I don't know what it is about the Japanese and extreme weight gain. I mean, I know compared to some of the things you find in Japanese media, that's pretty damn vanilla, but it's still kind of weird. Ironically, becoming ridiculously fat is the goal of this week's good game, Sushi Cat. A product of Armor Games, who rarely put a foot wrong when it comes to their titles, it's a Flash version of Plinko with the disc replaced by a gelatinous blue cat. This is not as terrifying as it sounds.
Said cat is trying to meet the tabby of his dreams, but through several twists of fate he can never seem to reach her. His solution is to become incredibly fat. No, I don't know what the thought process is there, but it is a cat, so naturally we're not going to understand everything he does. Actually, there are real reasons as to why he attempts to grow bigger, but I just find it more humorous if you think the cat's just weird and his would-be girlfriend is a feeder.
The game is composed of fifteen levels; in which one you must eat thirty pieces of sushi to continue to the next. This is done by deciding a place to drop your cat and releasing him with a click of the left mouse button. Down he tumbles, bouncing off platforms and nomming his way through many a piece of raw fish. I am always amazed at how fattening sushi is in these games. I can only assume it's based on reality, though I always thought fish was a pretty low fat dish. Still, there are other elements that might contribute to the high calorie count...
Big Mean Flash Gamer - where pointless tangents equal good copy.
It must be said that Sushi Cat looks very, very pretty. The levels are grouped together into three separate zones and each zone has a distinctive look. They also have bonuses and obstacles specific to their zone, helping to deflect accusations of repetition and giving the player a real sense of progress.
The cut scenes are also wonderfully rendered and tell a charming tale that starts out cute but actually becomes slightly disconcerting by the end. When the cat loses sight of his love, it's kind of strange that his reaction is to try collecting lots of dolls that look like her. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but... no, wait, that is what I'm saying. That's kind of creepy, Sushi Cat.
Of course, good looks don't mean squat without good gameplay, and here Sushi Cat acquits itself well. This is a game that's easy to learn but hard to master, and especially around the halfway mark there are a couple of levels that might prove difficult. But, in all honesty, this isn't a hard game to beat. If you've got fifteen or twenty minutes you shouldn't have too much trouble completing it. Fortunately there's enough to hold your attention for that long - in the latter levels, certainly, watching your tubby kitty get squeezed, stretched and bounced around is amusing. It's also pretty crazy to watch just how fat this cat can get. I mean, this is one cat who needs to run his ass around the block a few times.
A combination of cute and creepy, then, Sushi Cat tells us that it's OK to become morbidly obese for the one you love. I'm not really sure if that's a message we should be telling our children, but at least the game is fun. If you're a fan of Japanese cuisine, Plinko or Tarepanda, you might be a fan of Sushi Cat.