Super Cat Tales 2
Super Cat Tales II is a platform game developed and published by Gionathan "Neutronized" Pesaresi. It was released initially on October 4, 2018 for Android and iOS, with a final version released on May 7, 2020.
It is the second game in the Super Cat Tales (known as Super Cat Bros. on Android) series, and chronologically a prequel of the first game.
The evil group Tin Soliders and their leader Lord Iridium are devastating and trying to dominate the Nekoland, as the place hides a powerful relic called "Moon Crystal". This is the first attack since a historical war that happened centuries ago, with a similar reason.
The Moon Crystal warrants balance and safety to the world. Having it on wrong hands and the world would be chaotic.
A group of cats must stop Lord Iridium the Tin Soldiers from starting another possible "Moon Crystal War".
The minimalistic controls are back, with one of the basic rules consisting on holding the left or the right of the screen walk. With some changes including the removal of headbutting the wall, the golden cat is not infinite anymore, and more.
Here are the playable cats:
- Alex: The gray cat, and the main character. He can climb walls higher than any other cat. Available at first glance.
- Sgt. McMeow: A member of P.A.W.S. army and the professor of Olli and Pascal. He can run over the minions without taking damage (unless they're spiked). Available starting from World 1-2.
- Shinji: The blue sailor cat. He can move underwater better than any other cat, including handling with currents without any problem. Available starting from World 2-1.
- Kuro: The mines' black cat with a lantern hat. He improves the viewing of dark places and can repel bats. Available after paying him 500 coins in Worold 3-2.
- ????: She magically bypasses enemies' collisions when standing idle. Available starting from World 4-1.
- Amy: The female brown and pink cat. She can pass through small passages. Available after captuing all baby cats hidden over the worlds.
- Brutus: The orange chubby and lazy cat. He can break stone blocks blocking holes. Available in World 1-HOME and unlocked by both activating the giant wheel and waking him up with a flute.
- Robo-Kitty: The gray robot cat. He has (almost) all of the above cats' abilities! Available after collecting all gears hidden over the worlds (impossible without beating the game).
There is a non-playable cat called Rigs. He was also an alumnus of Sgt. McMeow, but he eventually becomes an enemy.
There are 7 worlds with 8 stages (9 if including hidden/extra stages) each. To make them not very repetitive by just running, killing enemies and getting bells, each one has challenges involving getting a hidden key, finding cats and gears, and more.
Completing them without taking a hit will give you a "perfect" crown. One stage in the game requires you to collect those "perfect" crowns to unlock an item that allows the stage to be passed.
Why It Rocks
- This is yet another "free-to-play" single-player off-line mobile game with full plot and characters. That's pretty rare, since most mobile games are either "hyper casual" or social media-like with P2W mechanics.
- Many improvements over the first game, making it look like "the real deal" over just a demo. This can be compared to what happened to Portal (from 1 to 2) and Metal Gear Solid V (from Ground Zeroes to The Phantom Pain).
- Now you can change between cats at any position. You don't have to strictly stay above the the pink carpet to do this anymore. This grants more freedom and other stuff.
- Each stage now has 3 hidden cat bells. The bells are more cleverly hidden. So you have to either vasculhate all over the stage or/and find anything hiding a bell and unlock it with either: a gadget, an specific cat, a hint, and more.
- You need to collect the bells to unlock access to certain stages.
- Each world has one hidden stage (represented by a question mark (?), rather than a number), which can be accessed by finding a red-and white checkerboard carpet in one of the numebered worlds.
- While this game also has "one available character and the others are locked", this one mostly relies in progressing through the plot or doing challenges, not strictly grinding. The objectives are also not very cheap (except for Amy and Brutus).
- The cat's roster shows 8 portraits and it actually has 8 cats. This is not like the first game, which also shows 8 blocks, but has only 6 cats avaliable.
- While this doesn't make sense, for some reason, wearing the Dive Mask literally grants you full invincibility underwater. This is a nonsensical logic the actually helps the player.
- The bosses mostly consists of avoiding, rather than attacking. This makes the game more challenging than already is.
- The level design is decent, with the best example being the final world.
- The graphics are still cute.
- Still great soundtrack, composed by Rakugaki "Dreamsbell" Otoko. Even though it includes both returning and new tracks, the selection is also partially based on atmosphere and emotion (rather than simply stage-based). This gives a more cinematic sensation.
- This is a 2D game that suddenly suffers with slowdown/sluggish frame rate, which is totally unacceptable. Adding further salt in the wounds, it somehow overuses the hardware and overheats the phone.
- The first SCT game does not suffer said issue.
- The gadgets are not avaliable at first glance and are unnecessarily expensive (for the in-game's currency). This means you have to grind a lot, which can be very tedious. Even the 50% discount for the paid version does not help too much.
- Even worse is that you must have all the gadgets to even beat the game. Some parts are unpassable without having one of those.
- Still a ton of assets recycled from previous games from the same developer, even though it uses "it's part of the Neutronized universe" as an excuse.
- Very disappointing final boss and ending.
- The controls for the airplane controlling are abysmal.
- Much like in the Mega Man series, the enemies will reappear if their coordinates are not shown on screen, which is already annoying, nonsensical and inexcusable for nowadays' standards.
- Amy and Brutus are rather useless, as they only exist to do one thing or another, and their gameplays overall are either advantageless (for Amy) or frustrating (for Brutus). The fact that their unlocking process are tedious certainly didn't help.
- The achievements are broken and unfinished.
- Non-Latin languages (Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Russian, and more) use a generic "Arial-esque" character font, rather than the pixelated one, which destroys the visual and charm.
- Again, there is no way to uninstall the game without losing the local save file (at least without "nerd" skills).
- It is recommended to not defeat a single enemy if not neccessary. This will grant you an easier way to perfectly complete a stage.
- Getting a "perfect" (finish the stage without taking a single hit) also doubles the coins you've collected.
- There is a glitch that allows you to play as any cat without unlocking them. The best cat is Robo-Kitty, which is basically all of the cats' skills combined.
- To do this glitch, you have to tap the Cat button on the upper-left corner and very quickly repeatedly tapping the eighth (lower-right) portrait until something happen. If nothing happen, try again until it succeed. It's hard to pull off, but it's actually possible.
PocketGamer gave the game a 4 (out of 5) stars rating, calling it "an interesting and engaging platformer... dripping with charm and clever ideas".