Summary A rodent revolution is taking place, and it is the mission of the Scratch Cats stop the plague.
Description Type: Arcade
Platform: Playstation One, Nintendo 64
Players: 1 - 4 players
Age: 3 plus
Game Time: Approximately 20 hours
Developer or Designer: Pure
Over fifty levels
Lots of characters to choose from
Easy level too hard
Storyline not made full use of
Two lab rats called Washington and Jefferson are sent off into space, which makes them mutate into super smart rodents. Forty years later they plan an invasion of earth, sending their minion rats to destroy everything in sight. To stop the carnage, a group of felines called the Scratch Cats join together to defeat them.
Neat storyline, huh? Shame not one second of footage of it is depicted in the game. The whole plot of Rat Attack is there for players to read in the manual, but disappointingly, nothing is shown on the disc itself. Given that six flash videos were created to promote the game before it was released in 1999, it is a little odd. Instead of watching on your Playstation, you have to go to the official website to view it. What's even more surprising is that after sixteen years, the site is still up and running, so you can read all about the making of the game.
In contrast, the arcade style gameplay is very entertaining. There are eight characters to choose from (two of which you have to unlock), each with their own backstory and set of skills. The skills the Scratch Cats have to defeat the rats include jump, speed, swipe, and eradicate.
While swiping will stun the rats for a while, as you can guess, eradicate is the main aim and function. A simple press of the X button will draw a circle around the rats to incinerate them, and then off too the eradication switch you go to send their soul off to hell.
As you progress, you will also find trap switches, treasure boxes, etc to help you along.
With over fifty levels in funky rooms and locations, it provides hours of fun. There are loads of different themed areas to travel to, but I must admit I have never been able to get the first one: House.
This is where my only other criticism of the game comes in. There are three difficulty levels, but even 'Easy' is very challenging, especially given the number of lives allocated. It's a cat, so nine right? Nope, just three. There are occasional life boost items, but they rarely appear, so lives only properly get refilled after completing a boss level.
The boss levels will be familiar territory to any gamer of this era. Avoid the antagonist's fire, then get them inured three times for a K.O. For example, you have to run away from Yippy the dog, then make him konk himself against a target wall three times.
Aside from single player mode, you can also compete with up to three friends. The rules here are a bit different, and the variation makes the game more interesting. You can choose three types of multiplayer games: Beat the Clock, Score Chase, and Rat Chase. In the first you have to get the highest score in the time allotted; in the second you have to be the first to reach a target score. The third is the most fun. Each player has their own colour rats to terminate; you only focus on stopping the rats of your colour destroying objects, while at the same time you want to prevent the other players from killing their rats.
Wacky music, hyper colours, and a reminiscent graffiti art style sets this game very much in the nineties, and oh what fun it is to revisit.