This self-aware beauty is fabulous fun. The Cat-based Metroidvania is from doinksoft in Oregon, USA. Those lovely dudes have landed a short but sweet adventure that manages to pack an impressive paw.
Publisher Devolver Digital launched Gato Roboto for developers doinksoft, with the former something of a haven for small indie teams looking to get their unique projects into the gaming world.
This one begins with a really funky little number on the title screen.
— Professional Moron (@CreativeMoron) 1 June 2019
After a brief story intro, you crash land on a planet after a pilot’s pet cat – Kiki – accidentally steps on some cockpit equipment.
The pilot is stuck in the crash and asks Kiki (a nod to Studio Ghibli’s Kiki’s Delivery Service? There’s a prominent black cat in that film) to investigate the planet.
You then take control of kitty. But you also get a robot mech suit to traverse your environment in, too. And that’s where the fun begins.
In very Super Metroid fashion, it’s your duty to head off and find power-ups for your mechsuit. You’ll traverse that familiar looking map from Nintendo’s classic, but in rather condensed form.
If you’ve played a Metroidvania game before then you’ll know the drill here. Some indies get it right (Ori and the Blind Forest spectacularly so), others don’t maximise the engaging formula.
Gato Roboto gets it right big time – as with the best Metroidvania games, it has a wonderful flow to its design and it really draws you in.
As Kiki, you can jump in and out of your mechsuit – that’s essential, as out of the occasionally cumbersome device the cat can reach new heights.
You also get a little submarine at one point – a cat in a submarine! It’s cute overload, but you’ll also be pulversing monsters with your space cannon. Hell yeah!
Alongside that action, we were surprised some of the puzzle solving required impressive ingenuity. At one point, we got briefly stuck but then blast-jumped our way to a new area.
Of course, it’s a Metroid-type experience. You’ll need to perfect your map managing skills to work out which new areas you need to get to.
And, yes, it’s a blast! A mini-triumph that’s well worth your time – a cute, cat-happy romp that also respects its genre.
If there’s a problem, it’s how the title will leave you wanting more. It’s short and you’ll be through it in a few hours – but then it was only £5.
But if it’s a success for doinksoft, hopefully we can get a sequel where they take the adorable concepts into an even furrier experience.