PEGBRJE: CARBAGE and Where is cat?
Some odd balls for Thursdays.
CARBAGE is a competitive multiplayer driving chaos title made by Hello There Games, an indie studio based out of Sweden who many may have heard of from their other titles such as Kung Fury and AVICII INVECTOR. In this one, players select their strange racer and enter in to different arenas for the simple cause of beating the daylights out of their friends in any way possible.
To enter the different races, players need their racer first after all, which controls through the joystick/WASD. There’s no acceleration button, so the directions handle all of that which can lead to some adjusting depending on how players are used to driving games. Each car comes with an ability to hard brake as well as boost — metered resource indicated at the top left — as well as jump for some hilariously fun reasons such as straight jumping over opposing cars. Where the cars truly get something interesting is in the ‘Push/Pull’ mechanic, which allows for the player to do exactly as implied; drag cars in a radius closer, or chuck them farther away. This super power has a shared cooldown indicated by a radical ‘O’ in the top left thanks to the fact that it can completely alter the course of a game. Normally cars can just run in to each other to push them off and destroy the competition, but sonically throw them? Can’t say I’ve seen that as commonplace.
To allow for the fullest of insanity, CARBAGE has numerous game modes to enable the competitive fun. Survival is the first mode given to players, where the floor will disappear where ever the player drives. Thankfully boosting repairs the floor, but it’s still a tad risky as the floor isn’t really there to support a misstep. Next up is Cap the Crown which plays just like it sounds; players are trying to hold on to the Crown for as long as possible while others attempt to run in to the crown bearer to take it. A classic in derby-esque driving games if I do say so myself. The other classic is Racing, which puts players in to a simple track of turns and twists and asks them to see who wins. The camera angle changes for this game mode, moving to a top down to allow for easier understanding of where players are going rather than the isometric-like camera from earlier. Finally is a newcomer in Demolition, where players will go to Scrapopolis and attempt to collect as many coins as possible by destroying everything. This is done by simply running in to anything that is above the floor, be it buildings, landmarks, bridges; anything. The pull and push come in clutch here as well, for the radius given for both abilities now simply destroys everything instead, scattering the coins across to be collected. I was a little confused that the buildings didn’t fall over when I took out their bases, but it makes sense seeing as that would make all of the coins fall everywhere.
CARBAGE is just pure couch multiplayer fun mixed with the ridiculousness and quirkiness of the cast. The music adds so much to the gameplay, especially the little sound effects when readying or winning. If I had 3 other people this would have been even more chaotic to try out but alas I only had one other person to assist me today. It’s definitely a game to bring out to gatherings or parties where one might normally find solace in Mario Kart, but with a greater focus on the head-to-head matches it fits the party aesthetic more. Matches are short and sweet so that nobody is being bogged down by races that take 4–5 minutes to complete. If you’re looking for a local multiplayer game to bring when we can actually do that on the regular, consider this title for its scrappy mayhem.
Where is cat? is a point and click ‘hide and seek’ searching game made by Bart Bonte, an indie dev out of Belgium, with the help of his three children for the Oujevipo Contest Game Jam centred around the theme of KIDS. For this jam one of the constraints was to involve at least a single child in the development process, so Bart Bonte rallied his own to create a title centred around finding a cat within a house.
Starting this adventure is a cute song before a simple question is posed: where is cat? Searching outside, players will play a game similar to ‘Where’s Waldo’ in which the cat is hiding in plain sight but is hidden thanks to the environment. Across the next half-dozen rooms, players will continually search for the cat until we finally reach the outside shed, to which this little ball of fur demands we search for other items. Perplexed, we begin the search again for a saucer in each room, only to realize that it had been in each picture the entire time we had been searching for the cat. Each room contains a saucer before we reach the end and the cat asks for another item, repeating the process until we have discovered everything and are rewarded with a party. Where the kids come in is through the artwork itself, which features many portraits and compositions done by the three that are hanging from the walls of the house and where many of the objects came from.
It’s a short title, but just by playing for a few moments you can feel the love that this collaboration has brought; it’s a warm, sweet adventure of simply finding a cat and then finding all of the effects that they are searching for. It’s not fancy or clever, but instead showcases the earnest attempt at creating different rooms to which anything could be hiding within. It reminds me a lot of those drawings I would’ve created when I was still in grade school that my parents would pin to the refrigerator as I gleefully explain to them what’s going on in each picture. The beauty is in the simplicity and the heart, and ‘Where is cat?’ showcases it all. If you like games that just want to show you a cat and have you search for things, this is definitely one to try.
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