Title: Gato Roboto
Available on: Windows PC and Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Version Tested: Windows PC
Official Site: https://www.gatoroboto.com
Release Date: May 30th, 2019
I don’t really like writing reviews. As my editor-in-chief is well aware, it is the least enjoyable part of writing about games for me. Having to play through a game with a deadline makes the experience much less entertaining. Not to mention having to assign a score to something that people have spent possibly years of their lives creating. It is a stress that I don’t like dealing with. With that said, when I saw Gato Roboto I immediately knew I had to review it.
Gato Roboto is a Metroidvania-style platformer. I think it’s important to shed a small amount of light on my history with this genre going into this review. I have played plenty of old-school platformers. But, I have never finished any of the Metroid games. I have started several of them. But despite their quality, I just never stick it out to the end. The only Castlevania I have finished was of course Symphony of the Night. It’s not that I don’t enjoy these kinds of games, I absolutely love the time I have spent with them. For whatever reason, it’s just not a genre I have spent an insane amount of hours with. Point is if you’re looking for a review from an expert on Metroidvania games, well… I am no Jeremy Parish.
With all of that out of the way, let’s actually focus on what you came here for, Gato Roboto. I’ll go ahead and let you know right now, I love this game. From beginning to end, I had a great time with it. The art style is adorable. The controls are tight. The level design is great. And the music is…. weird? It all comes together to create a very enjoyable experience.
The protagonist of Gato Roboto is the cat Kiki who crashes on a strange planet with their human owner. With this human trapped in his ship, it’s up to Kiki to explore the planet and find a way for them to escape. It’s exactly as ridiculous as it sounds. However, the way it’s executed is so charming that there is no need to suspend belief. Therefore you honestly don’t care that the story is kind of crazy.
Shortly after exiting the crashed ship, Kiki receives a mech suit. Equipped with this suit, the cat more or less becomes Samus from Metroid. You have a gun for an arm and can jump. You can eject from the suit at any time, which is required at times to access areas that are too small for the suit. Without the suit, you have no attack and die from one hit. The game actually leans on this in one section that requires you to abandon your suit for an extended bit of gameplay. It was a real challenge. But after a couple of deaths, I managed to make it through and felt accomplished in doing so.
Like any Metroidvania, Gato Roboto has you acquiring new powers and abilities throughout its levels. For example, things like a double jump, a dash, and missiles. These allow you to access areas that you couldn’t before. Yes, very standard for the genre. You can also gather health upgrades that see your HP increase along with cartridges that let you change the color palette of the entire game. Some sections also see you hop into other vehicles. Most often a submarine for underwater areas. One of the game’s boss battles takes place in one of the submarine sections. And it was among my favorite encounters.
There’s a good variety of enemies to face too. Frogs, squids, little flying drone things, and annoying boxing robots. These are just a few of the aggressors you will face. None of them were particularly difficult to defeat, but in large numbers, they are definitely a threat. The bosses you face were all well designed and a lot of fun. Like with many similar games, once you figure out their patterns, it’s just a matter of quick fingers and patience to take them down.
I did have an issue when I first booted up Gato Roboto. I couldn’t figure out the controls of the game using a keyboard. Either it’s not possible or I am an idiot. Either one is a possibility. So I hooked up my Steam controller and that worked well enough. However, I eventually switched to my Dualshock 4 for the D-pad.
It only took me a few hours to finish the game, with an 81% completion rate. Not sure if you get anything special for getting 100%. but I wouldn’t be surprised if you do. Gato Roboto is a short game. But it will only put you back $7.99 at launch. So, for what you pay, you get more than enough content. I’m sure I could have spent a few more hours finding all of the games secrets and getting to that 100%. And after this review, I will probably return and do just that.
Verdict: Gato Roboto does what it sets out to do with near-perfect execution. It is a great example of a Metroidvania game done right. For the incredibly modest asking price, it’s impossible not to recommend this game. In conclusion, if you are looking for a great game, and are a fan of Metroidvania games (or cats), go buy Gato Roboto right now.
- Charming retro art style
- Great level design
- Smooth difficulty curve
- Not much to note other than a few very minor nitpicks
Brian Cowan loves playing video games, football, Magic, and pretty much anything else that he can use as an excuse to waste time. When he is not doing the above or working, he is usually writing or reading.