Socks The Cat

During the crazy times heading into the elections, one development studio has decided to capitalize on that craziness by actually launching a Kickstarter for an old Super NES game that never saw the light of day, themed around the wackiness of a cat and politics called Socks The Cat Rocks The Hill.

The game was recently posted up over on Kickstarter, and developer Second Dimension. They explain that Socks The Cat may be a somewhat controversial platformer, but it had a lot of heart. You play as a domestic cat living in the White House under the Clinton administration since the character is based on the actual cat the First Family adopted during their time on Pennsylvania Avenue. Gameplay includes having to fight off Dobermans, protestors, spies and other enemies while trying to defeat end level bosses based on famous political figures.

I can already imagine some people cringing, some people laughing and some people crying at the concept of this game already.

According to Second Dimension, Socks The Cat was set to release on the SNES 20 years ago during the 1990s. It supposedly reviewed well but there was some internal debate about the quality of its design, preventing it from gaining widespread distribution.

Socks stayed dormant for years until collector Tom Curtin purchased a copy of Socks The Cat back in 2012, one of the only known copies of the rare SNES title. He sought to acquire the publishing rights to the game and hired on Second Dimension in order to make the whole thing work as intended.

It's pretty crazy but there are citations around the net for several publications having reviewed the unreleased title that managed to circulate in limited quantities within the inner circles of the gaming industry. EGM apparently gave it a 5.8 out of 10, calling it average, which is funny because back in the 1990s 5.8 out of 10 actually meant average and not "Burn it with fire, this game is a broken hellspawn from the womb of Satan!". In today's climate anything under 7 out of 10 means it's likely unplayable. GamePro, however, gave Socks The Cat a 3 out of 5 and Nintendo Power scored it similar.

The interesting thing about it is that this run-and-jump Super Mario clone never really came to fruition during the animals with attitude era when popular platformers like Rocket Knight Adventures, Tiny Toons Adventures, Bubsy, Gex, and Sonic The Hedgehog were tearing up the sales charts. I don't know if a widely released title centered around a cat living with a controversial President would have fared well and become the next Sonic or if he would have tanked like Aero The Acrobat, but the Kickstarter opens the door for some strong possibilities of seeing just how well Socks could hang in today's gaming market.

The developers are looking for $30,000 to polish up and release the game using SNES shell carts. I'm a little curious if Nintendo will try to step in on this given that they'll be distributing the game for a discontinued system. However, the likelihood is to get enough carts out into the public and circulating so that eventually the emulation community will step in, dump the game and put a working ROM back out into the wild to preserve the history of Socks The Cat.

The original version of the game that made its way to reviewers had various bugs and glitches that Second Dimension had to stamp out. The fixed version will be the one they release to the public. They still have 25 days to go before the Kickstarter ends and they've already acquired $9,200 in funds.

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