Last week, I saw an intriguing article on My Nintendo News, promising that a game called Spacecats With Lasers would be heading to Switch the following week. I was immediately excited – I love cats, I love space, and the idea of being a spacecat shooting things up with lasers immediately appealed to me. I was well aware that I was probably just being suckered in by the name, but I reassured myself that the screenshots looked sufficiently exciting.
Flash forward a week, and I duly paid Nintendo my £4.49 for the privilege of downloading the newly released Spacecats With Lasers. I could barely wait for the download to complete – after all, this game was going to be nothing short of awesome. Sadly, the truth was somewhat more disappointing.
Twin-stick shooters are ten a penny these days, and it takes something special to really stand out from the crowd. As it turns out, letting you play as a cat riding atop a slab of cheese is not enough of a gimmick to make this game worth investing in.
If anything, the game feels a lot like someone tried to have a punt at making money off their “my first twin-stick shooter” programming project. The gameplay is pretty par for the course and nothing special – the most exciting part is picking a powerup at the end of each wave. The gameplay arena is just a featureless region of space that feels very closed-in. Enemies get a bit more interesting as you progress, but the pace never felt as exciting and frantic as I’d inferred from the screenshots.
After one go at Spacecats With Lasers, I honestly felt like I was done. The only reason I played again was because I needed to earn more stars to customise my avatar. There are a few options available here – you can change the colour of your cat, give them an amusing hat, or let them ride something other than a wedge of cheese. You’d think it would be relatively easy to add replay value by offering loads of customisation options to buy, but actually there are only a handful of options. I really wanted to turn my spacecat into a tuxedo cat, but the only colour options are three different shades of tabby.
Even though I only paid £4.49 for this game, I definitely feel like I didn’t get my money’s worth – especially as it turns out that the Steam version is a mere £1.99. If this game has taught me anything, it’s to be less impulsive when it comes to picking up titles like this.