A screenshot from Catlateral Damage showing a cat paw lurching into the screen to trash a bacon sandwich.

Actually breaking off writing about something else here to quickly mention that Catlateral Damage, my favourite cat game that isn’t the wonderful Calico, gets a shiny remastered version launched today. Not only that but an already perfectly named game (Catlateral! Brilliant!) gets a variation on “Remastered” that puts Red Faction Guerilla’s awesome “Re-Mars-tered” to shame.

(And yes, I don’t trust anyone that doesn’t have a favourite cat game. I’ll even accept Artic’s Paws).

Catlateral Damage is a sandbox (litterbox) game where you get to pick one of many cats and do what cats do best – get the zoomies, push things off shelves onto the floor thus causing a massive mess and having a ball with the bog roll. Oh, and nap, obvs.

For anyone with a long enough memory, it’s more Off-Road Velociraptor Safari than Goat Simulator. – compact and focused on doing what it does well.

(Oh, and yeah, there’s a dedicated meow button because that’s important)

It’s great and out on just about most things today. A wonderful piece of family friendly silliness that I’ve adored for a fair few years now and I’m glad it’s getting another go round because it’s great.

GLOBAL CHAOS (in a very nineties, grainy, style)

In “videogames I haven’t thought about in years” corner, it strikes me that it took indie games approximately 30 years to reach the visual heights of the Archie/Amiga game, Top Banana.

It's Top Banana. A purple and black striped border surrounds a mass of digital detritus masquerading as a videogame in the best possible glitch-aesthetic.
all pics from Moby Games

Which would be less strange if Top Banana wasn’t an early footnote in indie game history courtesy of (latterly) Pom Pom’s Miles Visman.

Pom Pom, of course, being responsible for Mutant Storm and that – games which would have been a lot of people’s gateway back into the world of the super small team long before anyone had even considered thinking about making Braid or whatever the first indie game is this week.

Another pic. Same deal as the last but more.

Here’s the ever reliable HG 101 if you want to know more, though I disagree that “it’s just plain bad”. Personally, I prefer “difficult and before its time”. Also “looks astounding“.

GLOBAL CHAOS

It's too roughly drawn seagulls, held by two hands, being made to kiss each other.

With a big thank you to autocorrect for trying to change “area” to “rear” whilst I wasn’t paying attention. Bad autocorrect, naughty. That’s something else entirely.

My dear old nan, bless her soul, used to say to me “Rob”, “Rob love, you haven’t lived a full life until you’ve popped two seagulls in a basket to see if they can truly love each other” and whilst she was absolutely correct, she forgot to mention just how difficult it is to put a seagull in a basket.

THEY KEEP FALLING OUT, NAN. THEY KEEP FALLING OUT.

I don’t really want to say too much about Hot Seagulls In Your Area for fear it might somehow take away some of the magic but it absolutely cracked me up.

As if the idea of having to get a bunch of seagulls to smooch each other wasn’t silly enough, everything about the game leans into that silly from the writing to the minigames to the art. I’d barely gotten as far as weighing the love compatibility of seagulls up for the first time before being reduced to giggling mess. And somehow, it managed to keep working on me the more time I put in.

It’s a little bit Foddy-core (though without the punishing element), a little bit point and click and all ridiculous. It’s great and just the tonic given this year and everything.

Grab it on Itch.

It's a Speccy game so only a few colours and low res, right. But! It's a cowboy on top of a futuristic train firing at an incoming rocket. There's a ladder that goes into the train where some elaborate futuristic platforms (tables?) occupy space. A blue box reading "lock on" is to the far right. It looks very good indeed.

Just a very, very quick one today.

I finally remembered to get round to buying Last Train To Tranz-Central a few minutes ago after legit forgetting for a ridiculously long time.

Since I first saw the screenshots, I was in love. It’s such great spritework, not only does it carry off the whole futuristic train thing well but screen to screen, manages to look like very little else.

I’d tried the demo, loved that too. Managed to wax lyrical about it on Twitter one time then by quirks of payday timings and my increasingly terrible memory, simply forgot to go back and buy it.

I ended up thinking about it again a few nights back because really, I can’t overstate how much I love how it looks, and finally remembered to punt a few quid over for it.

Better late than ever and I get there in the end.

Another screenshot from the game. This time we're looking at a yellow carriage, the player is inside close to some fetching purple diamonds. There's chains and balls and a display with a red warning sign.

You’ll either need a Spectrum emulator or the real deal hardware to give it a shot. I’ve been playing it on my phone through Speccy Deluxe and it works just great.

It’s pretty obvious to me that games peaked in 1992 and we’ve been coasting ever since because how else can you explain Popeye 3 existing and only Muscle March ever coming close?

Yes, that is Popeye wrestling a xenomorph. And yes, the xenomorph has Popeye in a bit of a pickle.

If I were Popeye, even after eatsing my spinach, I’d be a bit worried! As far as I know, spinach does very little against acid for blood. I mean, I haven’t actually tested this in any scientific way but it seems like a safe assumption to make given what we know about plants and acid. I would not chew on a leaf to ward off an alien.

Anyway. You can see why there’s a packed out auditorium. If someone I knew was selling tickets to a wrestling match between Popeye and a xenomorph and promised me the universe’s widest ghost would have a ringside seat, I would move heaven and Earth to get tickets and totally sneak a camera in too.

Come on, videogames. You need to be at least this weird with licensed games or go home.

A screenshot from Recompile, a glowing player avatar runs through a minimal surreal environment whilst a pair of tentacled sentinels with glowing eyes float nearby.

Not really the kind of game I go for these days, largely alternating between games which I can play in 10 minute bursts or games which just leave me alone to pick up some flowers or something, but I’m really impressed with the style Recompile has going on.

There’s a really nice mix of the economical indie style and some grandstanding stuff and sure, it looks nice static. Look at this!

A screenshot from the game Recompile. A digital representation of a humanoid generated out of glowing particles faces off against an enormous, mechanical, Event Horizon looking spider thing. It seems to be taking place in a volcanic area, judging by the hue and limited scenery.

There’s a nice bit of Rez to the digital player avatar and that spider-like whatever thing appears to be some sort of Event Horizon meets the sadly abandoned but should have had a bigger audience 3d tool GroBoto. Yes, this is definitely a look, I like it!

I’d bailed out of last year’s trailer due to an aversion to trailers playing sad songs at me and, as is usual for me, I’d completely forgotten about the game until a post on the PlayStation blog a few days back. The post goes into a little more detail of how the game looks, complete with now obligatory animated GIFs to show off different parts in motion and yeah, okay, it’s a grand job visually alright.

I don’t have a PS5 and my PC has just bitten the dust again so I doubt I’ll be getting round to it anytime soon but given I keep this damn site around to write about things that make me go ooh, this is a game that definitely made me go ooh.

Okay, I’ll admit it. It the glowing particles that got me. I may be old and tired but I’m still me. Just look at the lasers in this! Incredible!