Young Elena Honnor grew up as many of us would have liked to: perched on her dad's knee, playing the latest family-friendly Adventure Game Studio releases as a father/daughter pair. One day, at the ripe old age of 9, she decided that putting together a point and click adventure was something she'd like to do and, more importantly, with the help of her father, Liquid Nitrogen, could do. (Shouldn't her name be Elena Nitrogen then? Maybe she took her Mom's maiden name.) So together, over the course of a winter, they set out to make the game of Elena's dreams. Now it's finally ready to show off to the world: it's Kitten Catastrophy, and it's something any crayon-wielding auteur would be proud of.
The story stars Daddy Cat, who, after a record day of mouse hunting, wants nothing more than to go home to Mummy Cat and convene his kittens for family dinner. Unfortunately, those four kitties, Rose, Max, Beauty, and Sessame, have lost their way, each stuck in a predicament, or having a chore they must complete before the dinner bell may ring. It's up to Daddy Cat to get his litter together, or else no one is getting any pie. Standard AGS controls apply: click the mouse to move Daddy Cat around the screen, and right click to switch between the various icons used to examine, interact with, or talk to elements on the screen. The inventory is accessible in the lower left, and, when an item is selected, you are able to use it on other objects as part of your right clicking repertoire. Finally, be sure not to forget to pause at random intervals, so that you may point to the screen and shout YOU'RE A KITTY!
Naturally, it is difficult to try to objectively discuss the merits of so adorable a game made by someone so young, at least without getting a little condescending. Like many works from AGS newbies, Kitten Catastrophy is an easy, straightforward, little game with few superfluous details. Of course, even if there are no unique snarky comments for a failed attempt to try add a tree to your inventory, the gameplay and programming are solid. Perhaps even more so than Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure, there is a sense that the ideas here truly sprung fully-formed solely from the mind and drawings of a creative young girl, with her Dad just there to help put it on the computer screen. If only Sissy could've helped on with the voice acting, the internet might've been overloaded with pure joy! Kitten Catastrophe is a genuine work, with a lot of heart, and it's certain that any game-loving child and guardian duo will have just as much fun playing it as LiquidNitrogen and Elena seem to have had putting it together.
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