This game I remember very well. Alley Cat from Synapse Software, again a one-man army production. The game is as old as I am, which is kinda unbelievable. The game is about – you guessed it – a cat. An alley cat, to be precise, but no, no Top Cat. The game was incredibly complex given the time it was born. It started with the view of an alley, where you should jump onto barrels and then higher onto laundry ropes to get into opening window. If you’d stayed at the ground for too long, an angry dog would go after you, when too long on barrels, other cats would knock you down, only being on the ropes was a relative peace, because you still had to avoid things flying out of the window. Once you’re in, you would find yourself in one of several rooms. There was always some kind of a task to get done, catch mice in big cheese, jump into fish bowl and eat all fishes, drink all the dogs’ milk, break the bird’s cage and catch etc. These were very fun. Most of the time, there was this broom wandering through the room. Whenever you walk on the floor, you would make it dirty, so you could just play with it and make carpets really dirty so that the broom was occupied cleaning it. Once it was done, broom was just chasing you and interfering with your vicious plan of getting that bird. You could even face that angry dog again. After finishing few tasks, you would find a lovely cat-girl in the window. If you were quick enough to jump in, you would face a standard cliche “get a present and get to your love despite all the bad things” level, even with cupids being not on your side. But if you managed to get to your cat love, there was a lovely kiss, even more touching wedding and … whole thing started again. Cat has nine lives, eh? The overall pace of the game and the nature of everything happening on screen was always producing this big “wtf”. Whenever you had bad luck, there were this big flashy messages like “ouch”, “alas” or “!$#@”… i mean, it was all pretty crazy.
The game music was very interesting, something like 8bit jam session blues. When things went crazy, the music changed into more hasty and disturbing. Within game, it was more lively and keeping you vigilant. The intro theme presented here, was however very calm and soothing.
These weird notes during the music (0:14, 0:23, 0:37) are Atari synthesizer attempts at producing cat’s meow :)
More about Alley Cat –