Catwalk (1984)(Power Software)

Catwalk title screenWhen I saw the list of games in front of me and Catwalk was the title of one of them, I had all sorts of images running through my mind. In none of those images was an actual cat called Snooky the main character, and guiding the moggy through the night wasn’t the theme of any of them. But there I was with a black furry pussy called Snooky to keep me company through what was probably going to be a long night. Hopefully that has got all of the double entendres out of the way right off the bat, I try to avoid them but it’s hard, so very hard.

The game, which was released in 1984 by Power Software, actually looks OK for a game of that era, and once I had selected some keys (Q,A,O,P and Space seemed good as I didn’t have a joystick plugged in to use a Kempston choice which was offered) I started guiding the black furball around on his nocturnal excursions. The aim of the game is to catch mice and birds and seek out food. As usual in these games all in the garden is not so rosy, as people are throwing objects from their windows at you, and the neighbourhood is strangely full of stray dogs.

The Levels

Catwalk screen 2 building site levelThe first level is an easy introduction to the game with just a few boots and dogs to avoid while you catch the mice, all very easy. Level 2 ups the ante a little though when you enter the building site and contend with night watchmen, scaffolding and lifts to catch and eat the delicious birds. Here I started losing those 9 lives, falls kill you, landing on night watchmen’s heads kills you, and the cat isn’t as good at jumping as you would guess from watching your own or neighbours cats effortlessly scaling walls and fences, as Snooky is more akin to those pets on those TV shows which pay £250 for your funny videos. Each level adds a little more difficulty, with a cemetery full of ghosts and witches which leave behind killer plants of some sort. A US Air Force Base, the factory and more to get through.

Why Should You Play Catwalk?

I have to say I enjoyed playing with the pus.. err cat for a while, the levels slowly increase in difficulty and can be learned. It does have a little sound but those sounds aren’t annoyingly twee like some games of this kind offer. Graphics are quite large and well defined with that all important colour clash. Controls are also decent with any failings attributable to me playing badly rather than poor response to inputs. Jumps have to be carefully planned as in any good platform game though, and need to be pixel perfect in some places. Overall Catwalk is an enjoyable way to while away some time on the Spectrum.