Just last month it was revealed that there have been more games released on Steam in 2014 than during the entirety of 2013. The reason for the high amount of games is largely boosted by Steam Greenlight, which, via a community based voting system (rather than a publisher muscle backed one) allows games from small bedroom dev teams to one-man programming outfits get their games in front of those who’d love to play them.
The benefits of Steam Greenlight are clear: getting access to more great games is rarely a bad thing. But on the other hand, it only takes a well-presented premise and a flash of 20 seconds of gameplay footage or so to encourage interested parties, whether the game in question stands a chance of being completed by the developer or not. And so while there are valid concerns about broken messes of games being released onto Steam, Greenlight has also given rise to a new take on a new genre.
That new take is the quirky sim style of games. Goat Simulator was the first success as it brought a destructible world and a mischievous goat into our lives and let us wreak havoc with it (annihilative weapon of a goat tongue and all) while Bear Simulator was a worthy instance that appeared in the same vein and Rock Simulator 2014 aimed to be a parodying take on it all. The simulation madness doesn’t stop there though as Catlateral Damage is the feline simulation game to take on the genre next.
Caltateral Damage, the game’s creator Chris Chung explains, is “a first-person destructive cat simulator where you play as a cat on a rampage.” The aim of the game is to destroy as many of your owner’s possessions as your crafty paws can manage, with Catlateral Damage throwing all realism to the wind as you jump and crouch, swiping at objects in first person on your quest for feline mayhem, along with chasing mice, chasing laser pointers, trying out catnip and, should you feel so inclined, even making your cat cough up a hairball.
Rather than aiming to create a larger conversation about simulators’ effects on the gaming industry, Caltateral Damage was actually born out of a game jam that Chung took part in last year. Based on the antics of Chung’s childhood cat Nippy (who actually makes it into the game) he made the demo that spawned so much support that it took just 8 days for it to be Greenlighted, which is a huge amount of backing indeed.
The game hasn’t just received backing in terms of Greenlight votes either, as Catlateral Damage has now achieved its Kickstarter goal in which Chung was asking for $40,000 to complete the title and flesh out the demo that critics called “cool”, “fun” and a pretty good indication of what cats do when we aren’t looking. With 11 days to go and the counter sitting at just over $46,000, there are still plenty of backer bundles and offers to get your hands on so even though the the genre is tongue in cheek, Chung is undoubtedly serious about the game.
Namely, the “GAMER LOLCAT” bundle offer nabs you Goat Simulator, The Stanley Parable, Go Home Dinosaurs, Slam Bolt Scrappers and Octodad (which is somewhat of a simulation game in itself), an extra copy of the game to send to the friend and, if you send Chung a photo of your own cat he’ll add it into the game as a framed photo. There’s also the $400 BUSINESS CAT bundle that bags you an official Catlateral Damage t-shirt, a laser pointer, the GAMER LOLCAT bundle, a Catlateral Damage laser pointer and the chance to play as your own cat in the game, if you think the price is worth it.
There’s a fairly diverse range of bundles on offer from Chung on the game’s Kickstarter page and he says that the money that’s crowdfunded will also go to a myriad of stretch goals including; bonus levels (at a supermarket, a museum and a pet store), Steam Workshop compatibility and at the highest end of the stretch goals, Chung is even considering releasing Catlateral Damage on PS4.
A next-gen version of the is still a little way off though as it will come out 6 months after the Steam and OUYA versions of Catlateral Damage but as Chung is looking to release the game by November 2014, we won’t have to wait too long for some semblance of tomcat tomfoolery.
Catlateral Damage will be released on Steam (Windows, Mac, Linux) and OUYA in November, 2014.