A cat in a mech suit. Exploring a Research Facility. Metroidvania style. Presented in monochrome pixel art. I’ve got a good feline about this.
Welcome to the adventures of spaceman Gary. Follow along as he gets a signal from a small planet on his patrol route. It is likely just a false alarm from an abandoned Research Facility. But still, somebody should check it out, just in case. As Gary attempts to land, his cat Kiki causes the spaceship to crash. Gary survives the crash but is trapped inside the ship. Now Kiki has to find a way to help Gary. How hard can it be for a lonely cat on a foreign planet? Luckily there is a mech suit nearby.
So… welcome to the adventures of Mechsuit Cat.
Explore, Fight, Upgrade
Gato Roboto is a typical Metroidvania in a charming monochromatic pixel style. Well, actually, some people call it a Catroidvania, I’d prefer Meowtroidvania, but the gameplay is the same: Explore the Research Facility and collect some upgrades for your mech, which will allow you to enter other areas you couldn’t reach before.
You fight your way through dozens of frogs, bees, squids and different types of robots. In some rooms you get looked in with several enemies and can only progress after you have beaten all of them. These parts are fairly easy. The mech is strong enough to absorb a number of hits. You start with 6 hit points. Healthkits upgrade this number to a maximum of 16 hit points which will make later fights a lot easier.
Most of the time you walk around in your mech. Some passages have to be done in your catsuit, i.e. Kiki without the mech. Either to dive, climb up a wall or because the path is too narrow. Without the mech Kiki will die immediately if she gets hit so you have to move more carefully. In some areas Kiki can board a tiny submarine which adds some firepower underwater.
Along the way you have to prove your skills in some boss fights. The main antagonist, a mouse, has to be beaten more than once throughout the game. Of course there are some hidden rooms as well. Next to abilities and healthkits you can hunt for 14 cartridges which will allow you to change the color scheme. There are also clues about what happened in the Research Facility.
Same old, but well done
Some reviews criticized the game for not being innovative enough. Yes, the upgrades are pretty standard. You get your weapon upgrades, double jump and dash. But what do you expect? It is impossible for each new game to invent a whole set of unique equipment. This is ok.
The bosses are varied and, for the most part, quite manageable. Work out the pattern and choose the right time to attack the boss. After a few attempts you will probably be able to win. I only had problems with one of them, the Lava Mouse boss midway through the game. That one had me stopped playing for a few days. That’s my own fault. I spent too much time with Hearthstone, Slay The Spire and Baba Is You. No wonder I am a bit rusty with boss battles.
There are two minor aspects I did not like. For one, every boss fight starts with some dialog. If the boss kills you, you have to endure the dialog again. You can speedclick through it. But this is still unnecessary.
And then there are some points where the story hints at something but never explains it. That felt a bit cheap.
100% or bust
Note to self: I gotta stop trying to get 100%. Every time one of those stupid games shows the player the current percentage of all the possible items you can find, I am incentivized to get all of them. What a waste of time. I end up running around like a braindead monkey looking for hidden pathways instead of just finishing the game. Some of the hidden items are marked on the map. You „just“ have to find a way to get to them. But the last two or three items are not marked, so you better pay attention to the level design.
I ended up finishing the game in 5 hours plus. That is rather relaxed. If you are better at boss fights and don’t aim for 100% you can beat the game in 3 hours. That makes Gato Roboto a really short game. Considering the game costs only 6,59 Euro on Steam this is fine.
Gato Roboto is exactly what it promises to be: a cute little Metroidvania with interesting enough bosses for a really good price. Pick it up.
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Published: 30. May 2019
Platforms: Steam, Switch
Played on PC / Status: Completed (100%)