Cat Burglar on Netflix

By | February 22, 2022

New interactive cartoon thing from top Gilles De Coster lookalike Charlie Brooker hot off the heels of originally doing this sort of thing with Bandersnatch a few years ago. We said the trailer for this looked interesting last week. Well now it’s out, what’s it like?

It’s fun! If you grew up watching old Looney Tunes/Hanna Barbera style cartoons you’ll immediately feel right at home here – it nails the aesthetic (not just in the nicely granular looks but in the use of music and sound as well), weirdness and frequently violent slapstick gags excellently.

Your job as Rowdy the cat burglar is to steal a painting from a museum whilst the guard dog tries to stop you. The interactive bit comes during each scene where whilst they’re tussling you get about fifteen seconds to answer three A or B questions where you need to pick the answer that fits the statement – most of these are quite easy with a fairly obvious gag answer, but occasionally they’ll swap it round with a fairly funny question and slightly harder options to catch you off guard. To move the cartoon on you have to get three out of three correct or you “die”, get shouted at by your ghost, then redo (you only get three lives before losing, yes he explains why he doesn’t have nine). To win you have about six scenes to get through and a game takes about ten minutes.

But there is apparently around 90 minutes worth of material. Each “cartoon” has the same story beats to it, but the situations between those beats change each time – so without spoiling too much, the first bit is always the cat trying to get over the wall, but each time you play he’ll have a different method of doing so. It *looks* like there are six different winning endings (again not going to spoil the reasoning) but there may be more. There may be some sort of Super Ending once you’ve seen them all I don’t know. I don’t know if it remembers what you’ve seen and only shows you new material (it does remember your winning endings) or whether there are about 40 scenes but thousands of potential combinations. And of course if you’re correctly progressing through, you’re missing out on the death sequences which is another reason to go back.

It’s a really interesting use of the tech – effectively Quizzy Dragon’s Lair. Or Hanna Barbera-y Weird Dreams On The Amiga Off Of Early Series of Motormouth With Neil Buchanananan. It’s definitely worth a look, and it’ll be interesting to see what if anything they do with the idea next.

4 thoughts on “Cat Burglar on Netflix

  1. Chris B

    Going to sound like a bit of an old fuddy duddy here but I don’t really get the point of it.

    Played it last night and the cartoon itself production wise was absolutely outstanding, a few funny gags as well (and you’d expect from Charlie Brooker)

    But the interactive element was just a bit of a distraction for me. I think I’d have preferred an actual link to the action from the questions rather than just random trivia that felt -to me – a bit irrelevant. I also felt myself just waiting for the next question rather than concentrating on the action. It was fine, just seems like there is a better way of doing this kind of thing.

    I mean it was basically fine but seems a bit of a backwards step interactive wise from Bandersnatch. Sold concept for an old school toon though

    Reply
  2. xoAlto

    Looks like Netflix is trying again with another animated Trivia “Quest” interactive general knowledge gameshow next month. This one is based upon the pay-to-win series of Trivia Crack apps; hopefully no IAPs on the shows though!
    The link to the trailer is https://www.netflix.com/title/81449637

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Mmm, yeah, saw this story a while ago. My gut says it will initially be quite popular before starting to feel like work. We’ll see!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.