We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Nuclear Strawberry for the review copy of Copy Kitty used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.
For a platforming shooter game, Copy Kitty actually has a very interesting mechanic that had me quite interested in trying it out. That mechanic is the ability to combine up to three special abilities into a sort of “super-weapon” that takes parts of each ability to make a unique and much more powerful weapon. While I was excited by the concept, after trying the game out I was ultimately disappointed with the execution. In fact, Copy Kitty actually uses this mechanic better with the occasional bosses you have to fight (they will grab several special abilities and use a combination of them for their attacks similar to how you use this ability).
The main reason I was disappointed with Copy Kitty’s main mechanic is that the game only comes with ten different abilities you can combine (for a total of 175 different combinations) and several of them are very similar to each other or can be very tricky to use. After trying all of the different types of abilities out once, you’ll almost certainly wind up picking out the same few abilities every time you can (I tended to always use the lightning ability whenever I could get a hold of it). This means that unless you go out of your way to make sure to try as many different combinations as you can, you probably won’t even use the game’s main selling point very much after you’ve completed a few levels. There are certain levels where you will need to adapt and change your playstyle (for example, you might have to use the proximity ability because you don’t have another choice), which is nice but these levels are few and far between. Also, I didn’t even use the super-weapons very much since a lot of the normal abilities are perfectly fine and it isn’t worth using extra “ammo” when it is sometimes hard to get a lot of it in certain levels.
Another problem I had with Copy Kitty is that the game seems to be very easy. I’ve played through over half of the game and outside of a few somewhat tricky boss battles (though nowhere near as hard as boss battles in other games), have rarely died otherwise. The game does have a lot of levels (over 100 of them and 20 boss battles) but since most of them are a breeze to beat (as long as you are at least an average gamer, you will probably only die in a few of the regular levels), the game isn’t quite as long as you would think. However, after you have beaten the game the first time you can play through the game again as a new character with a more technical combat style. If you enjoyed the game, this could end up at least doubling your playtime to make the game a pretty good bargain at just $9.99. The game also offers an endless mode, which is a nice addition and overall pretty fun to play.
The final negative I had with Copy Kitty is that you are forced to play the game in a 4:3 aspect ratio (meaning you won’t be able to play it fullscreen on a widescreen monitor like most people have) and that the art isn’t really that great outside of some of the character and enemy designs. The art just overall looks kind of cheaply made and has a style that is very similar to a lot of small, independent games on Steam that don’t have enough money to spend on their art. This could be something that is just a negative for me, I fully admit that I don’t like the kind of art style Copy Kitty uses and some of the enemy designs are pretty inspired and original. However, I personally am not a fan of Copy Kitty’s art.
Now that I have gotten all of the negatives out of the way, I can move onto the positives of Copy Kitty. First of all, for an early access game this is actually one of the most complete and ready to go early access games I’ve ever played. I think I ran into just one bug during my entire time playing the game, the game seems to be very polished, and there are already tons of levels and other things to do. While the developers plan to update the game about every month for a year or so before the game is fully released, if you like the concept of Copy Kitty but had some reservations because of the early access label on its Steam page, don’t worry about it since it more ready to go than at least 90% of the games in early access. The game has already been in development for five years and it definitely shows. The only problem is that the game currently ends on a cliffhanger, so this could be a reason to wait until the game is finished if you can’t stand cliffhangers. I kind of wish the game would add in a few more abilities to add a bit more variety but it sounds like they only plan to add two more worlds and Steam workshop support so players can share their own custom levels (two nice additions but I think making the main gimmick of the game more fun is more important).
Otherwise, the other main positive of Copy Kitty is the vast amount of things to do. The game already has over 100 levels (and the plans to add two more worlds should add at least 20 more to that total) and after completion, you can play the game again with a more technical character and different versions of the levels you’ve already played. The game also has a fun endless mode, a full level editor that you can make your own levels with, and 49 achievements (some of which will take a lot of work to acquire). That is a lot of content for $9.99 (the price will increase once the game is out of early access in a year or so), if you really enjoy Copy Kitty and try to complete everything you could probably get 20-30 hours out of it.
While this review may sound pretty negative, I think there are a lot of gamers who would enjoy Copy Kitty quite a bit. I think this is an example of a game that wound up not being my cup of tea (the main gimmick just didn’t work the way I was hoping it would outside of the bosses using it creatively) but that other gamers could like much more than I did. If you like games like Gunstar Heroes, the Mega Man series, or Kirby 64 (which has a similar copy ability), there is a pretty good chance you will like Copy Kitty. However, if you are just interested in the game for the gimmick (which is pretty much the reason I requested a review copy of the game), it doesn’t work as well as you would hope. Only get Copy Kitty if you are interested in more than just the gimmick.