If you have been following us for a while then you will know how much we love the Switch and the Nindie titles that grace our screens on this platform! When Gato Roboto was announced and promoted as a ‘Meowtroidvania’, we just had to get involved! The idea of a cat with a mech running around a base sounded crazy and amazing. So without further ado, here are our thoughts on Gato Roboto!
From developer Doinksoft and published by Devolver Digital, Gato Roboto joins the ranks of a the Metroidvania style adventure platformer in which you play Kitty, the cat who crash lands at a base with their human and it’s up to you to explore! Once you get inside, you come across lifeforms that can kill you with one hit, that is until you find a mech suit that you can climb inside allowing you to shoot enemies and traverse the base a little easier! Ludicrous you may cry! Cats can’t control mechs! Well… cats are a always plotting so maybe they can! As you move through the base room by room you’ll blast your way around searching for upgrades to your suit, taking on annoying creatures in mini boss battles and fixing things around the place. You can get out of your mech to get through tight tunnels that your suit can’t squeeze through and you can swim too which will allow you to get to new areas.
The game design is great and if you are a fan of the Metroidvania genre of games, then you’ll certainly feel that this game sits well with its look and feel. While the way it plays is quite similar to other games of the genre, the fact that you can be in a mech firing rockets and dashing through obstacles being bulky and brash as you stomp your way through the labyrinth of rooms but then become a vulnerable little kitty who has to negotiate smaller spaces and some of the deadlier platformer areas without the suit to protect you, it brings an interesting and fresh dynamic. Plus, playing as a cat is pretty great! The art style of these games always just pops and looks great. While some kids these days will only care for the AAA titles and their graphics, those of us who have been around for a while now will still always love the big pixel art of this genre. I just love it… simple as.
The level design is a little bit more than just the same type of room over and over again with differing types of critters to fight or avoid and I think this is down to the fact that you essentially play two roles in the game. Some areas are inaccessible until you have obtained an upgrade for your suit, others closed off until you have fixed things in a particular area which will then make it available to you so you will want to go back and send Kitty down that tunnel that’s been cut off by lava at some point because there might be something cool down there… maybe a little room with a computer, a bed, a coffee cup and a cartridge that allows you to change the colour palette of the game. Yes, you did read that correctly. The monochrome, large pixel look is great but you can change the colour if you find a cartridge you like! But back to what I was saying… there’s a reason to go back to areas that were cut off before and that’s a good thing in my opinion. The little extra details like these secret rooms, make it more than just a linear platformer and hopefully lead you to get a bit more involved in the underlying lore of the game.
As I played this on the Switch, rather than PC, I found the controls relatively comfortable and similar to other titles of the genre that I have been able to play for a spell. I’m unsure how well these controls would transfer to a mouse and keyboard set up, but I’m imagining WASD with the mouse dictating jumping and firing with other close by controls taking care of the upgraded mech suit aspects. I have seen some comments about hands cramping up by other players, but if you haven’t played a title like this is a while then you have to get used to it again. Gato Roboto isn’t an incredibly long game (unless you’re like me who dies 100 times to what should be easy boss battles) and it quite well paced, so I don’t think that the controls will be an issue for long if you are having a bit of a problem with them.
I really don’t feel like I have to say a whole lot more about the game but it’s simple, fast paced, brilliant, cute and great fun and that’s why I want to keep my thoughts short and sweet. It’s a fabulous game on the Switch whether you do a long stint and finish it in one or like me, get through a chunk in a lunch break at work, the game will work to suit your play style. Over the last few months, we have been fortunate enough to cover some brilliant title published by Devolver Digital and Doinksoft’s Gato Roboto is certainly deserving to be included in our line up to top Nindie games in 2019. Don’t delay, get it today and play it! It’s got a cat as the main character for goodness sake…. why are you still reading this? Go get it now (on PC to Switch)!!!