Robot Wants Kitty is a perfect little 20 minute Metroidvania

As someone that’s been around since the very beginning of video games, I’m loving this mini-renaissance in the past few years of old school making a comeback. Granted, they’re branded as “retro” and the kids that play them don’t necessarily know the source material, but I’ll take what I can get. Robot Wants Kitty is a perfect example of said renaissance, offering simple controls, low-res graphics, a goofy story and fun gameplay.

Robot Wants Kitty is what we’ve come to call a ‘Metroidvania’ game, a style that’s a throwback to the old Nintendo games Metroid and Castlevania. What this really means is that it’s a 2D sidescroller where you explore a large area, killing baddies and collecting power-ups that you’ll need to reach new areas. It’s simplistic in its approach, but that’s what makes it great. It doesn’t employ complexity to wring a good time from the player, it just uses its basic mechanics to great effect.

The storyline, such as it is, is pretty darn goofy. You play as a robot that for some unstated reason wants to get to a kitty cat. Make sense? Nope, not even a little bit — but it’s enough of a setup to get your wheeling around the world trying to figure out how to get to said kitty. Heck, he’s right on the screen when the game starts, just locked away from your mechano-grasp.

Robot Wants Kitty

Sadly for your robot confidence though, you start the game with no way to get to the kitty at all. Actually, now that we’re on the subject, when the game starts you can’t shoot, jump or fly either. You’re pretty useless, so for the time being you have to leave that kitty behind and start looking for some power-ups that will grant you new abilities. You’ll have to dodge enemies long enough to get the jump and shoot abilities, which then open the world up to more and more power-ups and areas. Eventually you’ll be able to get to the kitty!

The look and feel of the game are spot on, especially in the graphics department. They make pretty accurate callbacks to the old days of video games (read: the 80’s) and the animation of the robot is especially fun. He just barrels forward with arms outstretched, in search of his elusive kitty.

The game itself isn’t very long, offering only one big level where they time you as you go. I managed to complete it in about 24 minutes, so it’s really pretty short. A perfect length to get in, have fun, and get out – exactly the sort of thing a web game should offer. The one level thing does have one big drawback though; there’s no way to save your game. If you want to complete it you’ll have to do it in one sitting. That being said, the game is short enough for it not to be a problem for most.

Other than that one small issue, Robot Wants Kitty is a great retro side-scroller title that you really owe it to yourself to check out. It’s the perfect little game to break up the action of other longer titles. It’s adorable and cute, and the ending screen is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.