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Review: A Game with a Kitty
During a routine check at FAIND for any Mina of the Pirates updates I see the unexpected news of a finished game. I'm thinking "it's not Mina, but what the heck, it looks neat so I'll give it a try". It turned out to be a very nice little game.
PRESENTATION & GRAPHICS
The game looks really professional. The menu screen is simple but clean and good looking, and (like everything in the game) it feels very NES/SNES:ish. Most of the graphics and animations are really nice, and everything fits well together. It has an aesthetic and consistant feel not often found in amatuer games. The only thing about the graphics that bugs me is that it's sometimes hard to tell whether an object is part of the background, or a platform. This is annoying, and should be easy to fix. Even more consistancy needed, so to speak. =
SOUND AND MUSIC
First of all, I'm running the game under Linux using Cedega, and cannot hear any midi music. Therefore, I cannot comment on the music.
The sound effects, however, are of varied quality. Some sounds feel a bit misplaced, even though I see how they kinda fit the cute theme of the game. An example of such an effect is the "plop"-like sound when a cannon fires its rocket/bomb. On the other hand, some of the sfx are really good, like the heavy sound of the SMB3-like "crushers" that try to kill the lil' kitty. So overall, the sfx at least do their job.
The soul of any game, and where this game really shines. The engine is solid, the controls are smooth with good response and everything just feels right. Things like the bounce-off and flashing when you stomp the enemies and the rocking screen when a crusher hits the ground really helps enhance the solid feel of the game. The core gameplay is very rewarding, and that means a lot.
The various moves you get as you progress are also great, as they quickly become part of the normal movement pattern, and therefore gradually adds more depth to the gameplay. I love how the new moves not only let you advance, but also come back to earlier levels and find new secrets.
What I would like though, is the non-linear aspects to be taken a bit further, and maybe even a move or two that are not needed to complete the game, but can be obtained as a reward for finding really hidden secrets. Of course it's really harsh of me to say so considering the game was made in two weeks, but since there's so much potential, it's hard to not want perfection.
This is easily the best Klik game I've played in a long time, and the first such game where I actually took my time to play it seriously since Wandering Fighter. And since the gameplay is great, it's definately a game you can come back to, even if it's a small game with not a lot of new things to see once you've played it through. It's just plain fun to play.
As I said; best Klik game in a long time. The concept is a classic winner, and it could hardly be pulled off any better given two weeks. What could spawn a masterpiece, though, is taking the concept further, spending a number of months on making the game bigger and (even) more open, and adding a nice story to give the game a true epic and adventurous feel. It's a great game whose core gameplay is close to perfection, but could win a lot on being more extensive.
For a final word; A Game With A Kitty is not only a very nice little game, it also proves that Bernie is a promising name among klikkers, and amatuer game developers in general. I can't wait for his next creation.
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