In Gato Roboto, by Doinksoft, you play as a cat named Kiki who uses her robot suit to explore a black-and-white world full of surprises. I had a chance to check out the latest demo at PAX South and had a blast doing so.
You start off Gato Roboto crashing your spaceship on a remote planet — all thanks to Kiki the cat’s inability to avoid touching control panels. Gary, your commander and guide in the game, then uses your radio collar to contact you and give you advice during your adventure. Your first task: find the Battle Armor, tucked away below the surface. Once you come upon the Battle Armor and don the suit, the previously empty rooms are now raucous with the sounds of alarms from security robots that are looking to stop you from escaping. After defeating all the enemies and stopping the lockdown, you are free to proceed back to where your ship landed and see if you can’t figure out what’s going on.
With your mech suit equipped, you are forced to retread the boxy rooms you explored earlier, but they are now somehow bustling with life. There are plenty of different dangerous animals such as frogs and bees that are looking to stop you from exploring these labyrinth-like corridors, but you now have a cannon attached to your arm that will quickly put them in their place.
In order to access areas that your suit can’t quite fit into, you can hop out of the suit at any time and just play as Kiki, which gives you some additional abilities like climbing on walls. Also hidden around the different areas are health upgrades, and with each one you find you’ll power your suit up one additional bar of damage that you can take. You’re going to need all the help you can get — as the demo also features a boss fight against a villainous mouse also wearing a robot suit.
During my playthrough I gained a couple of upgrades: the rocket module and the spin jump module. The rocket module allows you to blow up some solid walls that you couldn’t damage before — which gives you access to new areas, and also allows you to add additional height to your jump by using the rocket’s propulsion to launch yourself off in various directions. Spin jump simply lets you double-jump and can also be used to attack enemies. I’m sure there are plenty more to be found in the final game, but these two upgrades alone give you lots of variables to play around with during play.
My first Metroid game was actually the Game Boy game Metroid II: Return of Samus, so you could easily understand why the feel of Gato Roboto appeals so much to me. Black and white graphics paired with classic chiptunes sounds really feel like you’re playing the perfect homage to the games of yesteryear. The game’s dialogue is funny, the controls feel tight and the gameplay is well-executed. I can’t wait to see what other troubles Kiki gets herself into — and hopefully out of — when the game releases for Nintendo Switch and PC later this year.
Check out Doinksoft on Twitter for updates about the game as they come in.