It's a cats life. Getting beaten, biffed and booted wherever you may roam. But you've got more important things to worry about than your own health and safety. Your favourite-
So it's up to you to rescue the unfortunate pusskins. That involves making your way through four levels - comprising of hundreds of screens - of tortuous arcade action, filled with all manner of creatures determined to deter you in your all important task
Big and bold
It's a cutie platform game, and features some of the biggest, boldest cartoon graphics this side of Warner Bros Studios. Everything is handled with a comic air. Virtually every action has an amusing graphical sequence. Picking up a pack of cigarettes starts you smoking. Collecting a pair of wings turns your tail into rotor blades, giving you the power of flight.
There are plenty of pick-ups to help you. There are a minority of harmful ones though, so be careful.
Jumping is achieved by holding down the joystick. The longer you hold it down for before letting go, the more powerful it is and the further you leap.
Death in Nine Lives comes in many different ways. Falling too far is fatal, as is walking or jumping onto a set of spikes. Collision with a creature steadily eats away at your health, unfortunately you can't kill them, but you can stun them for a short time, whch is a help as they are then unable to do any harm to you.
The one gripe, and unfortunately it's a major one, is that the game is frustratingly difficult. It's not even worth bothering to avoid collision with the other creatures that inhabit the strange world in which the game is based. You know that you'll crash straight into them anyway. It's best to simply try and spend as little time in contact with them as you can, and jumping to the relative safety of a nasty-
But the act of jumping is laced with peril too. You've got to time it with perfect precision. The implementation of variable sized jumps is a nice idea, but in practice proves almost impossible. It's only by trial and error that the timing for a particular leap can be found. And by that time you have probably halved your quota of lives.
Great graphics are no substitute for gameplay. While you chuckle at the animations initially, they soon wear off. Sadly there isn't an awful lot left underneath.