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That Darn Cat!

  • Ratty524
  • 02/20/2016 07:02 AM
Copycat is a short, and I mean less than roughly 30 minutes short, game developed within the span of a single day for a Game Jam. Given this criteria, Copycat is actually a rather difficult game to review. Most games like this, developed in such a short time span, can’t really offer a lot in terms of providing an in-depth gaming experience. One of the best ways to make up for that, however, is to having a compelling narrative which at least leaves behind a lasting impression in account for the short experience, an approach which Copycat takes fully, but in the end, does it succeed in doing that?

Copycat takes place in a modern setting, putting you in the shoes of an average, white-collar joe who leaves for work on a seemingly typical day. Of course, a story like that isn’t dosed with an unusual twist creates conflict in the plot. An unassuming, yet rather mischievous little cat ambushes him, and suddenly, this average joe is experiencing the syndrome of doubles upon arriving to his job. With his identity stolen, he has to work to get it back.

This kind of story is nothing new by any means, and it plays out as you would expect. However, it does carry its own, original charm to it, and in some scenes it does play with your expectations a little bit. The story has multiple endings, all depending on your final action towards the last segment of the game, so there is some minor replay value.

Unfortunately, as this story was originally written in another language, there are some grammar mistakes and rather rigid dialogue that might rip you out of your immersion. However, I’ve personally found that it didn’t stop me from enjoying what I saw.

For those looking for an interactive experience, you might be disappointed to find out that Copycat leaves little input from the player until the very end of the game, where you answer a series of questions regarding your identity, ones that can severely punish you if you haven’t been paying any attention to what transpires throughout the game, that determine your ending to the game. The story progresses in a completely linear fashion until that point comes, and once it does, it actually feels a little bit jarring to go from what is essentially a fixed visual novel to an interactive medium.

This rather hacked-in transition between non-interactive and interactive could probably account to what’s wrong with this game as a whole: There is not much the player is really doing in Copycat other than pressing a button to move text along. Considering I personally haven’t played many games which truly test your abilities to listen and remember the events that lead up to a certain point, this is somewhat of a disservice to an otherwise great concept.

To give some credit, the experience as a whole is quite solid for what a developer could make within twenty-four hours. Trust me, I’ve been there, it’s probably one of the most hectic experiences I could imagine, and it takes some serious ingenuity and experience to make something worthwhile within such a tight time frame.

The game takes on a pseudo-NES style with a limited, yet remarkably used color palette of darkblues, white and a subtle red. It certainly calls attention to itself with a unique style, though there are some maps where characters blend in with the floor tiles, particularly in the scene where the main character first discovers his malicious doppelganger, which ruins the contrast between characters and scenery objects.

The music consists of two tracks that seem to be edits of Earthbound music, or something similar to the sort. The twisted, otherworldly nature of these tunes give the game an amusingly quirky, yet slightly unsettling vibe to it, and it works perfectly for a game like this.

Copycat is a nice little romp for those looking for a short, cute little game to pass the time, but to anyone looking for a more moving or in-depth experience, it’ll sadly leave you unsatisfied. Truly, there isn’t a lot wrong with the game itself, but throughout my entire playthrough, I was witnessing great ideas being sadly under-utilized, and I was left hungry for more.

I highly recommend the creator to expand on the concepts presented in this game. Perhaps, let the main character go through more struggles to prove his identity to his friends as oppose to only one other person. Think of what greater theme or moral this story could have on how people value others, or something. Now that you are free from the shackles of rigid contest restrictions, you have a chance to make this game into more than what it currently is!



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Thank you for the feedback!!
Ohh, I surely have to keep working on my English! (Should have tried to find some English speaker tester before) >.<
I'll keep that in mind!
Also, the story and characters are way too shallow..
The true is that I used too much time at the graphics and left the story at side.

Sadly, I don't feel like editing this game anymore, I'd rather improve in the next ones ~w~

Thanks again!
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
... Sounds cool to me!
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