Life as a cat must be pretty sweet. You get to lie down all day, eat food out of a plastic dish, and have someone scoop your poops out of a box. But, whenever things don't go your way then it's time to deliver some kitty justice!
Catlateral Damage is played by controlling a cat in first person while trying to knock as many objects to the floor as you can. Yes, it's really that simple. The shoulder buttons are used to either extend or swat your paws and you can also pick some things up with your mouth. Besides that, you just run and jump around while being as naughty as you'd like. Once you've had enough, it's time to retire to your favourite cardboard box to take a nap. A few complexities help diversify the gameplay such as power-ups that enhance your speed, jump, and swat, and events that'll have you chasing mice, experiencing a lower gravitational pull, and becoming a feline disco superstar. Although it's all quite simple, being a mischievous kitty sure is a ton of fun, especially when you factor in all of the cuteness that's on display throughout.
Once you master the easy to learn gameplay, you'll discover many adorable features. Whenever you see a cat toy and play with it, you're rewarded with power-ups. Who knew some good could come out of unravelling your owner's toilet paper roll? Also, many photos of actual cats are placed all over and once you knock one to the floor, it unlocks in a gallery. With 266 photos total, you'll be finding new ones almost constantly. Some are even kid's drawings and photos of dogs. Anyway, you'll also come across the odd indie game reference. I've found a few including Commander Video and the monkey from Jungle Rumble so be sure to keep an eye out for more sightings.
As you play Catlateral Damage, you'll unlock tons of gallery items. Besides cat photos, every different object that you knock to the floor is added to a collection. This system reminds me a lot of Katamari Damacy with hundreds of objects to discover. There's also a selection of 22 playable kitties to unlock. The only two modes are an objective-based challenge mode and a sandbox mode (known as litterbox mode). Objective mode challenges you to knock a certain amount of objects to the floor within a given time and it's rather fun to play through to try and beat your high score. To keep things interesting, there are nine themed areas to play around in that include various homes and a grocery store, laboratory, museum, cardboard box fort, and a living room during Christmas morning.
Catlateral Damage is an enjoyable little game for sure, but it does have a few limitations that prevent it from being a must-download title. The first point should be quite evident by now which is that the gameplay is so incredibly basic that it gets repetitive very quickly. Because of this, it's best played in short bursts between other games. Next, the challenges are randomly assigned and they can be downright unfair at times. During some play sessions, I mastered every stage with ease but I failed on the first stage in other attempts. The reasons for this varied such as not having enough time or easily reachable objects. Finally, considering there are only two single player modes that are very similar, you'd wish that there were more here such as multiplayer or online leaderboards.
I've had a lot of fun playing Catlateral Damage over the past couple of days and I can imagine that I'll pick it up down the road from time to time. If you're a cat lover like I am then you'd be a goof to not at least give this one a try.
- + Wreaking havoc as a cat is just plain fun and there's plenty of cuteness, too
- + Simple gameplay is easy to learn
- + Loads of unlockables to discover
- - Basic gameplay is only enjoyable in short bursts as it gets repetitive fast
- - Randomly assigned challenges can be unfair
- - Slim selection of modes