One of the most satisfying Wii U eShop games is here and you better strap in!
Scram Kitty and His Buddy on Rails is a challenging and literal on-rails shooter that requires precision and attention. You must stay on your toes at all times as you journey around space rescuing cats, but once you master the ebb and flow, it all comes naturally. For the most part, you are forced to learn the ropes by yourself, and that amounts to the game’s biggest issue, but even still, the adventure is hardly unfair.
In this crazy rails festival, you have to guide Buddy through a vast series of levels and try to survive while rescuing cats scattered around. This is easier said than done, because the pixel environments are filled with debilitating enemies. You fight gigantic lasers and trippy mice experiments. Luckily, you are not alone on this journey. You ride around in a spaceship that can fire lasers and other weapons as you discover them.
Shooting is not the only thing that matters though. Every level has four cats tucked away and collecting these is important to making any sort of progression as levels are locked away by the amount of cats you collect. It is not a chore though, as learning how to successfully save each cat is what makes Scram Kitty such a rewarding experience. Getting to learn the best routes and seeing how you can deal with certain enemies pushes you quicker to completion.
It also helps that the levels are varied and have plenty of unique concepts to keep you engaged. Gliding across the rails feels like a rollercoaster, though one that requires precise movements from the player at every turn. Some people are simply not made for this, in particular the jump mechanics might take a few levels to learn, but it is worth figuring out to unearth the intricately designed levels. The whole game is wrapped in a wonderful pixelated, neon sense of madness that will make arcade-savvy gamers feel right at home. It is bright and colorful with an electric array of techno-esque music that creates a wonderful scene.
If you are actively playing on the GamePad, the television broadcasts a show about your ongoing adventures hosted by Scram Kitty himself. The TV screen provides you with tips, hints regarding places you need to go, and gives commentary on points of interest. At the push of a button, the screens can be swapped and the game's UI can be viewed on the bigger screen. It is a simple use in theory, albeit one that solo players won't use much. The viewing experience for bystanders is similar to Donkey Kong’s Crash Course in Nintendo Land, but with a little more visual panache.
Scram Kitty and His Buddy on Rails is quite an engaging game, but you need to learn it to fully understand it. Not everyone will be willing to do that as you need a steady hand to complete the many challenges it offers. Once the gameplay clicks though, you can bask in the brilliant level designs and lovely presentation. Scram Kitty is an amazing, stressful rollercoaster that comes together incredibly well.