Sometimes I can’t help but lament just how popular the internet has made cats. Cats are terrible; they’re basically living furniture except not nearly as useful and 10-times more temperamental. And yet sometimes it seems all you have to do is put a cat in a game and it’s the only component it needs for instant success. I remark upon this because that’s basically the only thing Miaou Moon has at its disposal. It’s a terrible game, riding on the popularity of cats to maybe trick a few people into playing it.
There really isn’t a whole lot to say about Miaou Moon because there’s not really a lot of game to it. Players take on the role of Captian Miaou, trapped on a collection of moons and they must navigate their way off. The way you do this is by propelling yourself around the zero-G atmosphere by farting, through your airtight space-suit somehow. Your fart power is not unlimited and can be refilled with fish that are placed around each level; if you reach zero, it’s game over.
But it isn’t the banality of its concept or its juvenility that bothers me, although let’s be clear: it is incredibly bothersome. The most glaring issue with Miaou Moon is how terrible it’s design is. Every time you try to move it reduces your fart-meter by one point, so in theory players would want to use this sparingly, timing their moves accordingly to get through the level effectively. However this is almost impossible since every move barely pushes you ahead a few pixels, gives you absolutely no lift and you end up spending four or five moves just to get the slightest bit of momentum.
Not only that, but the game’s physics are terrible—like most physics games there are little obstacles that will bounce you around, or send you flying or hinder your progress scattered around each level, however, how you hit these obstacles have little to no bearing on how or where you are sent flying and even sliding along the ground almost brings you to a complete halt. I acknowledge that there’s a certain degree of randomness in physics games, however the player has to maintain some feeling of control, and Miaou Moon simply does not offer that.
On top of terrible gameplay, the whole production just feels cheap. The overall design is that same chibi look you can find in Neko Atsume and doesn’t really feel genuine. While overall movement is fairly smooth, the way Miaou snaps between animations with no sense of flow, or how he snaps between designs when consuming or spending energy makes it look more janky than it should. The game’s music is just a collection of techno-music that is reused in each level and adds no sense of personality or originality to the game.
I feel like these kinds of “physics games” are a very easy go-to place for amature indie devs because it requires minimal effort and any potential issues can be written off by the “random” nature of these kinds of games. As it stands, Miaou Moon does the only thing it knows how to do, very poorly and fails to stand out in a genre where games are a dime a dozen, especially in the indie scene.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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