18 September 2011

The Cat and the Coup

Gaming Genres: Platformer
Story Genres: Non-Fiction
Graphical Styles: 2D, Cartoon
Platforms: Windows
Pricing Model: Free
Developer(s): Peter Brinson and Kurosh ValaNejad
Publisher(s): Peter Brinson and Kurosh ValaNejad
Initial Release Date: June 15, 2011
Website(s): Homepage
The Cat and the Coup is a documentary videogame in which you play the cat of Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran. During the summer of 1953, the CIA engineered a coup to bring about his downfall. As a player, you coax Mossadegh back through significant events of his life by knocking objects off of shelves, scattering his papers, jumping on his lap and scratching him.

I think that The Cat and the Coup commits one of the cardinal sins of game design, and that is that it does not ask itself "does this add anything to the experience at all, or even does it take away from it". Unfortunately, the entire gameplay of this game only serves to confuse the plot and the player, and it is not even any fun; You do the simplest, least connected to the plot, things with bad controls. And while I was playing the game I had no idea that some events were shown out of order and I still have no idea where in the timeline some of them fit; Add to that, far too little explanation for anyone who does not already know the story and you get what I would consider the least successful attempt to ever tell a story, fiction or documentary, I have ever seen.

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Indieness: Quintessentially Indie

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