Have you ever had the urge to jump up onto your desk and sweep everything off of it? No, not in that sexy way, but in the “There’s biscuits floating in my water dish, you sycophant!!” kind of way? Well, with this week’s Backlog Buck Club pick you might just get that chance! Release your inner cat with Catlateral Damage!
The Art of Purr-suasion
Here at the Backlog Odyssey homestead we love animals. So much so that we’ve happily adopted four cats and a fish to live in inter-species bliss with us. Now, Herobrine the fish will be a story for another day, but our clowder of felines is topical to this review so prepare yourself! They are a topic no sane person who knows me would ever willingly ask me to talk about, but here we are! While I promise to make an attempt to contain myself, remember, you’ve been warned!
We’ve watched our cats destroy a great many things and since they are basically like our fluffy children we just smile lovingly down upon their destruction. All the while internally cursing about the situation we’ve put ourselves in. Who needs clean and intact furniture? Not us that’s for sure! Nope! Well, this week while perusing the many holiday themed game sales in search of this week’s Backlog Buck Club pick, I stumbled upon an attractive little indie game called Catlateral Damage.
Cat puns, check. Cat protagonist, check. Super cheap AND a ridiculous trailer? SOLD!!!! Easiest Buck Club decision yet! But did it live up to my impulsive and baseless hype? Read on to find out my fellow cat enthusiasts!
The Dollar of My Eye (Graphics and Music) - 16 / 25¢
The visuals of this game are what I like to call “intentionally plain”. I think the devs at Fire Hose Games went with a more simplistic and straightforward art style in the interest of keeping the game just that – simple and straightforward. It really reminded me of I am Bread or Katamari in that way. There was more focus put into gameplay and mechanics than graphics and there’s nothing wrong with that!.
The music on the other hand was actually very impressive! It was cute and catchy and it fit the game perfectly. When we booted up the game for the first time we both looked at each other with those weird head-bobbing scrunchy smiles everyone does when they are pleasantly surprised by something. I mean it was no Katamari on the Swing, but I still rather enjoyed all the tunes that accompanied the various stages and situations.
Coin-tagious (Gameplay and Replayability) - 9 / 25¢
The goals in Catlateral Damage are very simple. Knock as many things onto the floor as possible within the allotted time frame to score points. Each round will have special items that will give you more points and collecting all the boosts and upgrades will help you be more efficient with your ambitious ruination. Sounds pretty simple right? And it is…so to speak. While the goals for each round of wreckage are as straightforward as they come, actually achieving them is a whole other box of litter. Even though you can get upgrades to make your Swat and Jump more powerful it never really seems like you are as powerful as you need to be in order to gain points quickly enough. I don’t know if there is some trick we missed or something, but we failed the missions about ten times more than we succeeded while we were playing. While the controls were remarkably responsive, the pacing seemed a little off and that made the game feel frustrating. It kind of tarnished that destructively satisfying feeling I think the game was intended to invoke.
I did appreciate all the unlockable cats there were to choose from. Really you just changed the color and fluffiness of your paw as the game is played in first person, but seeing all the real pictures of cats, complete with adorable names, tickled my cat obsessed sensibilities nonetheless!
These kinds of games are meant to be played over and over again, while you hone your cat-like skills of carnage. There’s even a Litterbox mode where you choose a level and wreak havoc without the burden of a timer. However, with the aforementioned slow paced gameplay combined with less than satisfying mechanics the replayability of this game takes a steep decline pretty quickly unfortunately.
Give No Quarter (Is it worth the sale price?) - 15 / 25¢
Since we are still in the throws of Patrick and Charleen’s Holiday Backlog Buck Club Charity Fun Run Streamathon we went over a dollar and shelled out $3.49 for Catlateral Damage. That meant a nice 25 smackeroons for our extra life donation! At that price I wouldn’t NOT recommend this game, especially if you have kids. This is a game that I think a destruction inclined kid, such as my own, could have a really good time with and possibly even get some cathartic gratification from. Even if it were to be short-lived.
Dollars and Sense (Is it worth the list price?) - 5 / 25¢
The original $9.99 price tag would definitely make me hesitate on the other hand though. Both in buying it blind and in recommending it after playing it. I’m sure with some dedication this game gets a good deal more interesting as you progress, but personally I’m not willing to put in the time to slog through hours of failure to get there. I can’t fully recommend this game at full price so, if you are at all interested or maybe you have a destruction-inclined kid like mine then wait for a sale. If you really want to experience a game like this in all of its full color and 3D glory then consider visiting your local animal shelter and adopting a kitty of your own! That I will endorse at full price all day long!