Felix the Cat (video game)
Felix the Cat is a platformer video game with some scrolling shooter elements. It was developed by Shimada Kikaku and published by Hudson Soft for the NES in October 1992. A highly pared-down version was ported to Game Boy and published by Electro Brain in July 1993.
The game is loosely based on the 1959 television series version of Felix the Cat (rather than the 1988 film which it's meant to tie into), with elements from the earlier comics. In the game's story, The Professor and his henchmen have kidnapped Felix's girlfriend Kitty and are demanding he hand over his magic bag of tricks to get her back. You play Felix who must travel through several stages using his bag of tricks to defeat The Professor's minions. The game was originally written in Japanese, but it strangely never saw a Japanese release. Despite only being an average game with a dated theme, it made the cover of the September 1992 Nintendo Power, which I can only guess cost Hudson Soft a lot of money!
As a child, I only ever saw the occasional comic strip of Felix the Cat reprinted in newspapers. However, in the 1990s, I remember hearing the theme song of the 1959 television show on a compilation CD and really liking the title music. In the mid-1990s, I saw the 1988 film and liked it. With that minor knowledge of the character, I decided to play the game in the early 2000s and ended up beating it on my very first attempt. Then, while looking for more Game Boy games to beat, I saw there was a port of the game, so I played it and also beat it on my first attempt on 2019-12-16.
I don't own either the NES or Game Boy ports, but I have beaten both.
Best Version: NES
— This section contains spoilers! —
- The various upgrades Felix can get throughout the various stages are interesting.
- The game does a pretty decent job of mixing the platformer and scrolling shooter genres without getting too far away from the theme.
- The game has large attractive backgrounds.
- The game nicely incorporates the Felix the Cat theme song into the music.
- For a licensed game, it's not bad.
- The game is a bit dull. After about 15 minutes, you'll have seen most of what the game has to offer, and then you have to play for another 45 through all nine worlds. The new stage locations and player upgrades help, but they're not interesting enough to keep the game alive, and the level design is just too straight-forward.
- Most of the enemies are just random animals without any link to the source material.
- Some of the controls are a bit hard to work with like the floaty movements in the scrolling shooter stages and the arced projectile of the tank which makes it hard to hit nearby enemies.
- The bosses are all too easy.
- The game is far too easy. A decent player should be able to beat the entire game on the original compliment of lives on their first try, but the game rewards so many free lives you will near 100 in reserve by the time you beat it!
- The Game Boy port is so pared-down there isn't much left to it. Half the levels are missing, all the cut scenes are removed, and much of the background detail is missing. An average-gamer will be able to beat it in about 20 minutes on their first try.
- spriters-resource.com/nes/felix - Sprite sheets.