I like to delve into simple games that are easy to pick up and take little of my time to complete. These casual experiences are wonderful, fill a void, and go hand in hand with major titles. Fortunately, the indie market is saturated with such titles and subsequently, I’m spoilt for choice. My latest time killer was picked because of its cute name, Catty & Batty: The Spirit Guide. It caught my attention because of its random name and striking artwork.
Developed by Philipp Lehner and published by Sometimes You, this is a solo or couch co-op title. It takes inspiration from Lemmings and many Tower Defense games and I couldn’t wait to see what it offered. It’s a spirit wrangling puzzle title that uses drip-fed mechanics to keep the gameplay fresh and to gradually increase the difficulty.
Catty & Batty: The Spirit Guide keeps things simple.
Wrangling spirits has never been so simple, yet these minxy ghouls and random stage mechanics ensure it’s not as easy as it appears. What begins as a walk in the park (albeit a spooky empty one), quickly becomes a logistical nightmare. Quick thinking and planning on the fly are skills you must use if you wish to successfully defeat the game.
You control either Catty a cat, or Batty a bat, that somehow stumble across an array of lost spirits. These want away ghosts can’t make it to the portal to return home, and it’s your job to help them. Armed with ghost blocking cardboard boxes, you must form a path to guide them to the exit. Of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds as obstacles and traps stand in your way.
Portals, limited boxes, and teamwork.
Teamwork is key when trying to complete each stage, and because of this, Catty & Batty: The Spirit Guide is much more enjoyable as a co-op title. I appreciated its mechanics as a solo gamer, but playing with a friend is where it excels. ‘Love Vines’ block your path and Catty and Batty must create routes on either side of the obstacle.
You’ll love pushing spirits through portals while battling plants that force you to sleep. When boxes are plentiful, it’s easy to formulate a plan. However, when limited boxes are available, you must use your wits to be victorious. The ghosts like nothing more than to cause mischief, and it’s a massive error to allow the ghosts to run free. You must take your time, be patient, and make sure nothing stops you from executing your plan of action.
Catty & Batty: The Spirit Guide is a hand-drawn masterpiece.
I have a soft spot for well done hand-drawn titles, and Catty & Batty: The Spirit Guide doesn’t disappoint. With over eight hundred hand-drawn images and one hundred and fifty animations, there is plenty of attention to detail. The crisp images work wonderfully with the contrasting background thanks to the monochromatic colour palette. The unique style of each trap helps to easily identify each obstacle in your way. This was a great decision from the developer, as the latter stages quickly become hectic and hard to handle.
Though the gameplay becomes a handful, it’s pretty mellow thanks to its chilled piano music. An array of tunes play alongside the impending madness and its slow manner helps to keep you calm and composed.
Basic controls and easy to play solo.
The gameplay is geared up for couch co-op, but it works just as well for a solo player. The responsive commands and ability to swap between characters makes it easy to play. Each stage allows you to plan your approach before you begin, and this makes it much more manageable.
I adored everything that was offered, yet I can’t get over the lack of replay value. A short two to three-hour story allows you to unlock every achievement. With no NG+ mode, there is no reason to return once you’ve completed it.
Catty & Batty: The Spirit Guide fills the void.
This stunning casual puzzler may lack longevity, but it offers striking aesthetics and wonderful gameplay. The increasingly challenging problems will test your mind and communication is key when playing co-op. I enjoyed its simplicity and recommend you to buy it here! Create a plan, lay a path, and wrangle those spirits.