Tom and Jerry: War of the Whiskers is a fighting game of sorts. It's even rated T for Teen due to its comic violence. Nevertheless, with cute characters like Tom the tomcat and his mouse pal/archenemy, Jerry, the game's target audience definitely isn't the same as the one flocking to the latest iterations of Tekken or Virtua Fighter.
Tom and Spike duke it out with weapons.
Indeed, War of the Whiskers has more in common with the likes of Nintendo's recent Super Smash Bros. Melee--except that it doesn't contain an adventure mode and the gameplay is much more basic. The cast includes seven familiar characters (Tom, Jerry, Spike, Tyke, Nibbles, Butch, and Duckling), as well as four more created just for this game (Eagle, Lion, Robot Cat, and Monster Jerry). There are 10 different fighting arenas, all of which feature themes that are based on settings from the cartoon show, such as a haunted house, a cruise ship, or the kitchen.
Most of the fighting arenas, with the exception of the cruise ship, are spacious and contain plenty of furniture and makeshift weapons to use against your opponents. Weapons vary depending on the setting, but they generally fall into three categories: throwing, stabbing, and exploding. For example, in the kitchen, you can throw eggs found in a carton resting near the fridge at your opponent, jab at him or her with a fork that's located near the sink, or splatter him or her with a watermelon that's sitting atop the stove. Each environment also has a timed disaster that occurs at regular intervals, just to keep you on your toes. These can range from minor obstacles, such as ghosts or a tornado, to massive screen-filling terrors like an avalanche or a sea serpent.
Aside from the abundance of weapons and a few unpredictable disasters, the gameplay in War of the Whiskers is remarkably plain. There are only three basic attacks--punch, kick, and throw--while defensive moves include merely a jump and a block. If you land a hefty attack on your opponent, health items that can increase your stamina may appear. After a few successful attacks, your rage meter will fill up, allowing you to enter berserk mode and dole out twice the damage. Besides these specific situations, there are two other power-ups that appear randomly: a force field that protects you from attacks and a green gas cloud that drains your stamina.
If all this sounds a lot like Tom and Jerry: Fists of Furry for the Nintendo 64, the similarities are not accidental. VIS, who developed War of the Whiskers, as well as Rockstar's best-selling State of Emergency, also developed Fists of Furry. The overall gameplay and weapons are identical in both games, but the series' graphics have been updated to PlayStation 2 levels for this sequel.