Cat Girl Without Salad : Amuse Bouche
Developed By : WayForward
Published By : WayForward
Category : Indie, Bullet Hell, Arcade
Release Date : Apr 01, 2020
A number of years ago, WayForward jumped in with Humble Bundle and released a fake screenshot announcing the then fake release of this game, Cat Girl Without Salad. Little did anybody know (except maybe a few upper-up’s at WayForward) that this game would actually see the light of day. Now, this banter-filled side-scrolling shooter is a throwback to the retro days in more ways than one, but is it worthy of a digital slot on your Switch?
You play as Kebako, a space bounty hunter out patrolling through the galaxy, looking to collect on a few bounties for some…interesting criminals. These criminals may also have ties to Kebako’s past, which is evidenced by the non-stop witty conversations carried on by our bounty hunter and her companion, Squiddie, as well as with her enemies when she finally meets them head on.
The game consists of just a few bounties for you to take on, all of which Kebako starts off with her basic pea shooter gun. As you progress through the levels, you’ll need to fight your way through a ton of enemies and just as many references to the 80’s retro vibe of the world. Most can be killed, but you might not be able to get all of them which is fine, because after a few instances of their attack they go dashing off anyways.The ones you are able to finish off will drop a small variety of items.
The most important of these drops come in the form of cartridges. When picked up, these will transform your weapon into something thematic as a throwback to the 80’s and gaming genres from way way back. You could end up with a platformer gun, which shoots out a non-copyright infringing plumber look-a-like that you control it’s jumps until it reaches the far side of the screen. Another gun shoots in the style of old sports games where you’ll need to time taking your shots with a constantly moving tee-shot line. Other guns will be very reminiscent of other classics like Bubble Bobble or PAC-MAN. But be careful, any damage you take will cause you to lose your cartridge and revert back to the pea shooter.
Other than weapon cartridges, enemies will drop health items in the form of food. Kebako abhors even the idea of salad, so you’ll need to scrump down the greasiest fries and juiciest burgers if you want to regain some health hearts. You’ll have ten total, so you’ll be able to sacrifice some hits here or there, just know that the health drops aren’t frequent enough to slack off too much.
Between the number of generic enemies you can have on your screen, or the hectic boss fights, this side-shooter has some moments where you’ll be living in bullet hell. As is typical of the genre, Kebako has a very small weak point that needs to go untouched as you zoom around the stages, dodging enemies and their shots. This weak point is her bowtie, so keep an eye on it at all times.
While the gameplay is enjoyable and consistent in this game, it’s hard to slam a heavy recommendation on it. The only thing holding Cat Girl back is how short it is. On top of that, as fun as it is to play there isn’t anything spectacular to make you want to keep playing the same three levels over and over again. No achievements, no difficulty levels, it’s just a simple run through each bounty one time and you’re done. It’s priced low enough that it’s worth picking up, I just can’t promise you’ll play it past the hour it takes to beat it.