Thursday, August 2, 2012

Retro Cat Platformer, Nine Lives!

Nine Lives comic
  Nine Lives, by Scylla Games, is a retro platform game featuring a cat as the main character. The kitten, Felina, is traveling across multiple worlds to find and rescue her kidnapped mother, dodging water droplets and defeating enemies, all with only nine lives. As Felina progresses through the game, she gains new abilities such as the ability to hang from walls or shoot fireballs. This charming platformer hearkens back to an age of fantastic level design and simple, yet challenging gameplay.

Nine Lives gameplay
Every day, shuffling.
Like all retro games, the graphics are nothing to scream about, but Nine Lives does a wonderful job of presenting its own brand of retro. With a gray scale color scheme reminiscent of the original Game Boy, Nine Lives populates each of its expansive levels with ogres, flying birds, snakes, and pits. To reach the next stage, the player has to find a key that will unlock the appropriate door, often accompanied by a mini-boss fight. The game also features a fantastic chiptunes soundtrack to go along with it, but could use a little variety in the terms of different tracks.

Nine Lives gameplay
Underground gameplay
Actual gameplay is crisp and wonderfully clean, with a simplistic set of controls. The game only has a total of four buttons, but with a variety of enemy-types, Nine Lives offers a fresh experience on every stage. However, the game suffers on an atmosphere front, and could use a little more in terms of level presentation, such as slight wisps of smoke or fog when underground. Other than that, Nine Lives gives an adorable character a quaint world to run around in.

Nine Lives gameplay
Level Design
  Scylla Games, named after the developer's toy poodle, is made up of only one man. Currently working on another project alongside with Nine Lives, he lacks the necessary funding to promote the game and support it. From what I see, Nine Lives is a solid platformer with perhaps not the newest mechanics, but a wonderful experience with a healthy dollop of nostalgia.

Freshness Rating: You've gotta be kitten me. Right meow, I love it.

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