Pet Pat by Goodnight Games is Simply Addicting
This past weekend, Goodnight Games made an appearance at DerpyCon to show off their new game, Pet Pat. It was released on Nov 17th on both the App Store and Google Play. The concept is simple: pet cute animals. If you don’t pet them, they cry. If you do pet them, they explode. But it’s good when they explode, because you get points.
With this simple explanation, I was on my way, patting pets to victory in the game room at the convention. By tapping, swiping, and pressing the various animals, you progress through the levels and gain points. Racking up a chain or completing challenges in a set time gives your score a boost. Occasionally you’ll be faced with a boss that has a special pattern you need to follow. The game scales based on how well you’re doing so that you never get bored.
The simplicity of the game is what makes it so addicting. The cute concept drew me in, and then the frantic need to use both hands to keep up made it fast-paced and engaging. But Pet Pat is not without its quirks. The art style and lazy-looking backgrounds give it a funky indie-game vibe that took me a while to adjust to. I couldn’t figure out what the challenges were all about until someone else explained it to me, because it’s hard to read the on-screen instructions while you’re playing with your hands all over the screen. And one of my friends ran into a bug that glitched out the first boss when he played. Fortunately, the Goodnight Games staff at the con were happy to listen to feedback from players throughout the day.
Despite a few little quirks (and the latest update fixed the boss glitch), I definitely recommend Pet Pat for anyone who enjoys the addictive simplicity of games like Fruit Ninja or Subway Surfers. I was so enamored with it after playing on the first day of the con that I had to come back again on Saturday for more. There was a special treat in store for anyone who, like me, simply had to get the game: a free sketch from the artist if you showed them that you had downloaded the game on your phone or tablet.
To give me more information about my newest game addiction, Lawrence Mascia, the creator of Goodnight Games, was kind enough to answer some of my questions.
Giraffe: How big is your team, and how did you get started designing games?
Lawrence: We’re 10 people at the moment. We formed with just me in a Barnes and Noble corner leeching wifi. I got started designing games after I walked out of a job with Martha Stewart of all people. I sat in said Barnes and Noble for a few months teaching myself how to code since gaming has been my one constant passion besides art for pretty much my entire life. We got Deathly Fathoms out of those sessions.
Giraffe: What was your inspiration for Pet Pat? What did you come up with first, the fast-paced poke/swipe game mechanic or the concept of petting animals?
Lawrence: Pet Pat originally looked like an Atari game. It was all squares and no art so we had all the mechanics. We were originally going to have the person slaying mythical beasts, which turned into petting them, which turned into cute things, and then Pet Pat was born.
Giraffe: What kind of reception did you get at DerpyCon? Do you have any other conventions or events lined up for the near future?
Lawrence: We got one of the best receptions we’ve ever had, which was beyond amazing. We’re booked into Derpy Con next year and we’re currently talking to Shinkou Con. We’re always a staple at Playcrafting NYC and IGDA NJ events.
Giraffe: What kind of future do you have planned for Pet Pat? Do you plan on adding any features or releasing DLC?
Lawrence: We don’t do DLC, everything we make is one price for a full game; all updates are free after that. Pet Pat is going to get another large update with bug fixes and tweaking, there might even be a new animal. After that we’re going to move on to our next game, Never Go Home, which is about dying of old age in the void of space.
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