Updated: Sep 22
In Spy Cats, one of the games Mon River Games is currently working on, you play as several different cats trained in espionage. You are entrusted with the gathering of information and mission-critical items. Nobody would suspect a cat? Wrong! They have eyes and ears everywhere, so be careful! If anyone sees you, the mission could be a cat-astrophic failure!
Level 1: Ice and Snow
Zach, one of the creators of the first level, said that the level's design is, “similar to the first level of Super Mario Bros.” Furthermore, “It is the first level, so it has to be some kind of tutorial. It introduces the player to the mechanics, like jumping, left and right movement, and a powerup that doubles your jump height.” The level is themed around ice and snow, and features a cold, clean visual style.
One of the stand-out visuals of this level is a parallax scrolling background with mountains and trees. It adds a tremendous amount to the atmosphere of the level. While this level does not have a cat for the player character, it will soon be replaced with one. For now, there is a red cube as a placeholder. The player needs the jump powerup to progress, so it acts as a soft tutorial to pickups. All in all, the ice level will be a fantastic introduction into the world of Spy Cats.
Level 2: Alleys
Jackson’s level is themed around the back alleys of the city of Spy Cats. Jackson described his level as having a dark atmosphere, as the mission takes place at night. It has foreground and background layers to make the city look crowded and expansive. The player has to recover stolen diamonds. It takes three diamonds to win the level. It has a slightly higher difficulty than the first level, as there are bats the player must avoid.
Level 3: Household
The third level is themed around a common household. Malachi, the creator of this level described it as “a household level where it’s like a Donkey Kong arcade type where you start from the first floor and can go down to the basement and work up to the attic.”
Level 4: Boardwalk
Waves crash onto our third level: the boardwalk! This level is set on a sunny beach and features a particularly malicious enemy: seagulls! The player must avoid these avian threats to make it all the way across the boardwalk. The level also features buildings along the boardwalk and dolphin statues.
Level 5: Desert
The fifth level finds us in the shoes of a black cat in an ancient Egyptian temple. The goal is to obtain the diamond hidden in the perilous pyramid. The atmosphere is dark and mysterious, with flickering torches and towering statues. The architects of this pyramid don’t seem to take kindly to visitors: there are swinging blades, pillars of fire, and crushing boulders all throughout the level. Along the way, the player can light blue flames to serve as checkpoints, respawning there if they fall victim to one of the traps. The difficulty of this level is much higher than previous levels, but the checkpoints allow for the player to take risks and experiment with the player movement without too many repercussions.
Level 6: Art Museum
The next level takes place in an art museum. Tori, the creator of this level said, “the spy cats have to battle invading enemies, in the form of mice, and find the vital clue that is hidden there. There is also a secret level in the map where more valuables can be found. It is progressing well so far, despite some technical difficulties!”
The level has an atmosphere that is perfect for an art museum. There are a multitude of paintings displayed on the walls, and benches between them. This level looks like a good place to spend an evening admiring the art, but the mission is more important! Spy Cats are trained to be exceptionally focused on the mission at hand.
Level 7: Natural History Museum
Caleb said, “I’ve been working on making a level inside of a dinosaur museum, so I wanted you to be able to walk on the skeletons of the dinosaurs. It’s been progressing pretty well so far! I had to add in some scaffolding and stuff to make it so you can actually walk but other than that and some coding stuff I’ve had to figure out it’s been good!”
The level is a great addition to Spy Cats towards the end. It can be a little tricky climbing up the dinosaur skeletons! This level is visually impressive, featuring a lot of interesting skeletons!
Level 8: Pool Hall
Emma, the creator of the eight level, described it as “set in a billiards hall, loosely based on the Met pool hall on High Street. The goal of this level is to find three 8 balls, one of which is hidden in a secret underground level. It has been coming together slowly but surely, as I am learning how to work Unity through this project.” This level has a good design and uses lights in interesting ways. It features numerous pool tables.