, fun time.
- Fun premise
- Vivid colors and quirky stages
- Easy to pick up for new and experienced gamers alike
- Repetitive gameplay
- No strong reason to play for extended periods of time
- Not enough depth to keep players coming back for more