Magic Cat Academy is a game that was created as a special Google Doodle, and to be played on the popular search engine Google. The purpose of this game was that it was made to celebrate Halloween, and therefore was published on the main Google web page on October 31st 2016. The story of Magic Cat Academy is that Momo the cat has to rescue her school of magic from evil ghosts. To destroy the ghosts, the player can use the computer mouse to draw different lines and shapes to create spells to protect yourself. Because the story is supposed to represent the holiday of Halloween, the game has these horrific themes and symbols of ghosts, black cats, dark magic, and also taking place in a stormy night.
The narrative is shortly told in a chronologically traditional structure that’s well known with adventure video games, where there are 5 levels, and at the end of each level, there is a boss that is more hard and difficult to defeat than the last. The pace of the game speeds ups more once you’re at the next level. The speeding pace is shown by having the ghosts go even faster towards you, and you have to quickly draw the shapes before they get you. The game’s ongoing difficulty is certainly familiar to the linear narrative that can be found in movies, plays, shows, and even some video games. The world of the game narrative is set up in the intro, which which takes place in a setting of a magical school and has characters that are anthropomorphic animals. The ghosts come out of the book Momo is reading, and tear up the school. This is the set up for the crisis that’s ongoing through the narrative. The protagonist of the game, Momo, is the person that has to resolve the crisis (the ghosts) that is occurring in the story. When you get to the final boss, it can be seen as the climax of the game. And once the boss is defeated, that’s when we get the happy ending. The only difference between the game and the linear narrative is that there’s no big turning point where the characters go through big changes beyond no return. Once Momo defeats all of the ghosts, the magic school is saved and everything goes back to normal. This kind of ending is very popular in classic video games.
The game is a combination of using visuals, gaming programmability and audio. Magic Cat Academy was made by different design groups, who worked on art design, engineering and production. The designers created the game to have a participatory narrative, where the player’s actions accommodate the gameplay. The visuals are important to the player because they need to see what actions they need to do to win the game. The player also needs the controls by using the mouse, which accelerates the gameplay and story. The audio is also important in that the game needs music and audio to help enhance the gaming experience. There is a blinking speaker icon in the intro, which is supposed to be a way to turn the player that the game requires you to listen to the sound, as it is important when playing.
The target audience for this game is clearly for all ages, but mostly children. Even though Google is a website that everyone in the whole world uses, it would make sense for the website to promote a game for young audiences, since it would possibly help promote the holiday it’s supposed to advertising, and even Google itself. One of the ways Magic Cat Academy appeals to children is that it has a very cute and childish art style, and even though it has spooky and supernatural themes and imagery, it was clearly made to not be too scary to children.
One of the biggest importances of this game’s relations to the digital format is that Google wanted this to get people interested in Halloween, and would want to search about the holiday on their website. If people lose or finish the game, people can share their high score results via social media or e-mail. By sharing on social media, this helps promote the game more to wider audiences. Another way Magic Cat Academy relates to the digital medium of a search engine is that at the end of the game, people can press a button where you can actually search on Google about Halloween. Magic Cat Academy does its job of being a browser video game that helps add to Google’s celebration of the Halloween holiday. The game tells its story and narrative in the traditional manner as any other short browser game on the internet, and is important accommodating two different digital formats of being simple entertainment programming, and being part of a promotion that’s part of a popular website.
Burlacu, Alexandra (30 October 2016). “Trick Or Treat! Google Halloween Doodle 2016 Launches Cute Game With Ghosts And A Magic Cat”. Tech Times. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
Good, Owen S. (30 October 2016). “Google’s playable Halloween doodle is pretty neat”. Polygon. Retrieved 30 October 2016.