When I first learned that there was a Tom and Jerry mobile game I just shrugged. “I guess it had to happen sometime,” I thought as I wrote it off as another generic, dime-a-dozen mobile game capitalizing on nostalgia.
I was a fool.
I was an incredible, naive fool who, after picking it up and tried to stream it ironically, had been enlightened to the undeniable, immaculate truth–that Tom and Jerry Chase was a very VERY good game.
Its visuals mirror the original cartoon series; its gameplay—an asymmetrical side-scrolling version of task-based stalking games ala Dead by Daylight—is surprisingly deep and nuanced; but above all its presentation style, from the iconic theme music, wacky audio cues, and transitions all form a loving homage to yester-yesteryear’s most beloved classic cartoon. There’s even a burgeoning esports scene that has started to form around it!
There was a point in my life when the simple joy of watching a wacky cat chase a wacky mouse was one of the most enjoyable forms of entertainment around. With Tom and Jerry Chase on Android and iOS, this is once again the case.
From the very second you boot up Tom and Jerry Chase, it’s like opening up a time capsule of characters and sounds that you once cherished but have long forgotten. The iconic melody of the soundtrack ramps up and you’re greeted by the familiar faces of your old friends Tom and Jerry.
They haven’t aged a bit! And thank God they haven’t killed each other yet.
Once you play the game, it feels like you’re in an actual episode of the show. The 2D graphics emulate the old hand-drawn style of the cartoon; The characters move around and animate like they do in the show, and all the zip, bop, and pow from the old sound effects are right where they should be.
Yes. I’ll say it. It’s like coming home. But to a house infested with rats and the one cat is using a canon to catch them.
Tom and Jerry Chase’s gameplay is a miniature, side-scrolling version of asymmetrical multiplayer games like Dead by Daylight, Friday the 13th, and Evolve. As one of four mice, your objective is to scour the map looking for cheese to steal and push through the various mouse holes. As the Cat, his job is to protect the cheese and eliminate the mice and tie them to the rockets and send them presumably to the moon.
To achieve this both the Cat and Mouse sides have distinct passive and active abilities. The Cat has an assortment of offense attacks and traps to get rid of the mice, like a canon or an extending mechanical arm. The Mice have different evasion abilities that help distract, disable or escape from the cat such as smoke bombs or sledgehammers. There’s all the variety of environmental objects that both sides can use as traps, weapons, hiding spots and healing items!
What ensues during gameplay is not only as chaotic as it sounds but is also quite deep in terms of strategic options. Especially if you factor in the astonishing amount of characters that the game has put in like Lightning, Tuffy, and Muscles Mouse. These nostalgic deep cuts aren’t just skins, they are actually playable characters with unique skills and abilities!
This is all on top of the varied game modes in Chase like Volleyball and Parkour; Ranked play and a dedicated spectator mode; as well as all the bells and whistles that come with a mobile game!
The result of all this is a chaotic, mechanically solid game that also does its very best to pay a respectful and heartfelt tribute to its source material. This in itself is a huge achievement especially considering that there are very few licensed games throughout videogame history that have been worth playing. NetEase and Tom and Jerry Chase have achieved something that even juggernauts such as Marvel and Star Wars have struggled with—making a good licensed game.
The game is so technically sound and fun to play that it has lowkey fostered a dedicated competitive esports community behind it. Just last year in November the Top Clans Tournament, a locally-based event here in the Philippines, featured the very first SEA Invitational Tom and Jerry Chase Tournament with 16 teams competing for a total prize pool worth 20,000 USD!
How’s that for a game of cat and mouse?
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