Amstrad Computer User

Bad Cat

Publisher: Go!
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #45

Bad Cat

The English language consists of some 2,000 or so commonly used words plus a considerably larger number known only to the likes of Frank Muir and company.

In the right hands, they can be selected and ordered so as to produce great works of literature; Hamlet, Great Expectations, Moby Dick and the like.

Choose them at random and sling them together any old how and its as near a certainty as you can get that you will end up with complete and utter gobbledegook. Inland Revenue tax returns and the demented ravings of the Hairy Hacker are prime examples.

Bad Cat

Likewise, few of the many possible permutations of notes on a stave lead to musical works of lasting beauty such as Beethoven's Fifth, White Christmas or Star Trekkin'.

The same reasoning can be applied to computer games. These have been around long enough now for many of the more obvious subjects to have been exploited and re-exploited to the point of nausea. The day of "Bobby Robson's Kung-Fu Fighting Demon in the 25th Century On Ice" can't be far off.

In their desperate search for originality, the lads at Rainbow Arts appear to have settled for lobbing a couple of darts into their copy of Every Boy's Bumper Book Of Facts and come up with the two subjects of Cats and the Los Angeles Olympics.

Bad Cat

This is the only possible explanation that comes to mind when reading the blurb on the packaging of Bad Cat, which informs you that it is 1984 and the dignitaries and celebrities of LA are preparing for the huge crowds which are expected to attend the games.

But there are still the city-dweller cats, despised by all - and no wonder - who are planning their own competitive games.

Bad Cat consists of four independent games linked by a common interlude. Each takes place in a different area of L.A. Controls are basic, enabling Bad Cat to walk backwards, forwards, to jump, fall on his knees or somersault.

Bad Cat

In the first game, Bad Cat has to cross the city park, avoiding such obstacles as water jumps, circus balls and trampolines. Once across the park, the prize awaits - a motorcycle.

Unfortunately, the keys are hanging on a streetlamp - aren't they always - and the use of a swing is needed to retrieve them before the motorcycle can be mounted with a "sweeping somersault".

Next comes the interlude. Mounted on the motorcycle, you have to cross the city, avoiding the police and the bulldozers that block your path.

Bad Cat

This is followed by the arena, in which Bad Cat indulges in some gymnastics, jumping from bumper to bumper to retrieve points-scoring geometric figures that pass above him.

The third game consists of "an exciting adventure in the sewage systems of the city". It is gratifying to know that while in the sewers Bad Cat is prevented from performing a somersault because of the physical conditions.

Finally, Bad Cat enters a pub in which he undertakes a duel with a bulldog consisting of ten pin bowling and beer.

Bad Cat

Points scoring is based upon the time taken to complete each game. Additional bonus points are available for skilled play if you gain "the benevolent approval of the judges".

Bad Cat as a game rates no more than average. The skills required are basic and easily mastered; the graphics are adequate but nothing special.

The settings, admittedly, are unusual, but a game needs to involve the player to maintain interest and in this case the overwhelming feeling is one of apathy as to whether you succeed or not The most entertaining part of the package is the instructions which have original been German and show it. This is not a game to get over-excited about.


I get the impression this game was written for very young children. Its not just the fact that the challenge is totally non-existent, but infantile messages pop up now and again as well.

Bad Cat is colourful with nicely drawn graphics, and the disc version probably makes for a better game than the tape, but I can think of better ways to spend 15 quid.


What an unfortunate title. I presumed the Bad in Bad Cat meant Bad as in Really Cool. Nope, it means Bad as in Terrible.

The gameplay really is ridiculously simple; just a matter of skipping along jumping over things, jumping on to things, and grabbing or kicking things.

Even if you don't manage to complete the level, you still get to go on to the next level. Ho hum.


This game is a drag. Each of the four levels are so easily conquered, which is a bit of a let down after waiting thumb-twiddling minutes for it to load. And the motor bike interlude flashes by so quickly that you hardly feel you've done anything.

The graphics are nicely done though, suggesting that the ability was there to make this a better game. I wonder what went wrong?