Cat Girl Without Salad Switch Review – Funktasmical Shump Action to the Max

Back in 2013 developers WayForward always having a great sense of humour unleashed the ultimate April fools; Cat Girl Without Salad, the side scrolling shooter x pretty much every genre imaginable. Just over 3 years later the joke turned to reality when a short game was released as a part of Humble monthly. Now 7 years from the original April fools, we’re fooled again and this time it’s true! Cat Girl Without Salad: Amuse-Bouche has launched on Nintendo Switch.

The insane original April fools.

So what’s a game like that started out as a joke? Funktasmically hilarious and fun! For me personally there hasn’t been a game that has quite captured the mindless joy of Parodius in a shump since all its glory back on the SNES, some have come quite close but Cat Girl Without Salad goes one step further thanks to the most awesome powerup weapons ever in a shump. If you have a vague passing casual interest in side scrolling shooters and a sense of humour; you need this game in your life.

Pac-cat I choose you!

Starring Kebako a very kawaii idol looking cat girl obsessed with food (in particular cronuts) and is in fact an ex idol and ex other things but I won’t ruin the story as there’s not a lot of it in this short game. Kebako flies through space shooting stuff in order to get some bounties. Typical shump stuff, what makes Cat Girl Without Salad so good is the dialogue going on pretty much the whole time starring Cristina Vee of anime fame. The dialogue had me smiling throughout the entire play through and even second time round as Kebako gets confused while her sidekick Squiddie plays the straight man and all the villains are out for revenge. 

Kebako has the right idea when it comes to food.

That’s not all though because the powerup weapons (coming in cartridges) are simply amazing, you get a controllable Pacman gun making you control the pac-cat with A,B,X,Y while you still have to dodge all the incoming fire and try to listen to the absurdly funtastic story. There’s an RPG gun letting you choose between a melee giant pixel sword, chucking some magic, healing and a dodge. A sports gun that is like putting golf, a puzzle bobble gun shooting coloured orbs that stick in place, a platformer gun with a little guy that can double jump and damages enemies by jumping on their heads and a rhythm game gun where you guessed it; you press buttons in time for powerful attacks, it’s all insanely fun.

Taste my sword gun!

When you get hit once you lose your powerup at this point you really need to concentrate on one enemy at a time as you go from an aim of destruction to just stay alive and take out the odd enemy before they fly off.

There are 3 levels and each ends with an epic boss showdown. Each boss has three phrases but you get a powerup and some health each time. One thing I was very jealous of is that one boss has a Sonic the Hedgehog gun that I can’t have, come on DLC! The bosses are challenging but not overly difficult, I did die on two of them because I came in with low health but when you die on a boss you can lose 50,000 of your score to try again. If you die during the level you have to do the level again.

You can get overwhelmed quickly with the pea shooter.

When you complete the game you unlock Gun System: Cycle; allowing you to cycle through all the awesome weapons with L and R. Now you can use any of the ridiculously insane guns you want, of course I proceeded to gobble up an entire level with the pac-cat. The only gun that could make this better (besides a usable Sonic gun) is a Katamari gun that lets you roll up enemies into a big ball, it would suit the chaos of Cat Girl Without Salad very well. 

Waka waka!

WayForward have nailed their art style down to a tee and much like River City Girls and Shantae ½ Genie Hero, Cat Girl Without Salad looks stunningly beautiful. Not to mention every level has distinct enemy designs, all awesome in their own right. 

The sound of course is great with the dialogue fully voice acted by professional voice actors bringing the comedy to the limelight. The soundtrack is decent but rightly takes a back seat to the dialogue as do the sound effects.

Now you know what to do G, Bust a move!

Cat Girl Without Salad is the most pure unadulterated fun I’ve had playing a single player game for quite some time. There might only be three levels but you can tell a lot of work has gone into lovely creating each and every aspect of this game. I only have two wishes; one is multiplayer and will probably never happen but this game is a blast in single player so it’s not a big deal. The second is hinted at at the end of the game, and that’s more levels. In what could be the true April fools or something to look forward to, it’s mentioned that there’s six more, hinting at six more foes out to get Kebako and that means six more levels tripling the size of this amazing game that currently takes just over an hour to beat. If you like WayForward’s brand of comedy and beautiful artstyle then you’ll know what to expect. Otherwise if you like having fun I can’t recommend Cat Girl Without Salad: Amuse-Bouche any more, once you play you’ll too hope that the tease at the end isn’t the April fools.

Outer space deadly dance party!

A huge thank you to WayForward for providing the review code. Cat Girl Without Salad: Amuse-Bouche is available now digitally on the Nintendo eShop for £6.24/€7.10/$7.99.

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