Gato Roboto Review | Nintendo Switch & PC

Gato Roboto is an adorable and awesome new
Metroidvania game that puts you in control of an adorable little kitty inside of various
mech suits. In true Devolver Digital fashion, it’s a
quirky little indie game with a lot of charm that delivers the gameplay too. Cruising through the depths of space, commander
Gary is checking through his usual flight path when he suddenly comes across a signal
coming from a nearby planet. Oddly enough, this planet is home to an old
research facility that hasn’t been in service in years. Wanting to see what the anomaly was, Gary,
travels to the foreign planet only to crash and get stuck on his ship. Luckily his adorable pet kitty named Kiki
is there to save the day. That’s who you play as too, this tiny pet
cat that jumps into a mech suit and takes it upon themselves to save the day. The premise of an adorable little cat like
this maneuvering a deadly mech suit, shooting up alien creatures is admitedly one of the
cutest and humorous stories I’ve played this year. Elements of the story are sprinkled throughout
the campaign in the form of conversations and logs the hint away at what occurred on
this planet. It’s fascinating though at times predictable
to unravel what happened. Although the humorous tones these moments
take is always a joy to see. The heat dispenser brothers for example definitely
had me chuckling. With that said, it was a short adventure one
that can be beaten in about 3 hours or so. It actually times you at the bottom of the
screen, something I didn’t notice until I came back from cooking and realized it kept
on counting play time. Oops. Kiki may be a cute cat but this kitty has
some claws. Usually one wouldn’t send an adorable kitten
to go destroy aliens and rescue a space captain but then again, most kittens can’t maneuver
mech suits, drive submarines and so on. That’s what makes Kiki special and what
makes this a Metroidvania adventure game. Exploring the depths of this world’s labyrinths,
you’ll come across all sorts of enemies and platforming areas locked away by different
abilities. That’s where your suit and upgrades come
into play. Not only do these upgrades help you take on
enemies but they also let your further traverse the planet, acting as keys to hidden away
areas. Each upgrade opened up the world letting further
dive into its crevices and solve the mystery of the distress signal. Now I don’t want to go over every power
just because with this game being so short, it can easily spoil everything available. What I can say is that each power was fun
to use and only further improved your mobility. Early on fights with bosses felt like old
school Megaman fights, just trying to dodge bullet storms and landing my quick shots when
I could. That branches out as you upgrade your mech
suit to incorporate faster movement. Some sections like the lava sections will
even force you to stay in your suit, keeping kitty away from the dangerous temperatures. Your mech suit isn’t the only thing at your
disposal though. At just about any point you can jump out of
your suit and scurry around the planet just being a cat. In these instances, kitty is able to reach
small corridors and climb up flat surfaces. However, one single hit kills you and sends
you back to your last checkpoint. While that may sound a bit difficult, Gato
Roboto surprisingly isn’t, at least those familiar with the genre. If you’ve played your share of indie Metroidvania
games, which this youtube channel sort of forces me to, I think you’ll breeze through
this. However, if you’re not too familiar with
this genre, you might be able to extend your play time a bit. When it comes to looks, Gato Roboto is incredibly
simple yet manages to exude this delightful presentation. Kiki is an adorable protagonist that was fun
to navigate around the depths of the planet. Seeing their little portrait images during
dialogue sequences always brought a smile to my face. It’s all a simple look but that easily translates
between playing docked or on the go with the Nintendo Switch. It actually kind of reminds me of Downwell,
also published by Devolver Digital. The simplicity is a doubled edged sword though. At times it was hard to distinguish enemies
away from the background since everything was the same color. I got better at it over time but it was a
bit of a cumbersome issue at first. Throughout the campaign, you do unlock new
color pallets to change up the look of things so you do at least get some sort of visual
customization. I’d describe Gato Roboto’s soundtrack
as atmospheric, pushing tones of mystery and curiosity throughout the campaign. You’re a small kitten exploring an alien
planet and rightfully so, it feels like you’re this creature that’s alone open to any danger
in every corner. In terms of nailing the feeling of an old
lost Metroid game, it does so beautifully. It even encapsulates some other features of
space games from the past. For example, the dialogue sequences mimic
a similar style to Star Fox on the SNES. It helps fuel its retro vibes and I’m all
for it. Gato Roboto feels like a bite-size indie super
metroid to me. It’s cheap at only $7.99 and short really
only taking up about 4 hours tops. Even then I can’t help but fall in love
with this game’s charm and adorableness. It doesn’t necessarily do anything better
than other Metroidvania games, but it stands out for being a great bite-size adventure
that can easily stand toe to toe with the other stellar indies in the genre. If you’re looking for something to beat
on a flight, on a commute, or just at home over the weekend, you can’t go wrong with
Gato Roboto.

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