Welcome Time Wasters!
Like I said last week, I need to clear out room on my smartphone. Due to this, I will be continuing my mobile review marathon this week with a game called Super Cat Bros.
Super Cat Bros. is the story of a clowder (that’s a group of cats, btw) made up of brothers are stranded after some evil monkeys shoot down their hot air balloon. If that sounds ridiculous, it’s because it is, but not in a bad way. The game works to emulate a simpler time in gaming in all that it does, and this includes the story. It really feels like a story from the SNES era and I can get behind that.
Super Cat Bros. is a platformer that challenges the player to get the brothers back together after the monkey attack spread them across the land. This includes loads of levels that are split up into different world. Players choose levels by tapping on them. Clearing a level will unlock the path to the next one and the game typically has eight levels to each area. If you’re getting some Super Mario World vibes right now, then good. That’s what the game is going for.
Traversing the levels in Super Cat Bros. is surprisingly fun. Players tap the left or right side of the screen to move in that direction. The cats can start to climb walls when walking up to them. However, they can’t climb endlessly. What our feline friends can do, though, is wall jump by pressing the opposite direction of the wall they are on.
Super Cat Bros. does make one decision that feels strange for a platformer. This is the lack of a jump button in the game. Instead, players double tap either side on the screen to run in that direction. When the cat reaches a ledge while running, they will automatically jump. Jumping from a ledge and onto a wall allows the cat the cling to, and run, up the wall. However, running into a wall from the ground just has it bashing its head into it. This does actually have a use though as it can throw some enemies off balance.
Speaking of enemies, they aren’t meant to be taken down. Running into an enemy will kill it, but at the expense of hurting the character. This is shown with the cats having start above their heads. These will fade in a few seconds, but a second hit while they’re still up results in death. The game uses the typical lives system in mobile games and players will have to wait for them to refresh over time if they run out.
Super Cat Bros. does have boss battles, but they aren’t the type usually seen in a platformer. These battles work more as puzzles that require the player to avoid the boss while preparing to trigger an event that will defeat them. The battles aren’t all that hard, but the change in pace is a nice distraction.
Anyone that has played Mario game is likely noticing the connections between them and Super Cat Bros. I mean, even the name is a reference. However, the series also takes a bit of design from another Nintendo series: Kirby.
Each of the cats in Super Cat Bros. have their own unique abilities that can help players complete levels. This includes better wall climbing, a headlamp to see in the dark and more. These abilities help the player find additional secrets in the levels. This includes extra ends to some levels, which open secret paths to other levels.
The player isn’t just limited to one cat per level. They can actually switch between the brothers in select areas. There are also helpers that can be bought and used to aid the players. All of this reminds me heavily of Kirby, his powers, and the ability to bring along a friend for help in some of the games. However, I will say that Super Cat Bros. has its own flair that helps it standout.
Super Cat Bros. also does its best to look like a game that came from the SNES era of gaming. This means the overworld, levels, backgrounds and characters are all sprite art. The visuals are incredibly bright and cheerful, which matches up well with the game.
The audio in Super Cat Bros. follows the same style as the graphics. All of the music is happy and upbeat, while feeling like it belongs on an older video game console. The sound effects also go well with this and come together to create a great experience for players.
I’ve already mentioned that Super Cat Bros. is a mobile game, and that means microtransactions exist. This includes more lives, powerups, helpers and removing ads. Speaking of ads, they don’t pop up all that often in the game, but they can appear at any time, which includes during levels. It’s a small annoyance, but at least the game never throws video ads at the player without asking first, and then rewarding them afterwards. Honestly, I really wish the developers would have made a console version of the game. $5 is the price to unlock the “premium” version, but I’d easily pay that for this on my Switch of PC. Give the game controller support, as well as dedicated run and jump buttons, and it would totally be worth it.
Overall, Super Cat Bros. is a wonderful platformer that fans of the genre should play. It’s a excellent way to waste some time and sure to entertain for hours.
Super Cat Bros. earns 4.5 GiN Gems out of 5!