Sushi Cat
A Casual Game Review

South Africa By: Mandy J Watson on 18 March 2010
Category: Games > Casual > Reviews
Tags: cats Comments View Comments

Combine a lonely, hungry cat on a mission of the heart with sushi-consumption challenges, strange obstacles, a little bit of physics, and some outlandish music and you'll have an epic 45-minute(ish) tale with which to amaze no one in particular, unless you do really well, in which case you can be all, like, "Hey, I did well!"... which may, still, not exactly amaze anyone in particular.

Sushi CatYour aim in each level of Sushi Cat is to eat a specified number of pieces of sushi to earn a "full belly". (There's a small storyline to explain this premise that plays out in cut scenes.) You drop the cat from the top of the screen (that is your only action - aim, *click*) and, if you've aimed correctly, he'll consume sushi pieces as he falls and then he'll land in one of the takeaway boxes at the bottom, the number imprinted on it determining part of the bonus multiplier amount.

If you pay attention you'll notice that at the start of every drop a multiplier number is highlighted. This highlight indicates that the container's multiplier amount is on a bonus - double that of its default amount - which means that you can earn extra points if you land there on that drop. You get several lives/drop attempts per level and there are always more pieces on screen than is necessary to achieve a full belly so any extras you consume are counted as bonus sushi and they are worth bonus points.

Certain pieces in the play area are pickups with special powers that if used properly (or timed correctly) can aid you in your quest and they add an extra, fun skill element to the game. The levels become increasingly difficult with moving (and movable) obstacles that require some thought and timing as this is a physics-influenced game with subtle mechanics. Added to this is the problem that the more sushi the cat eats, the larger he gets during a drop, which affects where he can squeeze through (or not) and how much he might bounce.

Sushi Cat

At the end of each level (in other words, once you've used up all your drop lives or have consumed all the sushi) the game produces your level scorecard, which is styled like a take-out receipt, complete with date and time stamped at the bottom (useful if you achieve anything significant and wish to take a screenshot). If you don't meet the full-belly requirement you can replay the level, and if you get stuck in a level you can reset it, at no detriment to your game. This is very likely to happen on level 13, as it's possible to get so big that you will either get stuck between obstacles or you may have to wait a long time for the physics on the level to play itself out to a combination that will allow you to pass. I managed to get through with no problem (a few times) but a number of gamers have posted online that they've become stuck here - one had to wait 20 minutes for the level to end successfully.

The only other oddity in the game is that once you have finished you can submit your score to the Armor Games ranking boards, if you wish, and then your cumulative total remains while you have free access to any of the levels you've played before. If you score higher on any of them your cumulative total will increase by that extra amount. You can then replay the ending and resubmit your (new) score and, theoretically, continue playing until you've achieved maximum points on each level.

If you are crazy and obsessive, I mean.

There are some great subtleties in the graphics that lift the quality of the game. The expression on the face of the belly indicator on the left becomes happier as you get closer to full, and the conveyor-belt graphic on the right rotates the images of all the sushi pieces in the gameplay area until you eat them, at which point they vanish from the belt and fall into the belly of the belly indicator.

The game's primary theme is called Run To Japan. It's a Creative Commons licensed by-nc-sa 3.0 piece by composer Chris Davidson that sounds like a hokey Japanese-influenced 200 (or something) beats-per-minute Western hoedown, yet it's perfect for the game and surprisingly catchy (or possibly annoying, in which case you can switch off the game sound and music). The rest of the music, all Creative Commons licensed as by 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod, is a little less crazy, though just as amusing (Cartoon Battle especially), with world (Asian) and reggae influences (Tea Roots is actually quite laid back and fun). The sound effects, which you may not even notice, are completely unobtrusive and rather cute (especially when the cat munches on a piece of sushi).

Sushi Cat

There aren't that many levels - 14 to be exact - which keeps the gameplay entertaining rather than mind-numbingly repetitive, but it means that you will get to the end rather quickly (unless you hit a problem on level 13) and then there's not that much incentive to play through again, unless you want to aim for a perfect score. However, this is still a fun one for a lazy lunch hour or winding down on a Friday afternoon as the gameplay is simple, but challenging, without being physically or mentally taxing.

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Rating: 7/10
Time-Wasting Value: 45 minutes
Learning Curve: 3/10
Entertainment Value: 6/10
Replayability: 3/10

Key Facts
Price: Free
Year: 2010
Genre: Puzzle
Keywords: falling, physics, skill
Size: Approximately 4.6 MB (embedded Flash file)
Resolution: 700x650
Requirements: Internet connection, Adobe Flash Player, mouse
Programming: Joey Betz
Art: Jimp/Jim P
Music: Chris Davidson (Sound-O-Vision)/Dj CUTMAN; Kevin MacLeod
Developer: Armor Games

On The Internet
Chris Davidson (Sound-O-Vision)/Dj CUTMAN:
Run To Japan: MusicDownload Download [ 4.7 MB MP3; 02:33; 44.1 KHz; 256 Kb/s; CC by-nc-sa 3.0 ]
Kevin MacLeod:
Cartoon Battle: MusicDownload Download [ 4 MB MP3; 01:41; 48 KHz; 320 Kb/s; CC by 3.0 ]
Ishikari Lore: MusicDownload Download [ 6.5 MB MP3; 02:44; 44.1 KHz; 320 Kb/s; CC by 3.0 ]
Tea Roots: MusicDownload Download [ 11 MB MP3; 04:39; 44.1 KHz; 320 Kb/s; CC by 3.0 ] Comments Speak Your Mind

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