Netflix continues to expand its interactive media offering, with the announcement of Cat Burglar, a Tex Avery-inspired cartoon where your ability to answer trivia questions influences the outcome.
It comes from the creators of the Black Mirror series, which is notable given the 2018 Black Mirror: Bandersnatch film was one of Netflix’s first forays into interactive content.
Cat Burglar‘s trailer looks all sorts of fun, immediately conjuring the Looney Tunes era of animation and over-the-top shenanigans Tex Avery’s work is known for.
The overall gist is that by answering questions correctly, you’re helping Rowdy Cat steal museum treasures from under the nose of Peanut the Security Pup. Get something wrong, and Rowdy will meet a violent, but not too violent, demise à la Wile E. Coyote.
Although there’s a bit of a disconnect in the relevance of the binary trivia questions posed to viewers – “Your favourite co-worker: takes all the credit/shares the love” – to the on-screen action, it’ll make for entertaining group watches with everyone shouting their answers.
One interesting quirk seen in the trailer shows Rowdy Cat breaking the fourth wall to inform viewers he only has limited lives available, which seems to indicate that failing multiple times will result in a ‘game over’ – or ‘show over’ – of sorts.
According to Netflix, a viewing of Cat Burglar will average between 10-15 minutes, pulling from more than an hour-and-a-half of animation, so each time promises to play out differently. The streaming company claims you “could play Cat Burglar a hundred times and never view the same cartoon twice!”
Netflix’s push into interactive content has gathered momentum in recent years, with standalone games such as Stranger Things: 1984 available to play via the mobile app, and the recent acquisition of Oxenfree developer Night School to drive story-based game development.
With Cat Burglar‘s multiple-viewings structure, I wonder if we’ll need to clear it from our ‘Continue Watching’ section (which we can now do) once we’re done?
Cat Burglar sneaks onto Netflix on 22 February, so prep your trivia brains in advance.
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Chris is an award-nominated writer based in Adelaide who specialises in covering video games and technology. He loves Donkey Kong Country, sport, and cats. The Last Jedi is the best one, no questions asked.