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- 07/03/2020 09:10 PM
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Wrath of the Tea Kitten by Luiishu535
Length: ~15 minutes
To be honest, Wrath of the Tea Kitten is not a game I really planned to review, the reason being I don't believe I have a lot of material on what I want to say about it. However, I was going through the horror games on RMN again and upon seeing this I remembered that it's been sitting at a 1.5 star rating for a while. Which is a shame, I think Tea Kitten is a really fun game that deserves not only a higher score but also more attention. So even if I don't have a lot to say, I reckon I would at least get the rating up a little bit, and maybe this will interest a few more people in checking this hiddem gem out.
Fellow RMN developer lavendersiren called my game Two Strangers 3 a "masterclass in shitposting," and I like that description so I'm stealing it for this review. Wrath of the Tea Kitten is a David Lynch inspired masterclass in shitposting. I'm ashamed to admit that I am quite new to David Lynch's works, having only seen Mulholland Drive and Eraserhead for the first time ever in 2020, and also currently watching Twin Peaks for the first time as well. It is nice to go back to this game after watching Eraserhead and see how it was inspired by it, though. Which is to say - not really a huge lot?
It's a good thing, though. It's nice that you can see the Eraserhead inspiration but can also see that the game is very much its own thing with a unique identity. The biggest similarity would be the industraliazed setting, with Eraserhead taking place very early into the 20th century, and while this game doesn't really state when it takes place, it has that industrial europe feel to it to seen reflected in the furniture and character design. Other than that, I guess the only real comparison to be made is that they are both surreal.
Tea Kitten isn't really as serious or dark as Eraserhead by any means. On the contrary, it can be read into as a comedy game with a dark overtone. It presents itself like a serious, atmospheric horror drama, but most of the writing is just clearly shitposting. I suppose Eraserhead is a little similar as some people like to read into as a comedy as well, but the comedy is much less obvious in comparison. Tea Kitten pulls this off really well, though. The humour is consistently great throughout the game, never really being laugh out loud funny but definitely being silly enough that it puts a smile on your face.
I did not hit Grubba! It's not true! It's bullshit! I did not hit Grubba! I did nooooooot! Oh hi Mr A.
Another strong aspect of the game lies in its graphics, which are made almost entirely by Luiishu himself. He hasn't been on RMN much lately. Hope he's doing well. Anyway, the game looks very nice. I don't have much to comment on, it's just a damn fine looking game (please pretend I made a reference to "this is, excuse me, a damn fine cup of coffee" from Twin Peaks) with nice mapping, nice sprites, nice color palette, and an interesting setting that's fun to explore.
And that's most of the gameplay - exploration. There aren't really anything you could call puzzles in Tea Kitten, you just walk around the place and interact with objects and things happen. My only issue is that sometimes the game does not give you enough direction on where to go, making it easy to get lost and just enter every room again and again until something happens, but with the entire game area being pretty small it's not really a huge issue.
As for the story, there isn't much to it besides the shitposting. The core concept is about finding three kitten statues, because it's tea kitten day or something, trying to save your crush Mr A from a locked cell, and dealing with major creepo Grubba. The way the story is presented adheres to the general surreal shitpost tone of the game, so you won't really get a traditional plot to accompany these concepts. They are developed throughout the game, but left up to your interpretation. Tea Kitten is definitely not a game you should go into expecting it to be a "normal" experience, because it's more of a fever dream than anything. But if you're like me and that's something you find appealing, you will probably enjoy this like I did.
Tea Kitten is very short and you can beat it quickly, but during its short runtime it does everything pretty well and has a lot of memorable scenes. It's not a lengthy, fleshed out experience, but it does not waste any time, always offering the best it has to offer. For that, I think it's an ideal game for its length. In shorter games, it really pays off to try to make every minute excellent rather than trying to fit a "proper" story into it, for which Tea Kitten is a prime example. If you're just looking to play something short, this is a game I highly recommend. It's well worth the very small amount of time it's asking you to give it, and I certainly wish there was more like it.
I give Wrath of the Tea Kitten four tea kittens out of five.
In Birdperson's language this means "I am in great pain, please help me."