Catty & Batty: The Spirit Guide is a casual couch co-op puzzle game, inspired by Lemmings and Tower Defense! Play as Catty or Batty and build a path to guide spirits home. 🐈🦇

Features:

  • Campaign with 30 levels for 1-2 players (local co-op)
  • Switch characters on-the-fly when playing solo
  • Over 800 hand-drawn sprites
  • Over 150 animations
  • Over 100 new sounds
  • Original soundtrack
  • 100% Controller support (2 controllers recommended for co-op)
  • 6 color modes (white, sepia, gray, dark, inverted, gameboy)
  • About 2 hours of gameplay

Streaming Permissions 🎬

You are allowed to stream and create videos of this game (Twitch, YouTube, etc.), even with monetization enabled. The music is an original soundtrack that is safe to stream. Have fun!

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Turnament is the second indie game by Philipp Lehner, otherwise known as muddasheep, a once mod creator who was the evil mastermind behind the brutal, megalomaniacal Half-Quake series of Half-Life mods. Having made standalone games on Newgrounds in his past and now, a few Steam-released indies, he's a maker who has always been deeply invested in ideas he likes and the genres he loves - so here's our review of his newest puzzling title!


Resource Collection Meets Careful Puzzling

Space - the final frontier. Exploration, the betterment of humanity...ah, who are we kidding? Space is full of minerals, valuable metals, ores, and compounds, and in Turnament, you're a novice miner sent out into the dark reaches of the solar system to pick up whatever colourful gem your superiors think is worth the hassle today. As your collection arsenal grows larger in the face of competitors trying to get the minerals before you can, can you suffer the egotistical ramblings of a man obviously not cut out for his job?

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Turnament is a puzzle game with mild strategy elements that starts with the core premise of flipping tiles to win, and transforms into a complicated cacophony of mechanics, threats, and dozen-step-long puzzle solutions that will have you scratching your head for ten or fifteen minutes at a time before each piece finally sets into place and victory is yours. It's deceptively short with tons of other features to extend your playtime, so let's dig in to what makes this bite-sized puzzle game a standout showing.

Mining For Gold

Turnament's story is simple, easy to follow, and serves a fine purpose as a framing for the first mode players will engage with - the campaign. Your commander, a fella named Neek, is supposed to be training you in doing your job properly and avoiding getting yourself blown up - but he'd rather watch TV and take a nap. His supervisor - an old flame - eventually ends up doing more of the teaching for you, until Neek goes AWOL and it's up to you to save him from himself.

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The story isn't what you're here for with Turnament - instead, it's the intriguing puzzles, where the main element is the ability to flip tiles (hence the punny name) to destroy obstacles and pave a way to resources. You control a seeker drone that can pick up these resources, and if it gets hit, it's all over - back to the start of the level for another try. The campaign has thirty levels all in all, ranging from remarkably simple to some real head scratchers that had me feeling out every possible next step a few times before finally arriving at the solution. The final proper puzzle changes things up a notch, having to catch Neek before he gets himself killed.

The main obstacle are discs, some of which are indestructible. Later, some tiles are unflippable, meaning you'll have to get good at navigating minefields and microing your seeker. For a puzzle game in 2D, there's a lot of reflexes needed to solve puzzles efficiently. You can take your time with a lot of the challenges the game will throw at you, but I found it quite thrilling to sometimes barrel into a puzzle and solve each step by the skin of my teeth instead of articulating a grand strategy. To this gameplay end, new seekers are introduced later - one which you can't directly control and can only be guided by flipping tiles to stop it in its tracks, and another which makes one broken tile usable again. Both bring with them their own challenges.

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The campaign breezes by pretty quickly, but there's plenty more where that came from, with a huge dose of challenge levels that each turn things up a notch compared to the base game. Each of these can take as long (or longer) to solve as the hardest level in the main campaign, and require both careful planning and fast reflexes to beat. Meanwhile, there's an unlockable shop where you can purchase upgrades that (initially) are not intended for the campaign or challenge levels, but instead, for an awesome rogue-lite endless mode. Generated randomly from a six digit seed, this endless mode is possibly the real meat and potatoes for someone in love with the game's mechanics, as racking up a score counter when puzzles grow increasingly dangerous and complex is satisfying to no end. Upgrades, the currency for which is saved up from every mineral collected in every level, will largely make your life easier, though a few are purely stylistic and change up the aesthetic (including a cute reference to Half-Quake).

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Besides that though, Turnament also offers a level editor that is feature complete enough to replicate the complexity of any puzzle Philipp himself made in the game. Several users - including Philipp - have already uploaded a bunch of levels made with the editor so even after the campaign and challenge mode, there's more levels of varying fidelity ready to take a crack at. I even made one, though it probably won't win any awards for creative use of mechanics!

In Sound Mind - Updated Steam Screenshots


Turnament is not Philipp Lehner's first indie outing, but indeed, is just the newest of his creative endeavours - stretching all the way back to Half-Life and the darker in tone but also mentally taxing Half-Quake series!

A Place To Die

Half-Quake is a trilogy of brutally difficult yet delightfully stylish Half-Life mods that each test your instinctual puzzle solving skills and, as a whole, your stamina for punishment. This is no "baby's first Half-Life" - even for an experienced visitor of Valve's games, these mods can bring you to your knees until you learn to play by its rules, and then to take it on the cheek when it mercilessly breaks them over your back again, and again, and again.

Halfquake ..... location: ???

First kicking off in 2001 with the original Half-Quake, this sadistic blend of puzzle solving and brutal combat spawned a sequel in 2002 that moved things up a notch and gave sadists more of what they were looking for. New styles changed things up every time, and then, in 2010, a third Half-Quake came shipped that saw a return to form after a break that isn't quite as agonising as the actual mods are themselves. In 2018, Philipp took to Steam and made the trilogy available as one package, built on a community source-port of Half-Life and featuring over 100 problems to solve, 40 originally composed tracks, and plenty of easter eggs for the especially astute to hunt and find.

Dizzying Catwalk

Philipp had long since moved solely from modding into game development, though. This modern release of Turnament is a remaster and remake of an old Newgrounds venture of his from 2006, whilst he already made his commercial Steam debut with Catty & Batty, a hand-drawn-styled puzzle indie, back in 2021. What I'm trying to say is Philipp has been around, tried his hand at many a creative discipline, and his newest release is another solid entry on a creative portfolio that would make any independent creator blush.

Flipped Out

Turnament is another bite-sized experience from Philipp that sits with you far longer than its initial playtime may clock in at. The campaign took about ninety minutes for me to beat, but hunting for every achievement and completing all the challenge levels took my playtime up to double that. I've yet to explore Philipp's own user-made levels or take a look at the developer commentary you unlock after first beating the main game, but for £6.69 GBP/$7.99 USD, I think it's just the right amount of intrigue, puzzles, and replayability.

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The Endless mode awaits - how high can those levels really go?

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