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Catmaze – A Fun Relaxed Metroidvania

Content of the article: "Catmaze – A Fun Relaxed Metroidvania"

Just finished playing this yesterday and wanted to write a recommendation for the game since I don't think I've ever seen a thread about this game on this sub (search shows nothing).

This is not the type of game for someone looking for something hard like Blasphemous. It has a real "one programmer" vibe to it as seen by some of the art choices and some of the areas needing a bit more polish (also as seen by the credits). It's still a fun game and worth a play through for fans of the genre, it's a solid 7.5/10.

The Good
It has a good sized map with lots of areas to explore. I always felt like I had somewhere else to check before continuing the story. There's plenty of areas you'll encounter and think "I need to come back here".

The combat gives you plenty of options to play with. You have two equipable familiars that act as a melee attack and ranged/magical attack (costs MP) with 6 slots each which gives enough variety to play how you like. While good, I think the combat could have used a bit of polish.

There's also a leveling mechanic that I haven't seen before. As you get hit, you lose levels for your amulets, but killing enemies drops the component (white orbs) needed to replenish lost levels. It acts as a deterrent from just taking damage and running through zones. Amulets are equippable items that can give you Strength, Strength and Speed, or Strength and Defense.

Along the way you'll be presented with various side quests. For anyone who plays these types of games and is a completionist, I don't think anyone will find them frustrating or not worth the time.

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The graphics have a fun retro style to them. It has an 8-16 bit look, nicer than NES, but not quite SNES; the closest comparison I can think of would be TG16 style graphics with the exceptions of some effects used on a handful of screens.

The Not Good and Bad
While not a total killer for me, I think the art used for character portraits was awful. Most of it looked like it was straight out of a mobile game. I think I would have preferred something a bit more stylized and less like it was from a dating sim game.

There's also some sections that aren't well done at all. For example there's two parts of the game where you ride a wolf and have to jump on the walls. The controls in these sections are terrible and I died because the controls weren't doing what I thought they should more than I died because the challenge was hard. Another is a section that auto scrolls and you ride a broom. It's not bad, but I didn't finish it and think "I need MORE of this!" I was kind of glad it was a one and done.

I don't think this game is going to blow anyone's mind away, but it's a fun relaxed play through that I can easily recommend for any fans of the genre. It took me about 10 hours to complete taking my time and I'm sure some could blast through this in 6.


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