Space Cats Tactics (PC) Review

By Eric Ace 30.03.2024

Review for Space Cats Tactics on PC

Made by a single developer, Mitzi Games, and funded through Kickstarter, Space Cats Tactics on PC is a short romp of controlling genetically engineered cats who stole a ship and the adventures they go on. Activities alternate between managing a ship with rooms and upgrades, mining resources and tactical piloting of the ship to fight enemies. Will this weird cat-centric tale be a hit?

Surprisingly for a game about cats in space, the enjoyment of Space Cats Tactics does not hinge entirely on whether players love cats. Of course anyone needs to get past the idea of talking cats. A famous example is in the sci-fi novel series 'Ringworld' where a warrior race of talking cat people seem more like walking tanks. In this title though, they are nicer and subservient, getting kicked around across the stars when people get angry at them.

The plot is fairly linear, entailing going from one mission to the next. This sounds like it might be a little boring, but there is something to the tale that radiates heart, even if there is not that much depth. Players go from level to level, trying to maintain their ship to get to the last level in decent enough shape to win. Saving is only at the end of each level which is annoying, and there is no ability to return and replay earlier levels for more money.

Screenshot for Space Cats Tactics on PC

Gameplay requires spending ten action points per turn to do various things from moving the ship itself and gaining resources with a tractor beam, to shooting lasers. Ship cabins can be upgraded, and depending which cat is in the room a small bonus may be given. For example, the engine rooms can push the ship further each turn, or the weapons might have a chance to double fire. There are some other tiny actions like putting out fires or fighting off boarding aliens. The ship management has two distinct sections, and only one of them really works.

Screenshot for Space Cats Tactics on PC

Within this system, the 'larger' picture of picking upgrades for rooms is actually pretty cool. Everything is rather expensive leading to tough decisions. Should a teleport module be bought, or maybe an attack drone? Would grabbing missiles be better than upgrading upgrade the shields to take more hits? The smaller issue of herding cats from room to room is more of an irritation because it doesn't have that much of an impact. Zoom in, send one cat to the bridge to take a call, finish the call call, then send them back to the laser room. It didn't need to even be included and really disrupts the flow of play.

Screenshot for Space Cats Tactics on PC

There are some really weird optimization problems, the overall battle works well enough, but the zooming into the ship drops the speed down to a crawl. Half the time the cats don't go where they are supposed to, someone gets deselected or a command doesn't go through, it is entirely problematic. The larger battles are exciting but in terms of balance it is tough to know what exactly was planned for Space Cats Tactics. Many times it seems like everything in sight should be eliminated, which often involves hiding around a corner and baiting the AI one at time, coaxing them into range while staying far enough out as some ships can practically kill in one attack. At other times, there are cat filled civilian ships that are better disposed of for resources because the enemy ships are too strong to take on.

This problematic battle approach forces smart consideration for each decision yet it is fun baiting the stronger ships and praying there is no miscalculation resulting in a one-shot kill, and watching the ship gain strength over time. There are some clear issues with glitches and FPS drops along with optimisation. One of the major problems holding Space Cats Tactics back is a prevalence of bugs that can fail an entire level. Given that the overall play time reaches five hours, wiping out an hour or more of progress due to a glitch is rough.

Screenshot for Space Cats Tactics on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

The somewhat random nature of the AI in combat, along with the linear story and the short gameplay might sound like turn-offs. However, the feline-heavy adventure is oddly fun despite these issues. Seeking upgrades and winning levels makes this low price sci-fi release more enjoyable than some longer AAA titles, proving how strong the indie scene can be. You don't have to be infected with toxoplasmosis to enjoy Space Cats Tactics.

Developer

Mitzi Games

Publisher

Mitzi Games

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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