Frightening Felines

Time to scratch another Indie Gala Trash Game off the good ol’ Steam backlog – I’ve played and finished Spooky Cats.

Spooky Cats is a very basic platformer, and it looks and sounds like it’s a Flash game from 1998. Hell, it probably is, but I’m not about to go and do the research. That’s against my policy. I much prefer to just talk out of my butt and sound like a complete moron.

Anyhow, the game is like, I dunno, 22 levels long, and many of them are just barely larger than a single screen. So it’s a brief game. There are a few longer stages, and one or two of them do have some semblance of a challenge. It’s not enough to save the game, however, because it’s really not very fun. In fact, I only powered through to the end because I realized almost right away that it was going to be an investment of less than an hour of my time. An easy write-off.

The levels are very basic, mostly just about getting to the end while avoiding monsters and spikes. Some require you to grab a key to unlock the exit door, and others task you with finding a little girl’s body and then reuniting it with her disembodied spirit. Yeah, it’s a little weird. You will also collect pennies throughout your travels, and a certain number are required to unlock the final stage. I don’t remember how many you need, exactly, but it’s low enough that if you grab pennies very diligently, you’ll have way more than necessary by the time you get there.

Only one thing really stood out about Spooky Cats, and that’s the aforementioned final stage. It’s a boss battle of sorts, against a witch-cat sitting in a toilet. Said witch is invincible while on its throne, and will periodically fire off magic blasts that become monsters if they hit the floor. The objective is to get to the little girl body behind a locked door, but I had no idea how exactly you get the key. After getting killed four or five times, it seemed to spawn completely at random, finally allowing me to finish the stage. Once you put the girl’s body and soul back together, the witch starts flying around, and you just have to dash into it a couple times. After that, the screen jump-cuts to an ending card that says “you finished the greatest game ever made!” or something to that effect. And that’s it. So it goes.

Would I recommend Spooky Cats? Not at all. If you want to throw away an hour on a no-budget platformer about a little pink blob, stylized to look like a cat, in a haunted mansion, then I guess this is for you. But for the rest of the world, there’s absolutely no reason to bother. Spooky Cats is not fun, it’s not engaging, it’s not especially nice to look at, and it has no plot. It is entirely pointless and I’m glad that I can consider it to be a free “bonus” that came packed in with other, (hopefully) more worthwhile games.

*NB: This game costs $2.99 USD on Steam. I paid $5 CAD for the 10-game Indie Gala bundle it came in. That’s a hot deal if I ever saw one.

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