Cat Astro Phi
|Genre||Action, Retro, Sci-Fi|
|Released||8th December 2010|
Code by Richard Davey
Graphics by Ilija Melentijević
Music by Rich Vreeland / DisasterpeacePLAY
Cat Astro Phi is a sci-fi action adventure game created in the style of a Gameboy classic title.
There are three unique planets to explore, interactive story sequences, bots to blast, sentry guns to evade, and a pesky cat to rescue!
It features an incredible soundtrack by Rich Vreeland – which you can buy here from only $3.
As usual it features superb pixel work by Ilija. He helped a lot with sprucing up the level designs, and general comments and harassment. Cheers dude!
In the summer of 2010 my main PC broke. It literally died on me. As I waited for spare parts to arrive (which took far longer than they should) all I had to work on was a really low power laptop. It couldn’t run the Flash IDE and it certainly didn’t think much of Photoshop. However it could run FlashDevelop and compile with the Flex SDK. So I was determined – what could I make on a limited PC?
My brainwave, or temporary loss of sanity, was to try and create a faithful Gameboy Classic game. Not just “port” one, but create something entirely new, from scratch, but limited in the same ways as Gameboy developers were back in the 80s/90s! So I stuck to a resolution of 160×144, and the game could only use 4 colours at once. I kept sounds authentic and of course wanted to make a game that I felt wouldn’t look out of place on the real hardware. So I went for one of my favourite genres: the action adventure game.
A lot of blood, sweat and tears later, and Cat Astro Phi was finally born.
This is my biggest game to date, while also being my smallest (in resolution!). Everything is based on an 8×8 tile grid, and all of the level maps were created with the excellent map editor: DAME. I strongly recommend this if you use Flixel / FlashPunk.
I have no idea at all of the game could be made on a real Gameboy. I assume yes, as I’m sure I’ve played real Gameboy games that pushed the little box much harder than this does. Maximum respect to real Gameboy developers!
Do I cheat anywhere? Hell yes I use alpha now and again (end game scroller for example) which the Gameboy couldn’t really do. I also use sprites of whatever size I feel like. So we’re not 100% authentic. But close enough that it smells of Gameboy!
Coding was done in Flixel 2.45 with lots of core mods and extra classes!
Tom Fulp (of NewGrounds fame) described this game to me as “mesmerising”. You have no idea how much joy that filled me with. It’s no small coincidence that NewGrounds are also the sponsors
Many thanks also to Adam Atomic, who after playing an early build, set me up with Tom Fulp and Rich Vreeland!
There are some easter eggs in the game. Level 2 has a section you can tunnel to via bombs (which actually unlocks a Medal on NewGrounds). Also try clicking the Gameboy frame
If you want the “Secret” Medal on NewGrounds then simply don’t be too hasty with your keyboard/mouse when it comes to the End scroller. Just relax.
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Great little game!
Here is my playthrough of it
Freakin love it. Most fun gameplay in a long time. Better than Team 17’s Alien Breed. Perfectly pitched puzzles. Sublime use of pixel dithering. Excellent alien hieroglyphs. Best ever 8 bit meow. Loved the surprise incident after the third launch. Some of the music had a touch of Orbital about it. Interesting that outer space was light, not dark. “Stand still and die.” and “Eat my peas!” are the best ever lines in a video game. Are they movie quotes?
There are only a few spoilers for me: Was hoping for some more bio Alienesque enemies and maybe get to operate a cargo-loader. The bomb’s background is opaque. The palette could be a bit lighter and have a little more contrast. Game Boy is two words.
Wish I could play it on a real Game Boy. How about a Game Boy Advance version?
What a fun game to play!! Please keep me posted if you make a sequel or add more chapters to this one. It’s what gaming is about — taking you back to adolescence.