Crispy Gamer

Casual Fridays: Copy Cat

in

This week's casual game plunges you into a pulse-pounding world of crime, intrigue, high stakes and luxury. No, you're not James Bond, or even a guy who knows James Bond. But you are a guy who does occasional contract work for someone connected to a broad community of evildoers who, because of entirely unrelated dealings, may come into contact with one of James Bond's subordinates. That's right: Prepare to enter the glamorous realm of fine-art forgery.

Copy Cat

Copy Cat: A Painter's Puzzle* gives you a beautiful painting alongside a blank canvas. You have to copy the former to the latter. That's the "copy" part. The "cat" part is that you are an actual cat.** Since most housecats have limited dexterity, your tools are limited to the primary colors of paint and a few paltry stencils. There is also a level editor -- because in 2009, there is always a level editor. If you release a game without a level editor, they take away your indie card.†

Pablo Picasso once said, "Good artists copy. Great artists steal."†† So Copy Cat teaches you to be a good artist, especially in the "triangles and circles" school of modern art. I like this game for the way it forces you to approach your creations. You can't paint the shapes directly; every time you click on a color, you slather the whole canvas with that variety of paint. As a result, you have to make the shapes in reverse, placing stencils where you don't want the paint to go. It takes a while to catch on to this backward way of thinking, but when you do, you feel awfully smart. And you deserve that, ingenious reader of Crispy Gamer.

Give this fun diversion a try. And as always, share your observations, rants or tooth-whitening spam in the comments!

Copy Cat

* I always found it so adorable when we'd see Stringer Bell's copy shop on "The Wire." Here was a Baltimore drug kingpin who had set up a Kinko's competitor for the sake of money laundering, yet he cared enough about the store's image to give it a cute name: Copy Cat. There was even a little cat in the logo. Stringer was such a big ol' softie. If you still haven't watched "The Wire," check it out. It's worth it for Copy Cat alone.

** I assume.

† Another way to lose your indie card is if you forget to bring fruit punch to the monthly indie meeting, even though it was clearly printed on the schedule that it was your turn to bring fruit punch, Joel.

†† Except Picasso probably never said this. Which is a relief, as it's kind of a stupid quote. But it makes me look real credible-like if I cite Pablo Picasso in an article about games. Because someday, somewhere, someone will wonder, "Are games art?" and so they will Google it. On page 1,000 or so of the search results, they will see a link to this page, and they will click on it, and they will conclude, "He mentioned Picasso, so yes! Games must be art!" That may sound like a long shot, but if my writing is able to enlighten just one person, then this will all have been an enormous waste of time.