They say that you don’t keep cats as pets, instead they keep their humans. As a self confessed cat dad myself, I can confirm this is precisely the case. I have not, however, had the misfortune of being kidnapped by an evil AI construct (not yet anyway). If it ever did happen, I can only hope my little one would give chase, risking life and limb to rescue me.
That’s pretty much the setup in Kitten Hero, where you get to play as the fearless feline who is not only a little cutie, but a very brave boy. You set out in hot pursuit, whilst navigating various trap laden rooms under the control of the sinister supercomputer, E.V.E.
If you haven’t noticed already, Kitten Hero is one of the latest games to be published by Ratalaika Games. Like so many before it, the retro pixel art style is front and centre here. It suits the platformer well, and despite this visual style being adopted a million times before, the kitten is undeniably adorable. That’s just a fact.
Kitten Hero is a platformer that aims to test your reflexes, thanks to numerous hazards such as spikes, lasers, buzzsaws and more. It’s a classic setup, ditching combat and focusing instead on your decision making and judgement skills. The margin of error is small, and you’ll be punished instantly if you fall outside it.
Our handsome hero isn’t just light on his feet, but can also wall jump and dash in any direction. However, any platformer worth its salt needs to have tight controls, and Kitten Hero has its issues.
I’d advise using the D-Pad to play, because directing which way you want the little kitten to dash with the thumbstick is often inaccurate. This is compounded by the fact you can move diagonally too, but you’ll shoot off to the right or left instead far too often. This will more likely than not result in a swift death.
Wall jumping can also prove problematic, albeit less often. I had a few issues with directing my movement, or sometimes even jumping at all. As you can imagine, these control niggles come into sharper focus as the levels get more challenging, and several swear words may have been uttered. Still, on balance this adds to the challenge rather than causing fundamental problems for Kitten Hero.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Just tell me how quickly I can bag 1000G will you”. Well as it happens, pretty darn quickly indeed. As is almost traditional with these games, Gamerscore is pretty much thrown at you from the start, simply for playing the game. Once you’ve cleared the first twenty levels, you’re all done.
However, there are in fact eighty levels on offer here, split across four different biomes. Each level is typically made up of two screens. In each, you’ll need to grab a microchip to unlock the exit portal. After each cluster of levels you’ll face a final challenge, in the form of a deadly pursuit.
E.V.E clearly has a history with this sort of thing, as there are other kittens dotted about certain levels that will need rescuing. If you choose to, then you’ll unlock several fetching hats that can be equipped from the level select menu.
There is a pretty clear difficulty curve in Kitten Hero, so much so that you’ll die an awful lot. However, in each level there is a checkpoint, and you have many more than the customary nine lives at your disposal (unlimited in fact).
In all fairness to Kitten Hero, for the small price of £4.99 there are plenty of levels to zip through. Sure, it’s bread and butter platforming but a solid game nonetheless.
Kitten Hero isn’t particularly impressive, but gets it right for the most part. The fact that cats are front and centre, may just make it stand out a little more in a crowded market.