Funny Farts But Fairly Frustrating
Miaou Moon is a casual, physics-based platformer where you play as a space cat named Captain Miaou. After your spaceship gets blown up you are now stranded in space and have to fart and fight your way through five worlds of dangers and enemies. Using the arrow keys you must propel Captain Miaou to the end of each area, all whilst keeping your energy levels high by eating snacks and defending yourself by scratching enemies. The graphics make it look like a cute, casual game, but in reality it’s quite difficult, and sometimes not in a good way.
In terms of game mechanics, Miaou Moon is pretty standard. You have an energy bar that goes down every time you propel yourself and you can regain energy by eating snacks that are sprinkled throughout level. There are hidden items in each area that you can use to upgrade your kitty’s space suit such as energy capacity, cat visor, your armour and your claws. But more than likely the energy bar will have to be a priority. If your energy bar reaches zero you die (standard), but in Miaou Moon, if your energy bar exceeds its capacity then your spacesuit explodes. It just creates one more element to avoid if your suit is at full capacity, and seems unreasonable to have a cap on the energy bar unless you just want to make the game more difficult.
Controlling the trajectory of Captain Miaou is petty fun, using your farts efficiently and timing your moves is key to getting to the end of each level. This counts particularly when you gather up speed and accidentally have Captain Miaou rebounding all over the place. Captain Miaou’s round, inflated bounceable spacesuit is super adorable, and the holographic moustachioed tutorial cat makes double the cuteness. Beyond these two cats and the vibrant graphics, however, the enemies and space objects aren’t that creative. You fight ‘space fish’ and ‘space wasps’, you try and avoid ‘space nip’ and ‘spacetime coral’ – there is nothing alien-like or imaginative going on with these objects or enemies. If the game ramps up the creativity, it will be long after an aggravating number of levels.
Regarding sound, the music is definitely a positive point. Its fun, a little dopey and completely captures the feel of the game. The same goes with the sound effects; the little toot Captain Miaou makes every time he farts, or the bouncing noises themselves, all add to the game’s charm and silliness. This attitude should have been reflected in the gameplay and level design, making the game more fun than frustrating.
The criticism of the difficulty in Miaou Moon made so far could easily be looked past if there wasn’t one thing making them painfully obvious: the levels are way too long. And this is an issue that starts at level two. The introductory tutorial is straightforward and easy to understand but second level is soooo long. With Miaou Moon’s mechanics and gameplay, each level should be a couple of minutes long at the most but finishing levels takes up to ten minutes to complete. The save points help but altogether the levels lose their fun fairly quickly and without knowing when the end is coming it becomes irritating.
Miaou Moon is not a terrible game. It’s a cute, silly game about a bouncing, guffing space cat with some fun aspects and gameplay. Both the developers are very active on steam and itch, releasing new updates and improving the game. Miaou Moon would be the perfect flash game with charm and fun but because of the length of the levels, the difficulty spike and the price tag of £6.99 on Steam, its missing its target audience when it describes itself as ‘casual.’