If you were intrigued by the name and came looking for a game that’ll prompt a few laughs, I hate to break it to you but Spacecats with Lasers: The Outerspace (yes, that’s it’s full name) fails to follow through on it’s ridiculous title. It might be funny to see a cat flying through space on a wedge of cheese once, or perhaps even twice if you’re a little addled, but past that the game offered only a few tricks to make me smile.
Based on the similarly titled VR game that came out last year, Spacecats with Lasers is a twin-stick shooter that has you pew-pewing your way through waves of enemies; and ones designed far better than I expected considering the game’s general quality level. There are a number of different enemy types, which all prompt strategy switch ups with abilities like shielding allies, path-blocking trails of fire or homing rockets that slowly follow you round the arena. The core game is fun to play but that’s probably only because far better titles have established a set of design and game-feel principles that simply work.
At the end of each wave you’re given a choice of four upgrades, which range from stat boosts to chance based damage effects. At wave 10, and presumably every 10 thereafter, a boss wave has one single enemy (a giant Pug, of course) spawn with a variety of switching forms, each requiring an alternative strategy to destroy. More projectiles, lasers, rockets – it’s simply a repackage of what the normal enemies present. There has been thought put into the upgrade options, the game offers three levels of challenge and everything feels balanced well enough. It just isn’t enough to make this title stand out from an already packed collection of it’s contemporaries.
If you’re looking for a competent twin stick shooter for a next to nothing price than Spacecats with Lasers: The Outerspace might actually be worth picking up. It brings nothing new to the genre, though, and it’s attempt to coat a samey experience with a one-note joke aesthetic does nothing to make up for that shortcoming. When you consider the fact that it looks nearly identical to the VR game it’s based on, I can’t help but feel it’s simply more clutter to be forgotten on the Steam store.
Spacecats with Lasers: The Outerspace is available here on the Steam store for £1.99 and is currently 10% off.