Advertising Blurbswww.nintendo.com – Nintendo 64:
Best known for publishing Chessmaster on multiple platforms, including Game Boy, Mindscape veers unexpectedly into Cartoon Network territory with Rat Attack!
Cat-scratch fever begins when two mutant space-rats, Washington and Jefferson, hatch a nefarious plot to conquer earth by breeding hordes of deadly rats. Earth's sole hope rests with the Scratch Cats, an obstreperous octet quite like your typical team of superheroes, except they have long whiskers.
Your basic task in this overhead-view game is to hold down the A Button, then use the Control Stick to draw a "containment field" around as many rats as possible. Release the button, then skedaddle to a specially marked circle, cleverly called the Destructor, to liquidate your prey. You can capture multiple rats but if you bump into another rat before reaching the Destructor, you'll loose your rodent booty.
To clear a level, eliminate a specific number of rats before they can destroy objects that fall into place at level's start. Points are awarded for carrying multiple rats to a Destructor, offing extra rats after meeting your quota, and other tasks.
High scores and your progress are saved to a Controller Pak. Each cat, naturally, has nine lives.
Despite the elaborate backstory, the 50-plus solo player levels differ mainly in decor and power-ups. These include speed boosts, invincibility shields, one-ups and coins that allow you to perform special moves.
There are also many different kinds of rats, but these are so small that it is often hard to tell one from the other. More noteworthy, if only for his penchant for snoozing, is Bennett, a menacing bulldog clearly inspired by the nemesis in old Tom and Jerry cartoons.
In some levels, figuring out how to defeat a boss or reach and activate the Destructor pad poses a moderate challenge. Despite developer Pure Entertainment's valiant efforts to spice things up, though, a strong whiff of similiarity hangs over the many levels, ultimately limiting the game's replayability.
The three multiplayer modes include Beat the Clock and Score Chase, in which the winner is the first to reach a specified point total. In Rat Chase, you try to eliminate rats in your assigned color (red, green, blue or brown), while keeping your rivals from exterminating theirs.
In each of the 15-plus multiplayer levels, it's often difficult to distinguish cats from rats when the camera pulls back.
With its lurid color schemes, delightfully Muzaky soundtrack and obvious Tom and Jerry influence, Rat Attack! has an instant-retro feel worthy of the Cartoon Network's primetime lineup. However, the extremely frantic action, even in the early stages, is bound to frustrate some players. Even on the easiest of the three difficulty levels, expect to lose lots of your allotted nine lives while learning this game.
Contributed by Evil Ryu (51683) on Aug 17, 2005.
RODENTS BEWARE! THE SCRATCH CATS ARE IN TOWN!
Contributed by skl (1147) on Feb 28, 2004.