Mashdy Games has just released Pitkat is a new puzzle game for the Atari 2600. The game is available as a free download (link at the end). The game is based on Pitman for the Gameboy, which was based on a game created for the Sharp MZ-700. This Atari 2600 version was created by Marco Johannes, Dyfed Hitchings, and Sharemhel Decir.
In the game, you can control Katboy or Katgirl, kids that were cursed and transformed into cats by a demon. To be able to return to their original human form, they have to go through a castle with 100 rooms and kill all the monsters and demons that they can find. You do that by kicking them
The task is not that simple because you will need to find the best path to reach and kill the monsters. The cats can walk and climb up and down stairs, but they cannot jump. Because of that, you will need to move stones, or find the optimal path to get close to each foe and kick them.
As usual, the early stages are very simple and they serve as tutorials for you to understand the basic mechanics. As you clear each stage, you will be sent to the next. You have a password system that let you save which levels you have beaten so you can continue from there when you play again.
The game mechanics are simple at first but it has surprisingly sophisticated and clever features. For example, to help the player when a mistake is made, the game allows you to rewind and go back in time one step at a time. Of course, doing so will bring back monsters that you might have killed. Maybe you are aware, but it is the first time I see that mechanism in a 2600 game.
Another very interesting feature is that, in more advanced stages, you will have both cats in the room and you will need to use both in order to solve the puzzle and kill all the enemies. You can switch between them at will, pressing the fire button. The swap effect is pretty cool!
Because the rooms are larger than the screen viewport, you can take a look at the whole room holding the fire button while using the joystick. Doing so is paramount for the player to come up with the best action plan to solve the puzzle.
Pitcat development started in 2018 and last July it was announced and made available for download as a preview. During that time, the players reported issues while playing on real hardware using a Harmony cartridge. Since then, the development team took their time to fix all the bugs and even improve the game a bit more. Not an easy task considering the game is available in NTSC, PAL 60, and PAL. The different timings makes really trick to get it right. Adding to that, the 16KB cartridge being full didn’t help.
This new version available now fixes all the issues and it includes a professionally-written 18-page manual (in PDF) containing all the game information you need and should read.
If you can play it right now, you can take a sneak peek watching the video below!
Download: AtariAge Link