n pursuit of originality, independent developers try to invent not only non-standard mechanics in their games but also unusual main characters. We have already seen a luchador and a beetle pushing a pinball ball and turning into an animal of a young man … All that was missing was a cat in an armored robot. This serious omission was decided to fix by the American team Doinksoft – the Gato Roboto game created by him was inspired by Metroid, Blaster Master, and other classic masterpieces, and it is distinguished above all by a fluffy protagonist.
The cat is sent to study the alien complex not on its own will – the space shuttle of its owner was wrecked, and the pilot was stuck in the chair and could not get out. He has to rely on his pet, with whom he communicates thanks to the walkie-talkie built into the collar. Very soon, the cat finds a station where you can pick up an armored suit and goes to explore a huge mysterious complex, populated by a variety of opponents – from ordinary frogs to aggressive robots.
An animal with and without a costume is completely different characters. If a cat runs on its own, it will not be able to achieve much: it dies from any contact with the enemy, is not able to strike, and obviously cannot shoot. But she climbs on any walls and jumps far away, and also easily crawls through the ventilation and narrow corridors, into which you can’t otherwise get through. She also knows how to swim, which is shown not entirely realistic, but in such conditions, one has to obey the master, otherwise one cannot help him.
In a robe suit pet becomes much stronger. The fur maintains several hits, is equipped with firearms, and soon after the start of the game you get the first reinforcement and install a rocket launcher on the suit. It overheats after two shells fired one after another, but it does not become less useful – with its help you can quickly carry crates into splinters, pierce walls if they are littered with earth, and destroy several enemies at once with one shot.
These and other costume enhancements are necessary for exploring the alien complex. AT Gato Roboto, as in any metro, in the beginning, the hero is far from being as skillful as in the final. And because some secret passages and rooms, for the time being, are unavailable: either lava interferes, then it fails to jump, it just lacks some ability. And the longer you play, the more powerful the fur becomes: weapon boosters, double jump, warp module for teleportation over short distances – all this lies somewhere, and in most cases, it is impossible to miss these things.
Without a cat, and life is not the same
The passage of the main story takes about three hours – during this time the player will visit several large locations (some contain about three dozen rooms each) and win with a dozen “bosses”. If in the case of ordinary opponents it is usually not necessary to think over tactics, then with large opponents everything is different – they have a lot of health, they beat them painfully, and in case of death, they will have to read the dialogues again and rewind them. A strange decision, especially after The Messenger, where the dialogues were shown only at the first meeting, but this will probably be fixed by a patch.
The battles themselves are very funny and fascinating – at first, they seem difficult because of the vitality of the “bosses”, but everything becomes much easier when you memorize the sequence of their actions and know what to expect from them.
And beyond these battles from Gato Roboto is hard not to have fun. The controls are convenient, the cat is cool animated, the music does not bother, and the level design does not force the hair to tear on the head due to the idiotic complexity or curved platforming. You just sit in the evening and after a few imperceptibly flown hours you watch the credits. However, it is a pity that the authors deprived players of the opportunity to explore the world after the ending. They honestly warn about the impossibility to return to the old locations before the last trip, but I thought that access to them would be blocked only for a while. As it turned out, they won’t be able to visit them at all until you start a new game – do not repeat my mistakes.
At the same time, I repeat, Gato Roboto is a very good and charming game, which for a ridiculous price will give at least a pleasant evening. Funny dialogues, big locations, well-hidden secrets, various opponents, interesting “bosses” – all this (and even more) in the game is there. Even the black and white palette does not interfere – there is a suspicion that a different style would not work here, as in Minit. But if the creators implemented at least one unusual idea or added the original gameplay mechanics, everything would be just fine. This is the case when it is definitely not recommended to miss the game, but you should not expect anything outstanding from it.
Pros: funny main character; convenient, responsive management; Search for secrets on locations is interesting, including through a convenient map; excellent “bosses”; useful improvements to the robot suit, changing the approach to the battles.
Cons: lack of original ideas; they can only explore the world to the point of no return, and after it, it’s impossible to return.