Super Neat Cat is a straightforward platformer that struggles to stand out. In general, the game is inoffensive and lacks any egregious issues. Typically, a game without many flaws is great, but there needs to be something special or different about it. Super Neat Cat isn’t a bad game, but it lacks a notable strength that pulls you in.
The platforming mechanics in Super Neat Cat are rudimentary and felt clunky to me. You have a basic double jump, but nothing else. There are no special abilities, you just run and jump. I found jumping to feel unusually slow, and it actually took a while to get used to it. To be fair to the game, this might just be a personal issue, as I don’t play a ton of platformers. I would have liked it if your character had a faster top speed, although it’s also clear that this game is trying to be more casual and laid-back than something like Super Meat Boy.
As for the levels themselves, they aren’t mind blowing, but some are designed quite well. Some sections are reused in later levels, which is disappointing, but understandable given the one man development team. The worst levels are the dungeons, which seem to be randomly generated from pre-made rooms. They get repetitive almost immediately and feel like filler to pad out the game’s length. Some of the rooms are interesting, but not enough to make it fun, especially compared to the much better normal levels.
Boss fights periodically show up, but like the dungeons, they become bland quickly. After the first boss fight, I was actually excited to see where the game would take it, but instead of designing something unique, you just play the same boss fight over and over, but with an extra hazard each time, even on the final boss. It’s disappointing because of how much promise the first fight showed.
The game’s art design is a notable highlight, thanks to well-executed pixel art and a consistent style. Throughout the game you encounter new environments that look wholly unique, but never seem out of place. Some parts of the level design look blocky and unnatural, but it isn’t a big deal for a platformer.
Even though the game’s visual presentation is great, the soundtrack lets it down. It isn’t bad in a vacuum, but in the context of gameplay, it gets repetitive and annoying. The track begins again every time you die, making you dread hearing it again because of what it signifies. The game itself is fairly short but the soundtrack still overstays its welcome. The sound design is far better, with good sound effects all around. Nothing fantastic or mind blowing, but it does its job.
To sum it all up, Super Neat Cat is a flawed game. It has a bland story, imperfect platforming and a weak soundtrack. It also has interesting level design, great art and solid sound design. Given the price, I would recommend it, despite its flaws. It’s far from being the next big indie platformer, but it remains a decent game. I wouldn’t recommend it to people that aren’t normally fans of the genre, simply because the game utilizes a lot of genre tropes and doesn’t do anything outside of the norm.