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Review Information
Game Reviewed Kitten Command, by onpon4
Review Author MonkeyMan1242
Created Nov 18 2016, 3:55 AM

General Commentary and Game Overview
Kitten Command is a shoot em up about a texan cat trying to protect his homeland (reworded from the readme file). It features basic gameplay mechanics with easy to understand controls. You can move up down left and right (and diagonally too) and used space to shoot. The controls are so basic the creator didn't even add any "How to Play" or "Instructions" in the game at all! Anyway, the controls are simple and your goal is simple, shoot at anything that moves. The game is deceptively simple, taking you off guard as it reveals new enemy types to deal with every minute or so to keep it interesting.
 
Pros Plenty of unique enemy types that all serve as a different problem and all have to be faced differently. Their positioning and typing also all need to be taken into account. E.g. using a red koopa to destroy a wall of heavily armored spinies. Simple and easy to grasp controls. Contra sound effects. The ability to use and configure gamepads and chance keyboard controls. Seemingly useless-to-most-people things such as an FPS counter which I really liked.
 
Cons On any menus or the title screen, there is absolutely no music or sound at all. During gameplay, there is an incredibly loud and droning remix of a certain Mario song that completely overshadows the incredibly quiet Contra sound effects. Some more balancing of when sound and music are used and their volume would really help. It is also a little bit hard to estimate the hitbox of your character due to every sprite standing straight on slanted ground.
 
Impressions
Gameplay
8 / 10
The gameplay takes a note right out of the design of any Mario game, easy to grasp but sometimes deceptively simple. New enemy types being constantly introduced keeps the player on their toes and how each enemy interacts with each other allows the player to employ many strategies and tactics to effectively clear a wave of enemies. Your character's slow movement makes weaving in between hammer bros. hammers very tense and accomplishing. The controls are simple and easy to grasp.
 
Graphics
6 / 10
99% of the graphics are ripped straight from Super Mario Bros. 3 letting the game have a very consistent art style and nothing seems out of place. The flat colors and pixelation of the the main character fit in well with the other NES based graphics. The score is low simply because I do not like the art style of the NES Mario games very much.
 
Sound
2 / 10
As described in the "Cons" section the music and sound effects in this game are incredibly inconsistent and jarring with absolutely no sound while on the menus but incredibly loud and droning music completely overshadowing the very quiet sound effects during the game.
 
Replay
5 / 10
This one is a struggle to decide because although by the end of my session I was beginning to get bored, the addition of 5 different levels of difficulty allow plenty of replayability for players that enjoy the game thoroughly.
 
Final Words
7 / 10
Kitten Command is a simple game with simple controls and simple game mechanics but conversely engaging gameplay with increasingly varying enemy types and problems to consider while playing. High Score: 146280.

Comments
onpon4 Nov 18 2016, 2:19 PM
Regarding the sound balance problem, that's only on Windows, and not even all of them. I don't know why, but I guess it must have something to do with the way MIDI files are played on Windows. This is what it sounds like on my system:

https://goblinrefuge.com/mediagoblin/u/onpon4/m/kitten-command-insane-difficulty/

And the Windows system I built the game on is even worse than what you describe; I wasn't able to hear the sound effects at all even with music disabled and the volume maximized. Very strange; none of my other SGE games have this problem.

One theory I have is that whatever is playing MIDI files on Windows is refusing to play MIDI files at a lower volume as requested by the game; the game sets the music volume to 3%. It could be that some Windows systems either refuse to reduce MIDI volume at all, or refuse to reduce it below a certain threshold.

Anyway, I'm glad you liked the game overall. :)
 
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