GAME NAME: Scram Kitty and his Buddy on Rails
DEVELOPER(S): Dakko Dakko Limited
PUBLISHER(S): Dakko Dakko Limited
PLATFORM(S): Nintendo Wii U
GENRE(S): Action, Adventure
RELEASE DATE(S): May 15th, 2014
All the indie games that were announced in the Wii U infancy are finally becoming available on Nintendo’s digital store, the eShop. With Armillo and ShovelKnights right around the corner, Dakko Dakko leads the charge and brings us the action-shooter Scram Kitty and his Buddy on Rails. The game sports a unique title and gameplay idea but how does it hold up?
By looking at it you wouldn’t think that Scram Kitty and his Buddy on Rails has a storyline but it actually does. You take control of Buddy who’s pet, Scram Kitty has been captured by evil-maniacal mice. You must hop aboard your spinboard (fully equipped with a mounted gun) and ride the rails of a space station to save Scram Kitty and his feline friends.
The gameplay is simple to understand but challenging to master. You can ride the rails of each space station and bounce between rails as well. You can mow down legions of the mouse armies by using the mounted guns or using the double jump spin attack. You start with beginning able to take 4 hits of damage but you can find more health (which are called boosters) throughout the level.
The main overworld map is a top down view of the space station in which each square represents a level. Levels unlock as you find more and more kitties in each levels. I enjoy the way they made the overworld map because you can go in other paths as each path has a certain number of Kitties you must acquire before it will unlock. Kitties are earned in 4 different ways through the levels. The first way is kind of a gimme, just beat the level. The second is beating a boss-like mouse that takes a crap ton of ammo to take out. The third is playing a game of tag with a cat where you are timed to find a cat multiple times and the final way is to collect all of the pennies in a level. Let me warn the noobs out there, this game is old school arcade tough, so be prepared for a challenge.
While the game is fun even with a ridiculously tough difficulty level, there are a few flaws as well. There is no tutorial so you will need to figure everything out that you can do on your own. Now I don’t want a game to hold my hand all the way through, but throw me a few hints in the opening levels. Also the use of the GamePad is weird. You can switch between the TV or the GamePad as the main display but during the Kitty tag whichever screen is not the main screen shows where the Kitty is and the other screen is your normal screen. There just isn’t anything that tells you what is going on and is confusing at first. Even with the few flaws though, this game is still really enjoyable.
Graphically, the game has a nice 16-bit arcade feel. It meets expectations to what they were trying to achieve but most of the level design isn’t very memorable. The soundtrack has a good techno-y feel and has a few memorable beats to it.
Scram Kitty and his buddy on Rails was a title that I have been waiting to play for over a year and I walked away happy. If you are up for a challenging old school kind of game this game will be right up your alley. I wouldn’t recommend this to a novice gamer, as even when you get a few levels in the difficulty is already pretty tough. Dakko Dakko has made a great addition to the Nintendo eShop with their action shooter and I can’t wait to play their next project.