‘Squidges, Squidges, where are you silly octopus’ shouts out Octav1us as she goes from room to room look for her friend. Having no luck inside the house, Octav1us goes out to search the garden, where at the very bottom she find a mysterious door locked with a padlock requiring 6 keys. Always being the curious type, Octav1us grabs the padlock and suddenly finds herself teleported back to her bedroom and finds that her house is now inhabited by deadly creatures and hazards. She thinks to herself, ‘Squidges must be behind that lock door, I must search the house and see if I can find those 6 keys to unlock, my friend is in danger!’
Playing Octav1us, OctuKitty is flick screen platform game that sees you navigate around many obstacles collecting keys all with the objective to save her octopus friend. To aid you in your quest you have the ability to inflate Kitty Platforms that last for a few seconds that will allow you to navigate your way through each screen. This one feature helps OctuKitty stand out a little from the myriad of platformers that seem to proliferate the ZX Spectrum gaming scene these days.
OctuKitty’s difficulty setting is set at a more accessible level that will allow even the casual player to progress through many of the screens that the game has to offer. The level designs are well thought out and offer plenty of variation, including an underwater section that requires you to swim your way out of a bathtub should you happen to fall into the game. All this effective in keeping you interested with the game even though it contains two major irritations. The first is the poor hit detection mechanism in place. On many occasions, I would lose one of my lives even though there was a large noticeable gap between my Octav1us character and the nearest enemy/hazard. The second bug bear I had with the game is that each screen only has one re-spawn point for your character to re-appear after you lose a life, despite many screens having multiple entry points on them.
The game’s graphics are serviceable with some screens looking quite attractive with some of the colours and details used and everything moves about without any slow down or stutter. The background music on the 128K version is very good and elevates an average game to a higher standard.
Hardened fans of Speccy platformers are not going to have too much of a challenge to finish OctuKitty within a few goes, the rest of us are going to appreciated that they will be able to progress past a few screens within their first go at the game. There is a certain charm to the game but the two limitations raised above do prevent the game from excelling and that’s a shame as this above average game certainly has the premise to be very good with a little bit more attention to detail on its overall production
Game created by UltraNarwhal.
Created with Arcade Game Designer by Jonathan Cauldwell.
Music added with AGD Musicizer by David Saphier.Music track is ‘Autumn Colours’ by Shiru
A charming game with a gentle difficulty curve and great music let down by poor hit detection and re-spawn points
Retro gaming journalist promoting NEW C64, Amiga, Amstrad CPC & ZX Spectrum games. Contributes to RetroGamerNation YouTube channel, RVG and Vintage is the New Old blog sites, Reset 64 Magazine, The 8-Bit Annual and various other publications.