LifeisXbox’s Catmaze review | Catmaze tells a story about a mother and her daughter who are “magis”, they deal with magic, flying brooms, and familiars among others, living in a secluded place. You play as the daughter, Alesta, and your mother sends you on your first magical task, go to a nearby village to help her get rid of an evil spirit. Redblack Spade developed Catmaze, and Ratalaika Games S.L. is its publisher.
Most Memorable Moment
Meeting a specific character, which I can’t say what he is without spoiling it, but it was a pretty nice moment, specifically for what the character is, combined with its appearance.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox One | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- Fascinating world | The gods, demons, creatures, and dimensions in Catmaze, which are based on Slavic myths, all contribute to the world’s sense of life and intrigue. There are plenty of regions to explore, and they differ not only in terms of appearance but also in terms of the opponents they include, the music they feature, and in some cases, the NPCs who live there who can give you side and main quests.
- It plays as expected | This game is a metroidvania in every way, including items that increase your stats and shops with upgrades and potions. “Weapons” (in this case, familiars) you can switch between at any time. Skills you can pick up to access different areas, a way to teleport between different locations, and rooms that are specifically there for saving the game. Although it doesn’t alter the formula, it does a good job of applying it.
- Soundtrack | I’ll be honest, the overall soundtrack isn’t spectacular and some songs can feel a bit repetitive. However, there is a good amount of song variety and they aren’t bad to listen to. The soundtrack does have charisma despite it not being the best one you’ll hear in a metroidvania. And the sound effects are simple, but they do their job well enough.
- Not too hard | I was pleased to see that this isn’t an incredibly difficult game to play. I defeated quite a few bosses in a single try, and the hardest ones took me less than five tries. I died a lot more to regular enemies than to the bosses, but even then, I didn’t feel too frustrated because there were a good amount of save points scattered throughout the map. I do understand that some people would rather have a more challenging experience, but I’m personally not the hugest fan of these experiences.
- Visuals | I really wish I could just straight up say that the visuals are great because the in-game ones are actually pretty nice, with a simplistic feel but enough detail in them to look pretty good. But then, there are the dialogue character drawings (like the one you can see in the above image), which most of the time aren’t that good-looking. There are a few drawings that look pretty interesting, but since most of them don’t, I felt like it was better to either not have the “bad” ones, or not have any at all.
What we Disliked
- A tiny bit problematic | I found a few problems while playing through Catmaze, they weren’t too bad or too many, but they were there. Sometimes I felt like the analogue stick wasn’t too responsive, specifically when going down a platform multiple times in a row. I fell off a moving platform once in a “chase” sequence for seemingly no reason. I was able to survive an unsurvivable pursuer, in the same chase sequence I mentioned before, by simply getting damaged by something else before getting damaged by my pursuer, which is clearly not intentional. If you want to climb upstairs, you need to jump instead of simply walking, otherwise, you’ll fall behind them, this felt more like a design flaw.
- Not as cat-full as expected | You’ll only understand why the game is called Catmaze when you’re near the end of it, but still, for a game with “cat” in its name, I expected to see a lot more cats than I saw.
How long to beat the story | 9-10 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 12-13 hours
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Hi there, I’m Gabriel Colombo (Hence my reviewer name), I live in Brazil and I’ve been gaming since I was around 5 years old. Xbox became my main platform on the Xbox 360 era, before that I had played a bit on PC, Polystation (basically a skinned SNES), PlayStation 1 and 2. I really enjoy to experience immersive worlds, but I also enjoy playing silly games to have a laugh or just have fun.