Cat Girl Without Salad: Amuse Bouche
Genres: Shooter, Arcade
Kebako is an inter-galactic cat girl, collecting bounties through a colourful and cartoonish galaxy with her skid friend for company. Sound ridiculous? This game was originally made an April Fool’s Joke before being released as a PC game proper and now has been ported over to the Switch. It stays true to its comedic roots and is peppered with jokes throughout, but is it a good game?
The short answer is, yes. The game is extremely fun to play and had numerous playful elements from the character designs to the names given to the monsters who Kebako fights. The game is split into three stages where Kebako shoots her way through a side-scrolling galaxy of various monsters (all uniquely designed to parody various typical monsters and tropes seen within anime, arcade and RPG games) before dealing with a boss fight. Throughout the whole stage, Kebako keeps up a witty repartee with her squid friend and whichever boss she happens to be battling against which serves as the main plot and helps to showcase Kebako’s kooky personality. You can restore her health through eating junk food, dropped by the monsters (but steer clear of the salad!).
The game is very self-aware of it being a parody and in paying homage to various RPG games, animes, and popular Japanese games. The genre-spanning ideas work surprisingly well, particularly for gamers who are familiar with the various sources it references. Certain monsters when killed drop new weapons for Kebako to use, some notable inclusions being a gun which mimics a DDR machine, and a pink cat head who eats any opponents in its way. The bosses are also challenging in their own ways and rely on a lot more skill than just shooting as Kebako must be quick enough to fly out of the way of their varied projectile attacks. It’s not majorly difficult but challenging enough that it’ll likely require replays.
Visually and musically, the game hits the perfect balance of addictive music and cute aesthetics – character designs, in particular, look akin to something you might see on Cartoon Network which fits well with the light story. This game really does feel like a cartoon you might have watched on Saturday mornings as a kid with its light humour and fun antics. It does come across as rather childish at times, but in a nostalgic way and a lot of the banter between Kebako and the other characters is rather witty.
One of the few complaints I have with this game is the short length – there are only three stages to complete and whilst all three are fairly challenging it does mean that ultimately this is a game that can be cleared quite quickly. A few more stages would be welcome as the whole experience is so packed full of ideas and funs, you really do want it to stick around a little longer. Cat Girl Without Salad is a game that is crying out for a sequel and I’d love to see more of Kebako and her junk food-loving adventures in the future!
A cute and colourful side-scrolling shooter, taking its cue from animes and Japanese games, which makes for a fun and hilarious experience.