Gato Roboto is a fun, humorous, and well-made Metroidvania. While a relatively short adventure, the game hits many high points in its scant hours, with unique gameplay mechanics being introduced during each new area you encounter. This design keeps Gato Roboto feeling fresh and pushes the player to keep exploring until their journey is complete. Plus, it has an adorable cat as the main character!
Cat in a mech suit = Unadulterated enjoyment
The plot of Gato Roboto starts out simple enough. An astronaut named Gary is keen to investigate an abandoned research facility when he picks up a signal from there. Due to some cat antics, he crashes into the area and is unable to move. Gary implores his kitty, Kiki, to unravel the reasoning behind the distress beacon. Luckily, there is a robot suit nearby that Kiki fits in quite comfortably. Using this new technology, Kiki soon finds out that the facility isn’t as desolate as once thought…
A wide variety in modes of exploration
As the player guides Kiki through the lab’s handful of sections, they will be struck by the title’s ingenious level design. The mech suit does a fine job of protecting Kiki from harm and harsh climates, but it’s easily damaged by water and cannot fit into tight spaces. Kiki can swim and climb through vents on her lonesome but is left woefully unprotected without the robot suit. Navigating each level while running head-on into risky situations makes Gato Roboto a tense game of cat and mouse.
Secrets and power-ups, oh my!
Gato Roboto‘s core identity as a Metroidvania is wrapped up in its sense of progression, traversal, and backtracking. The title does a wonderful job in conveying a natural sense of advancement, with Kiki’s mech obtaining more and more abilities as you unlock new places to navigate. These upgrades also unlock shortcuts that you may have noticed before but were unable to fully comprehend. I absolutely love when a video game’s map all comes together and makes sense after every pathway is uncovered.
Secrets are a bit of a mixed bag in Gato Roboto, however. Gamers will notice blocked off parts of the map as they complete each area, which usually signifies a new upgrade to expose. While concise, it does leave out a bit of mystery. A game like Super Metroid has items hidden in parts of a location’s background. These always provided a sense of profound discovery when finding; that’s something I feel Gato Roboto lacks. In addition, there is one particular spot where I could not backtrack. Either the game has a permanently missable power-up, or I suck at finding alternate routes. [Editor’s Note: Art doesn’t suck; it is indeed impossible to backtrack right now.] Regardless, the title’s secret unlocks are admittedly awesome, ranging from health boosts to cartridges that alter Gato Roboto‘s color scheme.
Not a catastrophe in the slightest
Besides some unclear navigation and difficult platforming sections (at least until you can double jump), Gato Roboto is a triumphant adventure. Its dialogue is often funny, with outlandish sound effects emanating from friends and foes alike. The game’s bosses are clever and tough to defeat without feeling overwhelming and frustrating. In addition, the title doesn’t feel overly long or full of fluff. I clocked in a little over four hours with an 84% completion rate. Admittedly, Gato Roboto is a small video game, but its length is one of its strengths. The adventure introduces new mechanics and discoveries at such a perfect pace that you end up feeling satisfied yet hungry for more. If you love Metroidvanias and want a quick, cheap, enjoyable version of one, Gato Roboto fits that mold purrfectly.
A review code was provided by the publisher.
Arthur Damian is a writer, editor, educator, and lover of video games. Based and living in Brooklyn, NY, he has been gaming since the age of five, from the NES to the Nintendo Switch. His favorite system is the SNES, his favorite game is Chrono Trigger, and you cannot convince him otherwise. He loves dogs, rainbow cookies, Spider-Man, and songs with intricate drum patterns. Arthur is also the Editor-in-Chief at That VideoGame Blog.