Get ready for the extensive background of Google’s latest Halloween Doodle game, which has a history dating back to 2016.
You are a cat. You are also a magician. There are ghosts and you fight them with magic.
Well, that didn’t really take long.
This year’s Doodle is a direct sequel to the 2016 Magic Cat Academy Doodle game, which sees a little black cat named Momo defending his school and classmates against a series of ghosts taking over classrooms and the kitchen. In this game, you fight ghosts by drawing the symbols above their heads, which means that Momo waves his wand in the appropriate gesture and fires magic against ghosts. Momo is silent (it makes sense because cats don’t talk), but she is still a charismatic character who confronts her spiritual opponents with a grim little frown of determination and celebrates each completed level with a cocky swirl and wink.
The new Doodle 2020 uses exactly the same mechanics and gestures. Only the situation has changed – after Momo defeated the magically enlarged ghost boss in 2016, he fell into the ocean and now owns marine life, a volcano and even seemingly water. The new version offers a few small twists – a shield for jellyfish and a spray attack to replace lightning, which you probably would not want to use underwater. But most of all, the only changes are the situation and the ally captain-fish cat, which sails you into the dark waters.
And yet, for those of us who repeated the game in 2016, the sequel to 2020 is a wonderful little treat for Halloween. Google brought back Momo in 2017 for a small short film about a lonely ghost looking for friendship. But while the Doodle game for a ghost collector in 2018 was ridiculously addictive, and the Advent calendar for a trick or treat of 2019 was slightly informative, they abandoned Momo. It’s good to put it back into action.
For fans of these games, it’s worth taking a look at Google’s Doodles posts, which include developer credits, the game’s early art, details about the real creatures that inspired this year’s antagonists, and some playful development notes:
The original concept of the game involved a magic cat making soup that was so good that it raised the dead. The association of soup with Halloween turned out to be too abstract, so the team moved on to the idea of a school for magicians. This opened the door to a healthier world filled with interesting characters and some paw themes.