DISCLAIMER©: I want to preface this review by saying I am a huge advocate of GameTap. I love it. There are over 1,000 games on the service and they cater to literally every genre. So I don't want the following invective coming off as a stain on the great service -- to which I have a years subscription and plan on renewing, barring a lifetime ban after Jared reads this article. Obviously the game is for kids and the occasional demented 35-year-old woman, but as you'll see, I don't think it's really for them either. Tldr version: Respeck to GameTap (fist pound).
And, being something of a masochist, I usually enjoy terrible games. We all had a laugh at Casa de Zero* when I loaded up "Drake of the 99 Dragons"** in my living room and people took turns cutting themselves as they watched me play. Those were the days.
(*We make an amazing house balsamic vinaigrette, with aged Romano cheese and several varieties of Andean tomatoes. The same love and ingredients go in our Merlot. You'll love the way it tastes. I guarantee it.)
(**do not ever, under any circumstances, EVER play this game. I had to go on a frenzied spree of rape to shake the PTSD)
However. Having been forced to play Catz 5 by myself, I couldn't take solace in even a measure of schadenfreude*, and the only thing that kept me going was an equine dose of feline tranquilizer. In that way, I could play the game and simultaneously project my consciousness to the astral plane, where I keep my PSP©**.
(*German for "delighting in the torment of others" or possibly, "a warm breeze".)
(**A great value at only $169, with many popular titles such as Crush©, Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops© and God of War: Chains of Prometheus, Coming Soon!)
Frankly, I am baffled by the audience for this game. Saying it's a "poor man's Nintendogs" is like saying pubic crabs are a poor man's body lice. Or was it hermit crabs? I'm not sure exactly where I'm going with this.* But I do know that this game is terrible. Not just for people who enjoy playing videogames that are fun as opposed to soul-crushing, but for people who already enjoy cute animals, Pokemon, and traumatic brain injury. This is a level of terrible on par with Mariah Carey's "Glitter", where even her fans were forced to take a long, introspective look at the desolate wasteland of their personal lives. That was a tough time for me.
On starting up "Catz 5", you are first presented with a choice of "catz" to adopt and several 2D "interactive" vistas containing stereotypes of white suburban life (kitchen, beach, living room, and inexplicably, "Asian temple" and "Arabia").
There are your usual choices of inbred "catz" such as "Persian," "Chinchilla" and "Garfield". You can also adopt Amy Winehouse.
"Gameplay" (and I use this term loosely) consists of watching your "catz" run around. You can also throw shit at them. (Real shit not included.) That's all there is. There are attempts at making "mini-games" (NEW TO CATZ 5!) which go like this:
1. Click on "minigame" object.
2. Wait for something to happen.
3. Play Rock, Paper, Scissors against a suit of armor.
4. Wallow in self-loathing.
Supposedly, you can "train" your catz, which works about as well as it does in real life*. I couldn't even get Amy to chase the bouncy ball, as she was far too strung out on heroin and licking herself. Thank God at least one developer saw fit to include a negative feedback mechanism. Hidden amongst the cutesy jingle toys and scratching posts is a spray bottle. To punish her for being the single greatest waste of talent on planet earth** you can spray the Catz© from a water bottle that is, judging from Mrs. Winehouse's reaction, full of hydrochloric acid.
(**seriously, it is like we are trapped in the Twilight Zone and the cruel twist is the fact that God gave a disfigured white trash junkie the voice of Billy Holiday and blinded Stevie Wonder)
Well this spray bottle provided endless fun. I have a gaping void of frustration, anger and despair deep inside. It is salved only by causing deep emotional and physical harm to others. If that's your thing, I highly recommend Catz 5©*. Having been frequently warned by Catz 5© that I needed to "be consistent" in training my catz, I resolved never again to pet Amy on her hindquarters, and came to see the spray bottle as both punishment and reward. If I were to rule, I'd rule with an iron fist. After all, Mrs. Winehouse certainly needs the discipline. I would go as far as to say that one day, she'll thank me for it.
(*Hello, box blurb)
I had several rigorous and demanding obstacle courses set up in various rooms, but none as crafty as the Temple of Monkey-Bacon Torture. There were really only two items in the whole "game" I found that Amy took interest in: having put out several plates of normal food and many assorted toys, it seems that Amy Winehouse is, in fact, picky with her surroundings. Which is funny because she tends to desecrate them with feces. At this point, only God knows if I'm talking about Catz© or not.
Anyway, upon being transported to the Asian monkey temple, Amy immediately leapt upon the bacon treats. Who wouldn't? Bacon* is delicious. Even to binge and purge crackheads. Perhaps especially to binge and purge crackheads. Seeing that this was truly the only thing she desired** (more on the other item later), I planned a delicious trap. The designers saw fit to give you an unlimited supply of spray bottles, and an unlimited supply of bacon***. Even luckier was the fact that if a "catz" touches a spray bottle you have set down, they still receive a full dose of flesh-melting acid the same as if you had lovingly administered it yourself. I don't need to say much more than that; you can imagine the horror and chaos-ilarity that ensued.
(**Besides ketamine, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and ecstasy, all of which were found when she had her stomach pumped. She did them all at the same time! She should be studied by science. Or given a medal.)
On to the only other object the "catz" seemed interested in. While I was fucking around in "snow land" I discovered you could drag pieces of coal not just to decorate the snowman's eyes, but also the landscape. I went about spelling my current mood on the ground.
After rigorously and painstakingly placing the coal pieces (which is a pain in the ass because the game tries to force a 3D perspective on the 2D field. It never knows if you are dropping the item from a tall height in the foreground, or a short height in the background. That is quality design©.) I turn away for a minute to check my phone*, and I come back to see AMY WINEHOUSE EATING COAL.
(*I'm very popular)
Yes, that's right. I discovered how she maintains those snappy good looks and girlish figure: she eats fossilized carbon. Having ruined my masterpiece I set about giving her a rigorous and near-fatal spraying, which I was satisfied to see actually made her shiver, as, after all, she was playing in the snow like a tart. There was this other douchebag cat there too, filling her head with improper feminist thoughts like "scratch him to death." In the end, Amy Winehouse died of AIDS, which actually made me kind of sad. She was about to show me how to properly cook meth.
You can also have the catz run around on your desktop, which is only slightly more annoying than having a bag of hair clippings poured slowly down the back of your shirt. Don't gloss over this. Really think about that for a minute.
You know what cats sound like when they're mating? Of course! Everyone does. Even/and/or/especially the drunk homeless transient they got to do the "voice acting".
Somewhere between the Atari 2600 and a viagra web banner, circa 1995.
Yes, clicking the mouse does work.
FUN FACTOR: -5/-11
This all depends on whether you enjoy sadistically abusing a digital representation of cats while having your ears raped.
FINAL VERDICT: i
Yes motherfuckers, that's the square root of negative one.