Whack a Catgirl: The Zany, Madca- Oh God, I can’t do this…
[Like ‘Aquarius’, ‘Whack a Catgirl’ gave Guilt Free Games a lot of Google hits for things that had nothing to do with the game. Unlike ‘Aquarius’, people weren’t innocently looking for pictures of David Hasselhoff in a speedo, staring into your soul. They were looking for things that would make hardened life-sentence prisoners blush. Still, if a pack of weirdos looking for prOn on the internets ended up reading my card game review, who am I to argue?]
This review was originally posted at Guilt-Free-Games.com.
I mean, there are so many levels of nerdiness associated with this: The Japanese obsession with teenage girls, The American misunderstanding and glorification of everything Japanese, Furries, and let’s not forget that we’re still talking about a card game… heck, I’m writing a game REVIEW on the subject. My understanding of the Japanese language is limited, but I’m pretty sure that this is as ‘Otaku’ as it gets.*
No, Whack a Catgirl is not a Japanese product. It isn’t even close… the artwork looks more like American cartooning than Japanese anime. But, I forgive Asmadi Games that foible… this is one of their first products and they are a very small game company from my hometown of Haverhill, Massachusetts. Considering how hideous some small press games turn out, I got to give them praise. This at least looks like something that a bunch of talented kids at your high school put together. Oh, and the card stock is bendy but shuffles well. Always a fan of good card stock.
But the game itself with its hyper-cute, super-happy fan-servicing tentacle-crazy… breathe, John-Michael, breathe… Okay, I’ll be alright… Just let me sit down for a second.
Maybe I can just explain how the game works… that should be okay. The object of this game is to bludgeon Neko-chan repeatedly with items in your arsenal. At the start of the game, a mini-market is set up with a row of three cards that players can buy when they have no items, and a discount row of three cards that players can buy whenever. Players spend their turn either acquiring an item from the market, or attracting Neko-Chan over with cards they bought (Like Shinies!), then whacking her over the head with other cards they bought (Like Giant Mallets). Points are scored, rotate to the next player, la-de-da.
The game could disseminate into chaos from cards endlessly smashing the board, or a boring game of ‘Just take the best card stupid’. To the game designers credit, Whack-a-Catgirl has a proper risk vs. reward decision making mix. Scoring a fish is worthless unless you can score a bucket of water during the game. Yaoi Manga (I suggest you use Wikipedia, not Google to find out what Yaoi means. You’ll thank me later) attracts Neko-Chan… but if it’s in your inventory at the end of the game, you must score it, and it’s worth negative points. You can smash through the deck scoring whatever looks cool, or you can lay out an elaborate method of attack. Nice.
Also, Asmadi gets points for the extra effort put into their flavor text. The game has many duplicate cards that do the same thing for ease of gameplay’s sake. Those cards have the same artwork so that they can be easily identified… but each card has unique flavor text. That, ladies and gentlemen, is attention to detail.
It’s just… I’m a thirty-three year old man and I’m afraid that my parents are going to storm in MY room someday, look at the artwork for this card game, and disown me. I mean, it’s not that bad; there’s only a couple of panty shots in the game, and one is on the card ‘Fan Service’ for Susanu’s sake. It’s just… well, this is one of those card games I’d prefer to give to another friend as a present so I could play it on occasion, but not actually own. Now who’s birthday is coming up…
* Please don’t correct me on the meaning of Otaku. I know, I know, it means something different in Japan. Considering the subject matter, though, it seems ironically appropriate.