GUSWORLD Games Guides

Alley Cat: A CGA Classic

Alley Cat Startup Screen
The life of an alley cat

Alley Cat Cheese
The origin of the expression 'big cheese'

SPECIAL NOTE: If you've tried to download the game recently, you probably got a 'File not found' message. This should be fixed now -- my apologies.

Things were different in 1984. Not only was the music better, but the ability to have more than four colours on the screen at once in a computer game was considered a big deal. And IBM was heavily into writing and publishing computer games, including Alley Cat

When I first assembled this page, I noted that the only person online who appeared to have heard about it was one guy in Czechoslovakia. However, I've since received a bunch of fan mail which indicates that people around the world have fond memories of this game from as recently as 1991. Who'd have thought it?

Written by Bill Williams, Alley Cat sees you playing the role of an alley cat (surprise!) whose sole aim in life is to climb into neighbourhood windows and complete weird tasks like catching a fly or swallowing some fish in the local fishbowl. While doing this, you have to avoid a broomstick that flicks you all over the room (leaving pawprints can distract it for a while), dodge the vicious neighbourhood dogs and not get killed by spiders or electric eels. Each time you successfully complete a room, you get the opportunity to fight your way through a bevy of killer cupid's arrows and meet up with your alleycat sweetheart for bonus points.

I often wonder what drugs games designers in the 1980s were taking.

I had planned at one stage an in-depth guide to Alley Cat, and judging by the mail response I may have to try that out again sometime, but it's probably more fun to let people discover its many quirks for themselves. So here it is:

Download Alley Cat
This file (yes, the whole game is in one file) is 55K in size, small by modern standards but slow when you're not using a very high-powered server. You'll need to run Alley Cat in a DOS window; it works best in full screen mode. Have fun!

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