Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nyan Cat Adventure (XBLIG): "A Game Of Sensory Overload Featuring Nyan Cat"

It wasn't until I reviewed "Bloody Checkers (XBLIG)" earlier this year, and found the hidden Nyan Cat easter egg in it that I realized what Nyan Cat was all about. On my occasional hunt for new Youtube videos to watch I would sometimes see Nyan Cat related videos that were uploaded. I passed them up many times thinking that it looked like another silly trend. After a while I noticed that it was seriously becoming a trend, and that other Nyan Cat type creatures were being shown on Youtube as well. One day (recently) when I was searching for review material on I noticed a gameplay video of "Nyan Cat Adventure", and out of sheer curiosity I watched it. After seeing what I saw I just had to get it for review. I realized that it was a score based game, and to be honest it looked really interesting to me. As usual I sought out the developer's (21 Street Games LLC) permission to review their game, and did my playthrough of all the modes before finally sitting down to do this review.

Nyan Cat Adventure is sensory overload, and eye candy to the extreme. It takes simple platforming mechanics, and mixes it with a variety visual filters that alter the game's appearance. The game features 5 modes of play (Party, Jump, Gravitate, Fly, Toast) that all use the same platforming level designs, and the use of only the (A) button for controls. As the player you have the option of choosing from 8 different Nyan Cat type creatures including Nyan Cat. A remixed version of the Nyan Cat song plays in the background as you constantly run, jump, gravitate, and fly through the randomly generated level/s. The background to the game features many different flying objects, and Nyan Cat type creatures. There are two variations to the level design including a futuristic cityscape, and an outerspace view. The goal within the game is to simply stay alive as long as you can while collecting peppermint candies for points, and pills/power-ups that alter the game's visuals/effects.

There are really only 4 different modes (Jump, Gravitate, Fly, Toast) of play in "Nyan Cat Adventure", and a fifth mode (Party) that combines all of the gameplay mechanics of the other 4. The first mode you'll find listed after choosing which Nyan Cat character you want to play as is 'Party'. Party mode features all of the gameplay mechanics of the other modes such as the ability to jump, gravitate to the top or bottom of the screen, or fly. All of these actions use only the (A) button. By quickly pressing (A) you'll just jump, but if you hold it down you can fly. Gravitating in 'Party' mode only works when you collect the proper pill/power-up though. The second mode of play you'll see listed is 'Jump'. It features your basic platform jumping mechanics, and the goal is the same as any of the other modes except for 'Party'. You have to stay alive as long as possible, and collect peppermint candies for points. There are also score multipliers, pills, and power-ups placed at random locations on the level which you can collect by simply running into them. The third mode, 'Gravitate' is the same as 'Jump' except you switch locations from the top screen to the bottom by pressing (A). Hence the name 'Gravitate'.

The fourth mode on the list is 'Fly' and like the previously two mentioned modes it's the same except for the fact that you fly instead of jumping, or gravitating. Flying is controlled by holding down the (A) button. The longer you hold (A) down the higher you will fly, and if you release it you will fall. The final, and fifth mode in the game called 'Toast' has you traveling through toaster shaped launchers in order to progress through the level. After you jump, fly, or gravitate into a toaster you will need to wait for it to line up with the next toaster and press (A) to launch yourself into it. There are toasters that simply move up, and down or some that move side to side. Other toasters will rotate causing you to have to time your launch properly. In any of the five modes you have 3 hearts of life in which to score as many points as you can. The hearts are depleted if you fall off of the screen, or if you hit spikes. There are heart refills placed throughout the level that can replenish your heart/health meter though.

I found "Nyan Cat Adventure" to be a well developed game. While it was truly fun for me I noticed that some of the game's visual filters may not be good for certain people. This is one of those games that should include a seizure warning. I have a brother who is known to have seizures, and I definitely know he couldn't watch something like this. If you're like me, and can endure intense flashing/shaking screens then I do believe it's worth buying. If you can't handle that sort of thing then I'd definitely stay away from it. One thing I would suggest to the developer as an improvement on this game would be to add online leaderboards. Online leaderboards make a world of difference when it comes to replay value. Other than that I found the game's presentation to be impressive. I liked the Nyan Cat song remix.

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