Gato Roboto purrs onto the Switch bringing two of my favorite things together -kitties and mechs – for one awesome Metroidvania style adventure! After crash-landing on a strange alien planet leaving her human co-pilot unable to traverse the planet himself, Kiki the kitty cat sets off on an adventure to find help for her human and search for a way to get off the inhospitable terrain.
Gameplay wise, Gato Roboto borrows heavily from games like Metroid and Castlevania. As Kiki you’ll find mech suits that will protect you from the dangers of the hostile environment while searching for power-ups and health packs. Most of the time Kiki will be in the safety of her Roboto, but occasionally she’ll have to exit her suit and use her latent cat abilities, such as climbing walls and, uh, swimming. Because she is just an average feline when outside her suit, one touch from an enemy means game over. For the player who braves these conditions they will be rewarded with collectibles and power ups.
The collectibles found in the game range from health packs to cartridges, which can be used to change the color palette of the game. If you find enough cartridges you can even trade them for a suit upgrade! The game is fairly easy to complete. None of the enemies ever gave me too much trouble. That is, until I encountered some of the bosses. It seemed like the difficulty dramatically spiked for no reason during these fights. They weren’t impossible, but I was a little frustrated considering the rest of the game was a breeze (Blaster Master anyone?). I just wish there was a little more gradual increase in the difficulty level.
Gato Roboto’s story is one that has a few interesting moments, but I mostly stuck around for the cute cat and fun gameplay. Because the game is so short I never became too attached to any of the characters (except for Kiki – because cats). Unfortunately, I would have liked the game to last a little longer as I clocked out at around four hours. There’s not really much else to do after finishing the main story. You could search for the rest of the collectible items, but I found nearly all of them without too much effort during my first run through.
The game takes a minimalist approach to its presentation. When I was playing it, I thought to myself that it looked like a HD Game Boy game. There are loads of details in the environment and I was surprised at how much emotion and charm can be conveyed through only black and white sprites. I also loved that Kiki is so darn cute in every scene. As I mentioned before there are cartridges the player can find that allow you to change the color palette. I had some fun seeing how everything looked in a different tone, but some of the colors were just painful to look at for long periods of time. I eventually settled on the “Swamp Matcha” cartridge, which was the easiest on my eyes.
The black and white contrast never hurt my eyes but two of my friends who were watching me play complained that it gave them a headache, so please take that into consideration before playing. Some of the cartridges had this effect on me too, like the “Virtual Cat” which brings back the nauseating red and black visuals of the Virtual Boy.
Gato Roboto has an awesome soundtrack inspired by classic retro games while bringing in modern elements of Hip-Hop and electronic sounds. I played the entire game in handheld with my volume turned all the way up.
Gato Roboto proves that adding an adorable kitty cat to an unstoppable mech makes for an amazing adventure. The minimalist HD Game Boy-like approach looks super clean with charming visuals and the ability to play as a cat, but staring at it for long periods of time could be a bit hard on the eyes for some folks. Maybe that’s why the developers, doinksoft, made the game so short?
Gato Roboto Review
- Graphics - 7/107/10
- Sound - 8/108/10
- Gameplay - 9/109/10
- Lasting Appeal - 6/106/10
Final Thoughts: GREAT
Gato Roboto combines cats and mechs both blended into a Metroid-like adventure that is sure to please cat lovers and gamers alike. Kiki is the best and I’ll fight anyone to protect her.