PUSS! by teamCOIL studio and publisher Samustai is an intense “avoid ’em up” puzzle game. Learn more about it in our PUSS! review!
This is a double review for PUSS!. Ceidz and EdEN played the game, and this review presents what they both had to say.
In PUSS! you have to get through mazes without touching walls to reach the exit portal. All the levels are randomly sequenced, so every run is different. The game’s visuals are based on different elements of modern art: glitch art, surrealism, psychedelic art, web punk, vaporwave, naive art, etc.
As a reviewer, I get to play a lot of different game genres, and sometimes one of these games is genuinely different from the usual experience. It’s early in 2021, but I can easily say that PUSS! is a game that I will certainly remember as something that’s very different from everything else on PlayStation 4. PUSS! is best described as a psychedelic puzzle arcade release.
The gameplay is quite basic: you have to move the main character – a cat – to its destination using the left or right analog stick. The levels are dynamically sequenced, so each run will be different from the previous one, and the path you must use to reach the destination is constantly moving. You have little room for error since touching the side of the path only a few times will make you lose one life.
Speaking of lives, you begin with eight and can get some more as you progress through each stage. However, as your lives run out, the level’s presentation becomes more and more broken, with glitches popping up everywhere. I liked how the game breaks as you start to lose lives, giving it a very unique look and feel.
A word of warning, though: with how PUSS! is presented, and the colorful game icon, I can imagine parents buying this game to play with their kids. In my opinion, this would be an error. The game is rated T for Teen, and it certainly earns it! My 11-year-old daughter got scared by one of the endings I got when I lost all of my lives during one run. I would recommend not recommend playing PUSS! with younger kids around!
Trophies are awarded for finishing levels without being hit, for reaching the boss without losing your shield, for being really fast, or for collecting extra lives and timers. All in all, this is going to be a hard Platinum run to achieve!
PUSS! definitively won’t be to the taste of every gamer, but I liked the way it was procedurally sequenced to make each run feel different, which matches its very out there look and feel. It’s a fun novelty type of experience, and I’m sure you won’t find anything like it on PlayStation 4.
As Ceidz mentioned, PUSS! is a very out there experience. After the opening cut-scene that shows a real cat drawn into the TV, you will get started right away with a visual cue at the bottom of the screen: use the left or right analog sticks to move your cat around each level that you play.
As soon as I moved onto the exit square, I was sent into world 1, where I got a set of levels that featured 3D cats at the bottom of the screen twirling around in an endless loop, a level with graphics that wouldn’t feel out of place in an Atari 2600 release from way back in the day, and stages with switches that would extend some areas of the level for a short period of time.
Make a mistake and touch any of the walls for too long, and you’ll lose a life. You’ll know where you died the last time, thanks to a handy mark that will be left behind. If you want to extend your runs through the procedurally sequenced levels, you’ll need to be fast as you complete each stage so that you can earn lots of points? Why? Because these points are added to your overall score bar, and every time you fill it up, you will earn extra lives.
While playing, I noticed that the colors seemed a bit muted and dim. When I paused the game, I realized that this was done by choice and that there were different options to customize the game’s overall look to complement its bizarre, glitchy-looking nature. You can change from dim to dim+highlights, half-dim, null null, monochrome, desaturated, custom, or random so that you can find the right option for you. There’s also the option of changing the look of your cat by picking one of the 28 varieties.
While PUSS! features very simple controls – you just move from point A to point B – the journey through each stage will certainly be a very out there experience, given how the game looks and feels as you play. Don’t let the game’s first world fool you because it pretty much acts as the game’s tutorial before throwing you into a bullet-hell boss fight that you might not survive. Can you get good enough to climb up the leaderboards? Can you survive and collect the five keys? PUSS! is out now with an $11.99 asking price.
This PUSS! review is based on PlayStation 4 copies provided by Samustai.