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Magic Cat Academy: Google’s whimsical halloween delight



Magic Cat Academy is an engaging and whimsical interactive game developed by Google in celebration of Halloween. The game was first introduced in 2016 as a Google Doodle, a special temporary alteration of the Google logo on the search engine’s homepage.

This piece explores the various aspects of Magic Cat Academy, exploring its origins, gameplay mechanics and the cultural impact it has had since its inception.

What is Magic Cat Academy?

What is Magic Cat Academy?

Magic Cat Academy was created by a team of artists and engineers at Google to provide users with a fun experience during the Halloween season. The game’s development was driven by the desire to combine technology with creativity, resulting in a captivating and accessible game that could be enjoyed by people of all ages.

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One of the standout features of Magic Cat Academy is its charming and vibrant artistic design. The characters, including Momo and the various doodles, are brought to life through expressive animations and delightful details. The visual style seamlessly blends cuteness with a touch of spookiness, capturing the essence of Halloween in a way that resonates with players.

The animation quality adds an extra layer of immersion to the game, making it visually appealing and enjoyable to watch. The attention to detail in the character designs and backgrounds reflects the dedication of the development team to creating a visually memorable experience.

Since its debut, Magic Cat Academy has become a Halloween tradition for many Google users. Its annual appearance as a Google Doodle has generated excitement and anticipation, with people eagerly awaiting the chance to dive into the magical world of Momo and the enchanted cat school. The game’s popularity extends beyond just gameplay, as fans often share their high scores and experiences on social media, further contributing to its cultural impact.

Magic Cat Academy has also inspired fan art, animations and Halloween costumes, showcasing its influence on popular culture. The game’s ability to bring people together in the spirit of fun and celebration has solidified its status as a beloved Halloween tradition.

Over the years, Magic Cat Academy has seen updates and variations, keeping the gameplay fresh and engaging. Google has introduced new levels and challenges, ensuring that each Halloween brings a renewed sense of excitement for players.

Magic Cat Academy game

Magic Cat Academy game

Players take control of Momo, a wizard cat attending a magical school who is on a quest to defeat a mischievous ghost, who has stolen her spellbook. Momo confronts ghosts and formidable bosses across five levels, set in locations like the school’s library, cafeteria, classroom, gymnasium and rooftop. Ghosts are vanquished by clicking and swiping the mouse in specific directions corresponding to symbols above their heads. Swiping actions include horizontal and vertical lines, a “v” shape, a “ʌ” shape, and a lightning bolt that summons lightning to weaken all onscreen enemies. Occasionally, players can swipe in a heart-like shape to restore health.

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Magic Cat Academy 2

The game maintains the same objective and gameplay as the original but shifts the action underwater. After the first encounter, a ghost escapes Momo’s clutches, reaching the ocean and possessing various marine creatures. Momo engages in battles across five stages, each at increasing depths, facing ghosts and possessed animals like an immortal jellyfish, a bank of bogues, a vampire squid and an anglerfish. The final boss is an underwater volcano. Two new movements are introduced: A circle grants the player a shield and a spiral pushes back all monsters. The shield lasts for only one attack.

The game’s development involved coordination among four design groups focused on art, engineering, production and music. The original concept featured Momo concocting a soup that resurrects dead spirits. The development process saw numerous rejected concepts, including intricate symbols to draw (such as a “Cat Hat” spell) and boss enemies like a chef ghost and a Venn diagram ghost.

Momo’s character is based on a real-life cat owned by Google Doodler, Juliana Chen. Additionally, Momo makes an appearance in the Doodle Champion Island Games (2021) Google Doodle.

Magic Cat Academy’s gameplay is a delightful fusion of simplicity and engagement, offering players an accessible yet challenging experience within the magical realm of a cat school threatened by mischievous doodles.

Progressive difficulty

As players advance through the game, the difficulty level steadily increases. Initially, players face relatively simple doodles that can be defeated with basic spellcasting. However, as the game progresses, more intricate and challenging doodles emerge, requiring quicker reflexes and strategic thinking. This progressive difficulty curve ensures that players are constantly engaged and motivated to improve their spellcasting skills.

How to play Magic Cat Academy

How to play Magic Cat Academy

The Halloween Google Doodle showcases an underwater cat encountering spooky fish, ghosts, and other aquatic creatures.

To join the fun, visit the Google homepage, where the Doodle presents the word “Google” in ghostly letters, with the letter “o” transformed into a “play” button. Click on it to begin.

Starting with a brief animated video, the Doodle sets the stage, featuring a little cat envisioning a battle against ghosts. The cat then plunges into the sea with a magic wand and a determined expression.

Submerged underwater, the game commences, with players controlling the cat surrounded by ghouls that can be vanquished by casting spells.

“Defeat a ghost by drawing its symbol anywhere. Draw the symbols in the order that they appear,” explains the Doodle.

Ghosts approach your character, each marked with a shape—such as a line, arrow, triangle or swirl—drawn above them. Utilise your mouse to draw these shapes in sequence to fend them off before they reach you, represented by hearts at the top of the screen.

Some ghosts require multiple shapes to be drawn, with the complexity increasing as more ghouls emerge. Drawing a symbol shared by multiple creatures will strike each of them with that shape.

Progressing through the levels involves facing bosses, requiring multiple attacks by drawing shapes.

The levels include:

  • Level 1: Sunlight zone. Aquatic foe: Immortal jellyfish
  • Level 2: Twilight zone. Aquatic foe: Boop boops
  • Level 3: Midnight zone. Aquatic foe: Vampire squid
  • Level 4: The abyss. Aquatic foe: Anglerfish
  • Level 5: The trenches. Aquatic foe: Unknown

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