Catty & Batty: The Spirit Guide (Xbox One) Review with stream
Very easy going puzzle experience – no stress
Hand drawn visuals look like note pad doodles and the soundtrack is great
Not much replay value but the co-op mode is also casual and great for newbies
Makes me want a port of ChuChu Rocket with online multiplayer support over Xbox Live
Another low cost, simple digital download by Sometimes You, Catty & Batty: The Spirit Guide is basically a ChuChu Rocket-lite. Instead of guiding mice to an exit while avoiding cats like in Sega’s neglected multiplayer puzzler, players take control of a hand drawn cat (or a bat) to guide spirits to a goal.
ChuChu Rocket had 1-4 players dropping arrows on a single-screen tiled stage with each direction assigned to a face button. The Catty & Batty difference is 1-2 players can work together to guide these spirits to the goal by only dropping one type of piece on the tiled background. As opposed to having mice walk on top of placed tiles, here the dropped tiles act more like barriers that causing the spirits to cut 90 degrees when coming in contact with one. It took me a few levels to understand this difference, as you can witness from my stream embedded below, but it is a simple concept once the non-explained learning curve is overcome.
Even though the game keeps track of the amount of tiles used and the time it takes to complete each stage, there is no reward or punishment for performing well or for doing poorly which makes this a very casual experience through and through. Each level allows the player to place tiles before sending the spirits. In fact, one button sends mock-spirits while another actually sends the spirits. But honestly, the trial-button doesn’t serve much of a purpose since there is no penalty for not immediately getting the spirits to the goal. It only takes a couple hours to complete each of the 30 included stages but later levels get more complex as they start involving different hazards, like teleporters and black holes, blocking Catty or Batty within an enclosed perimeter, or limiting the number of titles that player can place at one time.
The hand drawn doodle art style is filled with charm and the entire game looks like scribbles on a notepad. Surprisingly, there is a lot of variety in the visuals. As a simple example, when playing as the bat, the bat is animated to see his back when flying up whereas his face is seen when flying down. This small detail doesn’t need to be there and the game would function the same without it but the experience wouldn’t be the same. The soundtrack, just like the entire gameplay experience, is also laid back and super chill. In fact, even if you don’t like puzzle games or tower defense, the soundtrack alone is worth the price of admission.
Of course Catty & Batty isn’t the best puzzle game ever made but it is one that is unexpected, a bit unconventional, and very low stress; if you aimlessly place pieces on the board, there is a good chance you will eventually clear that stage. There isn’t much in terms of replay value but the included co-op mode is a great game to play with that spouse that perhaps doesn’t normally play games. Most of the Achievements are easy to snag so Gamerscore hunters should take note too.
Also Try: the GBA port of ChuChu Rocket
Don’t Forget About: the bagillion tower defense games on the App Store
Wait For It: ChuChu Rocket 2
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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