A Game of Cat and Mouse: Gato Roboto.

Travelling the stars with your best friend is something that everyone can get into, it allows for the imagination to run wild with all the possibilities that could happen. Gato Roboto gives us the glimpse of one of the horrors of outer space; an alien world filled with angry creatures.

Gato Roboto, developed by Doinksoft and published by Devolver Digital, released May 2019. The game is a 2D action adventure game and it pays immense homage to games like Metroid and Castlevania, to the point that I felt a rush of nostalgia when travelling through certain parts of the game.

The game starts off with a man named Gary and his kitty cat Kiki as they travel through the star system when Gary receives a distress call from a old, decommissioned base and asks to venture forth and investigate. Out of nowhere Kiki jumps up and does cat things, pressing buttons and the ship crash lands on the planet. Gary is trapped within the confines of the ship and it is up to his best friend Kiki to save him. Thus starts the adventure through the seemingly unoccupied planet filled with mystery.

Kiki can jump and run up walls, but when Kiki is in a mech suit the game changes. In the beginning, the adorable cat has only a pea shooter but while you adventure through the planet you can acquire upgrades. From health modules, rockets, a double jump to a dash, Kiki quickly becomes a force to be reckoned with, destroying all enemies in its wake. Kiki, throughout the game is not restrained to just a mech suit, there is a cute little submarine and gun placements that the feline can man. The UI when Kiki is inside these instruments of destruction are the best feeling that Gato Roboto can offer. Kiki’s head bounces, mouth smiles and get serious all the while enemies are being murdered.

The level designed is matched perfectly for both Kiki with and without the mech. There are sections and secret locations that can be acessed with Kiki’s tiny body. These sections are especially tense because Kiki without the mech means certain death when any creature comes into contact with the cat. Puzzles that include belts that transfer the mech, vents that shoot forceful winds at Kiki and leaking lava vents are part of the new infastructure of the abandonded base. I particularly enjoyed the effect in the lava section that gave the illusion that it was incredibly hot.

The jumping is the real star in this game. Jumping is incredibly precise and it feelt great everytime I landed a difficult jump. With the inclusion of the double jump, platforming gets more difficult but more satisfying when you connect with a perfect jump.

Even though Kiki can de literally destroyed by a single touch, while the mech has plenty of health, the game does not really punish you for dying. Checkpoints are littered all over the base. With checkpoints not far from each other the game begins to feel too easy and it ends up suffering for it.

Bosses on the other hand are slightly difficult but lack any depth when their movements are easy to memorize. Each section boss usually forces the player to have mastered the upgrade that was given to them in that specific section. When Kiki perishes by the hand of a boss it is not frustrating because there was no consequences in losing the fight and even when the bosses fall, the sense of accomplishment is diminished because death has ZERO consequence.

Gato Roboto is a fun game. It lasts around 2-3 hours, 4 if you 100 percent it. The banter between Gary and Kiki are adorable and it is impossible to not smile as Gary questions why he is talking to a cat. I loved every moment of the game but I just wanted it to be more difficult and longer so I could enjoy Kiki’s adorable little face a little longer.

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