“Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn’t one?” Alice asked.
“We called him Tortoise because he taught us,” said the Mock Turtle angrily: “really you are very dull!” – Lewis Carroll
Catoise is an adorable puzzle platformer in which the player takes on the role of a tortoise-shelled cat that can fire Apeture-esque portals and levitate objects thanks to the powers of a newly acquired bracelet.
Developer: PoRtCuLLiS Enterprises
Released: 24th January 2023
Available on: Steam
Narrative and Stying
The game begins with a cutscene that shows the feline protagonist falling asleep in their spaceship, inadvertently entering a ‘nasal base’, getting attacked and crash landing. Upon landing it becomes evident that the parts of the ship have been scattered and must be found in order for Catoise to escape!
Catoise has a cute and colourful 2D cartoon art style that works very well for the style of game. The contrast of vibrant and darker shades along with the crisp linework and simple shapes makes it easier to see what is going on and work out solutions. It is also possible to customise the Catoise and its portal colours at the start of the game which is a really nice addition. The music is pretty upbeat and relaxing for the most part and sits nicely in the background of the game, the guitar sections are particularly pleasant. Minimal sound effects add some life to the game and help to immerse the player further.
Catoise is a puzzle platformer that draws very heavy influence from the Valve game Portal, duplicating its primary mechanic almost exactly and adding the ability to levitate certain objects. There are 25 levels including 2 boss fights with a total of 24 ship parts to find. It is easy to miss the ship parts, however, as they are often found in slightly obscured places that are off of the beaten track in otherwise linear levels. There are a range of problems to overcome throughout the various levels such as heights, obstacles, enemies and snipers. The player is granted three lives per level but some levels include flags that heal the player once when found. There are also a small number of minigames, such as basketball, dotted throughout the game.
Catoise is a very cute and entertaining puzzle platformer. Its jolly but laid-back aesthetic counterbalances the challenge presented making it a relaxing experience overall. The gameplay, whilst not overly original, presents a good level of challenge without being frustrating and it is very satisfying to find ship parts, solve puzzles and overcome obstacles. Overall, it is a fun game that succeeds in what it tries to do, it will take around 3-5 hours to complete and is available at a very reasonable price for the amount of content. I’d happily recommend this to fans of the puzzle platformer genre and those that like their games with cats in!
For more cat-themed games, check out the following reviews:
Hidden Cats in London – Concealed City Cats Await! – Zodiacats – A Magical Game of Cat Puzzles and Astrology! – Pets at Work – Cats and Dogs and Co-op Platforming Fun!