I recently rolled credits on game featuring a fearless and sassy feline, Kiki. Before I hop into the review, here are the basics:
Developer: Doinksoft. Publisher: Devolver Digital
Release Date: 05/30/2019. Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, macOS, Xbox One
What is Gato Roboto? Personally, I feel there are various ways to describe it. This title is a 2D action-adventure with shooter and Metroidvania elements. The narrative is basic yet solid–Kiki and her owner, Gary, crash land after receiving a stress call at an alien planet. Gary sends Kiki out to explore and figure out a means to escape. Kiki utilizes a mech shoot as she jumps and shoots her way through vents and aqueducts. She encounters a suspicious mouse with significant intelligence…and heavy duty weaponry. Kiki squares off with this mouse several times before she discovers who the creature really is.
Gato Roboto was an enjoyable game. Let’s look at various aspects that I factored into my opinion:
- Graphics: It’s got that retro-vibe with pixels-galore and black-and-white color palette. Kiki was also well-designed (in fact, absolutely adorable).
- Level Design: This is where the Metroidvania aspect comes in. There is a central hub that Kiki accesses, and returns to, while she ventures to various levels like the ventilation system, aqueducts, and heater core. The map fills out as Kiki explores the facility, and during her journey, she would have to jump, swim, and shoot her way through. Each level had its own theme or challenge, which proved enjoyable.
- Collectables/Upgrades: There are two main collectables in the game: health kits and cartridges. The cartridges themselves offer new color palettes; however, if you collect all of them, you are given a significant upgrade in your arsenal. I enjoyed the various color palettes, although I wouldn’t stick to one very long.
- Characters/Dialogue: There are minimal characters in this game; however, the dialogue was witty and a delight to read.
- Music: Pretty basic and nothing outstanding. Simple, almost “atmospheric”.
- Bosses: There are a few boss and mini-boss fights. I noticed a signifiant jump in difficulty compared to the rest of the game which I found frustrating at times. It takes time and patience to recognize the patterns, but once you do, you can overcome the bosses. I will note that the final boss was disappointingly easy compared to the first few bosses. (PS: My favorite fights were the heater core mini-bosses for their sassy remarks alone!)
Overall, Gato Roboto was an incredibly fun indie game. It was well balanced in many respects–there wasn’t too much backtracking, and I found myself eagerly seeking out the cartridges for the fun of it. It also doesn’t overstay its welcome with an average playtime between 4-8 hours (depending on if you just mainline or prefer to be a completionist). The style is quaint and gameplay was fun. I really loved controlling a cat in a mech suit. Sure, the storyline and levels are basic compared to larger titles, but for about $8, it is very much worth the price. I highly recommend it!
Have you tried Gato Roboto yet? Is this game right up your alley (or not)? Share your thoughts in our Boss Rush Discord channel.