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Review: Catlateral Damage

Table of Contents

Quick Info

Gore & Brutality Magic Sex Civility Religious Objections
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Additional Notes
This game's soundtrack is available! This game offers Achievements (or similar awards)! Steam Trading Cards are available! This game is also available for Linux!

Summary of major issues
The entire point of the game is to cause mayhem by knocking stuff over. You know, normal cat stuff.

Screenshots


Playing with a spinny toy


Exploring the Supermarket


Disco party!

General Information

Genre:SimulationAge Rating:Everyone (Ages 3+)
License:CommercialQuality Rating:Good
Played on:Thaddeus
Available from: Humble Store, Steam
Soundtrack:Available as DLC
Save System:Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a way to save your game. The most you can do is paws by pressing ESC.

Game Overview

Catlateral Damage is one of those fun little games that can't be pigeonholed into a common genre. You're not trying to save the world from some evil overlord, nor is there a plot to speak of. Instead, your only goal is to create enough of a mess to satisfy the level's requirements.

The premise is extremely simple: You take on the role of a mischievous kitten, and your goal is to knock as much stuff on the floor as you can within a fixed time limit. Some things will be worth multiple points, so focusing on those is probably a good idea in the early levels. As you're making a mess, you can interact with various cat toys to earn upgrades. These will let you jump farther, run faster and push objects around with more force.

Each level has a time limit, so you'll need to move quickly to find everything you need to reach your goal. The timer stops once you reach the level's quota, so you can take the time to hunt for any stray upgrades before you exit the level by jumping into your cardboard box.

Although this game lacks the staying power of today's story driven epics, I'd expect players of all ages to have some fun with this one.

Pros

Huge amount of detail
You wouldn't expect there to me much detail in a simple game like this, but the developers have really been creative about their level design. There are scores of different objects to toss around, and some of them even feature unique behaviors. For example, dinner plates and flower pots will shatter when they hit the floor, and like any playful kitty, you can unroll the toilet paper or send the ball flying in the spinning ring.


Different level themes
While the room layouts and their contents are created randomly, there are several different themes. Most of these resemble a person's home, but there are more fantastic locations like a supermarket, mad scientist's laboratory, a dinosaur exhibit, and even a giant maze created from cardboard boxes.

Some of the more elaborate themes also change your goals; for example, in the supermarket level the only items that count towards completing the level are the ones on your "shopping list".


Two ways to play
The Objective mode has you try your paw at making a mess in several levels. In order to proceed, you need to knock a given number of things onto the floor within the time limit. Upgrades are retained across levels, so by the time you reach the sixth and final level, your kitten should have become a tornado of furry destruction.

There's also the Litterbox mode, which allows you to practice any of the levels without a time limit. Once you complete the level, the game is over.


Crazy random events
Every so often a random event will trigger. There are many possible random events, so you never know what to expect when the warning appears. There may be a mouse loose in the house, a new powerup may have spawned, or it might be time for disco lights to bathe the world in rainbow colors.


Lots of unlockables
There are many different playable cats, most of which require you to unlock them by performing some action or finding their portrait. Beyond this, there are a lot of achievements you can earn and even a set of Steam trading cards.

If that isn't enough, there are also over a hundred pictures you can find and unlock. Oddly, some of them are pictures of pet dogs.


Virtual Reality support
It's not enough for you to watch the mayhem unfold from behind your monitor. You must BE the cat! By donning a virtual reality headset, you can see through the cat's eyes as you tear up the place.


Cons

Knocking things over is pretty much it
While it's fun to roam around and bop things off of shelves, that's pretty much all you can do. This means that while players that like silly and simple games can enjoy it, players that prefer big, expansive games with lots of story elements are probably going to get bored after knocking the billionth toy robot on the floor.


Concerns and Issues

The game is about causing trouble
Making a huge mess can be a lot of fun, but as any parent can attest, it's not very fun when you also have to clean it up or when you break things. Most children aren't likely to try to carry the mayhem into the real world, but they can be creative with stuff like this.


Does this count as a drug reference?
Occasionally you'll find some catnip in those powerup boxes. Collecting it makes things go all wibbly wobbly rainbow-tastic for a while.

A more direct reference sometimes appears in kitchens or dining rooms. Some of the time the table will be set up for a game of beer pong, which is a popular drinking/party game. As the name suggests, it's usually played using beer, though I doubt that anything prevents it from being played with non-alcoholic drinks.


The laboratory level has some issues
One of the level designs is based around a mad scientist's laboratory, and there are some things here that might warrant some concern. Obvious examples are various cartoony organs floating in jars, bones and skulls placed randomly about, and sometimes you'll even find dead mice. While a cat would probably enjoy the latter, it's a bit creepy to consider a mouse's corpse to be a plaything.

This level also features some magical objects, such as what appear to be copies of the Necronomicon and brooms that look like they belonged to a visiting witch.