For those of us of a certain age (think dinosaurs), one of the great pleasures of staying home sick from school was getting to watch "The Price is Right" with Bob Barker (yes, the Bob Barker, accept no substitutes). Why? Because it's fun to watch ordinary people do extraordinarily stupid things for cheap prizes and occasional cash, that's why. One of the best things on "The Price is Right" was the game Plinko, a strange game that involved dropping large tokens down a field of pegs, watching them bounce around and fall into areas at the bottom that involved money. Where is this all leading, you might ask? Well, Joey Betz and Jimp have teamed up to recreate the insane joy of Plinko in a flash game involving a lonely cat and a lot of sushi. Welcome to the bizarre world that is Sushi Cat, one of the strangest physics puzzles imaginable!
The story of our hero begins when he spots a lovely female cat in a window. Is she real? Stuffed? Who knows. All we know is that the poor kitty cannot get through the automatic doors into her building due to his slight weight. What's a neko to do? Why, gorge on as much sushi as possible to bulk up enough to open those doors!
The game itself is simple: you have a small number of bouncy, round cats, a playing field full of sushi and peg obstacles, and bins at the bottom. To clear a round you must drop your cats, one at a time, so that they eat the maximum amount of sushi they can on the way down. Fill up the cat's belly and you've passed on to the next round. After several rounds of sushi madness you rejoin the story of the increasingly fatter feline and his quest for companionship. Does he find the gal of his dreams? You gotta play to find out. Each round increases the difficulty as the obstacles become bigger and start to move about the screen. Fortunately there are power ups as you go on that give you extra cats; allow our feline hero to inhale the sushi in the surrounding area; or blast our forlorn feline friend out of a cannon to another area of the screen.
Although there's an enormous amount of fun and whimsy watching the progress of the bouncing kitty, there's not actually a lot of gameplay to be had. Once you've dropped the cat, it's all up to gravity and random chance, as there's no way to control the descent other than picking the right spot to release him from. Does this make Sushi Cat a bad game? Not at all. Between the kicking music, the fantastic anime-like visuals and animations, and the sheer fun of watching a round kitty cat power suck sushi make up for a lot. Not the greatest game around, but one of the most entertaining time-wasters imaginable. Surreal, silly mayhem in 15 levels. Just the sort of thing to put a smile on your face and brighten up your day.