As action games go, Catwoman for the GBA is nothing special. Platform-jumping is the heart and soul of the game, but there are also numerous opportunities to climb up walls, use Catwoman's whip, and wail on generic goons. Obviously, fans of the character are going to get more out of the game than people who are looking for the GBA's next-best action romp. If you do happen to like the Catwoman character, you'll be happy to know that the game does a good job of letting players use all of her key superpowers, and that the story draws its dialogue and images more from the comic book than from the recently flopped movie.
Although there are a few fistfights in every level, play mainly involves jumping across platforms and swinging between poles.
The game opens with a brief training mission that's meant to familiarize players with the controls. It then flashes back to long series of comic book images that tell the story of how a young, attractive designer named Patience Phillips became the antihero thief known as Catwoman. Five days before the story starts (and before the game starts), Ms. Phillips was dropping off some sketches at Hedare Cosmetics when she stumbled into the middle of a drug deal. She was shot and her body was thrown into a pool of toxic waste. When Patience awoke, she discovered that she could crawl straight up walls and survive falls from great heights. Catwoman was born, and her first order of business was to take revenge on Dr. Hedare and everyone else involved in her attempted murder. That's where you, the player, come in.
Each level offers a few opportunities to engage Hedare's goons in combat. The fighting controls are fairly simple: The A button makes Catwoman jump and the B button activates her attacks, which are punches and kicks at close range and the whip at long distances. Her whip can also be used to disarm enemies and to grab onto objects and slingshot them into other objects or enemies. As the game goes on, additional attacks are added to Catwoman's repertoire, which is rather ironic considering that a good 90 percent of each level is devoted solely to navigating the jumps and poles leading to the exit. In this regard, Catwoman and Spider-Man have a lot in common. When you jump toward a wall, Catwoman will grab onto it. She can't scale upward continuously like Spidey can, but you can accomplish the same result by performing multiple jumps from one wall to the next. Also, if you hold the R button while running, Catwoman will leap forward and scamper sideways across a wall for a few seconds. There's a fair amount of gymnastic pole-jumping in the game too. When you jump toward a pole, Catwoman will automatically grab onto it and start to swing. By building momentum, you can move from pole to pole and reach areas that are seemingly impossible to get to.