Day 636: My Cat vs Zombies Ep I

Posted: 2012/08/06 in Indie Games

A game about someone’s cat, that drops moldy-oldie memes and is a twin-stick zombie shooter, is going to be terrible, right? Especially one with the cheesy, semi-official sub-title of “Meows in the Darkness”, surely? Well, not so fast as “My Cat vs Zombies Ep I” is actually surprisingly good (quite literally, as it was good and I was surprised). I though so too, right up to the first Bioware-esque dialogue tree (!) appeared onscreen.

The game is from the maker of “A Game About My Cat”, which I have not yet reviewed) all the things that it needs to have. Good controls that, while they don’t reinvent dual-stick gaming, don’t screw things up too much either. The cartoony graphics are mostly pleasant to look at and work well. The audio does the job too. But does it have anything that’s sets it apart in a sea of two-stick shooters? As it turns out, it does.

Those Bioware-style dialogue trees, as originally pioneered in “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic”, and brought forward into Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and more, are definitely an interesting inclusion. Unless I’m missing something the conversations don’t seem terribly consequential to the game, but they were a surprising and fun diversion that mixed up what I thought was going to be a mindless slaughter shooter.

Another thing that I found kind of neat is that is has a story (much of which is revealed in those aforementioned dialogue trees) that has the cats struggling to stay alive after their owners (ie. the human population of the planet) were turned into zombies. There’s a strange kind of sadness to playing a cat who knows that the friendly neighbour down the street who used to pet it, or even its former owner, could be the next human it has to gun down. It adds a spin on the zombie game that isn’t the same-old, same-old. The story, which is mostly told with a straight face and is genuinely amusing at points, is a highlight.

The game’s bag of tricks doesn’t end there. You get perks and stat increases with experience, such as those originally pioneered by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. There are different weapons to find, and even weapons shops every once in a while. This is an easy to recommend game that does things noticeably differently than your typical twin-stick shooter.

Here’s what the developer (thelostone) has to say about the game:

“The zombie hordes of living dead monsters are hungry, and cat is on the menu. Rascal the cat must use all her nine lives to survive this nightmare. Kill zombies, build alliances, loot stashes and level up as you fight for survival in a world where cats have inherited human civilization.”

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