Newest Review: ... staple. While growing up I never had the most powerful computer but I recall this game performing well even under the more minimalistic... more
Member Name: thole09
Advantages: Five different cats, Simple graphics
Disadvantages: Lack of features, Some sound
"Catz: Your Computer Petz" is a virtual pet simulation video game. It was first released in 1996 as a PC CD-ROM title by PF Magic. In the United States, the game received an age guidance rating of "K&A" which deemed it suitable for all ages. The system requirements to run the game are minimal but include:
Processor: Equivalent to 50 MHz
OS: Windows 3.1, Windows 95
Memory: 4 MB RAM
Hard Drive: 10 MB Available
Video card: 16 colour
Sound card: Recommended
I remember this game being one of the first "full version" games I have had the pleasure of owning. It was given to me as a gift by my late father shortly after the time of its release; around about the same time when dial-up Internet was becoming a more popular household staple. While growing up I never had the most powerful computer but I recall this game performing well even under the more minimalistic of hardware it was subject to. The game also proves itself to be no trouble for modern systems today, and I still find it to be operational in Windows XP Home Edition.
Catz could perhaps be described as an interactive screensaver. The game starts from within an adoption area where players can select from one of five breeds. Each cat features unique personality traits from shy and timid to feisty and playful, and I found these aspects to be programmed into each respective virtual animal well. After choosing a breed the player then names his or her cat and is brought to a screen with the cat's belongings. Simple clicks of the mouse fill its food bowl, throw its ball of yarn, and move its bed into place. Each cat will also show interest in the mouse cursor and the more playful breeds will aimlessly chase it around the screen. The player's cat is initially confined to a predefined area within the screen but the player can alter this to a full screen mode where the cat and its things have an "always on top" attribute applied. This was a slight hindrance to me as I had to continually swap between full screen and normal modes when attempting to load other applications. With my cat on full screen mode, I can not click on my start menu or other folders. The player's cat can also become a full fledged screensaver in Windows' advanced display settings, and when activated will see the cat crawl to its bed and sleep amongst a darkened display.
When considering the time of release and minimal system requirements, I find the graphics of the game to be well drawn and implement. Each cat moves in a fluid motion and I didn't find any sort of choppiness or lag. They are also drawn in a cartoonish manner to feature bulging eyes and animated whiskers. There is little by the way of sound in this video game. Any given cat will emit stereotypical meows and purrs when content but I soon found these short sound clips to become very repetitive in their presence. Some toys, such as a squeak mouse, also feature a "squeaking" sound which can becoming irritating should the cat be interested in the toy.
Catz was the foundation upon which many successors were built. It is certainly not the most aesthetically or feature packed video game in comparison to later versions, but I do still find myself drawn to its vintage charm and personal nostalgia factor. I would happily recommend it to prospective buyers.
Summary: Thumbs up