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Video Game / Garfield: Caught in the Act

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Garfield as he appears on the main menu.
Garfield: Caught in the Act is a Platform Game was released by Sega in 1995 for the Sega Genesis, PC, and Game Gear to cash in on the success of Jim Davis' comic strip, Garfield. The sprites were hand-drawn by Davis and his group of artists, which is quite impressive considering the hardware of the Genesis and Game Gear.

The plot of the game involves Odie sneaking up and scaring Garfield while he is watching television, causing him to jump in fear and land on the TV. They work together to fix it before they face the wrath of Jon, though what they manage to cobble up is definitely NOT a television. Garfield throws away the 'spare parts' that were left upon completion, which turn into the monstrous Glitch who gets his hands on the fat cat and sends him into the world of television. In order to escape, Garfield must traverse through several stages themed around various TV genres, such as Horror, Film Noir, and Science Fiction.

The programming schedule:

Every level gives Garfield a new outfit, as well as different short- and long-range weapons. In the Game Gear version, the variety is limited to just long-range weapons.


  • Abnormal Ammo / Improvised Weapon: The varied weapons above. In the Genesis, they were torch/skulls, wooden sword/bombs, boneclub/fish spine, newspaper/cans, and torch/ankhs. "Alien Landscape" had Laser Blade/rockets.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Glitch manifests as a giant robotic insect.
  • B-Movie: The manual explains that Garfield must venture through endless bad B-movies and commercial breaks.
  • Boss-Only Level: Season Finale is just Garfield vs. Glitch.
  • Bottomless Pit Rescue Service: Exclusive to the Game Gear version, a butterfly would carry Garfield back to land at the cost of 2 health points. If he had less than that, it wouldn't save him. How a butterfly can carry Garfield is something only TV could explain.
  • Bullet Hell: The final boss starts firing gradually more energy beams as it takes more damage, gradually resulting this trope near the end of the fight.
  • Continue Countdown: Upon running out of lives, Garfield is seen trapped in the TV screen with a terrified expression, and the game counts down from 9 as you are given the option to either continue or quit. If you run out of time or select "no", the TV eats him alive and laughs cruelly.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Not intentionally of course, just literally. Glitch is formed from the spare parts Garfield throws away after he "repairs" the broken TV.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Just like the movie it's based off, Catsablanca is only black and white, save for Garfield and some items you can collect.
  • Dem Bones: Enemies in the Orangebeard level, including the boss. There are also skeleton enemies in Count Slobula's Castle.
  • Downloadable Content: Possibly one of the earliest examples in gaming. Garfield: The Lost Levels, a pack of downloadable extra levels, was available through the Genesis online service, called the Sega Channel. It featured versions of the Game Gear levels and even the Alien Landscape that appeared on PC. Chances of seeing them again are dim by now, sadly.
  • Feelies: The game (at least the Genesis version) came with a free booklet of Garfield cartoons.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Occasionally, the third boss (prehistoric Odie) would walk offscreen and never return, forcing the player to start the game over.
  • Game-Over Man: Basically what happens when you hit "NO" on the continue screen. This is also the Death Animation.In the Game Gear version, the TV just turns off on the Game Over screen instead of eating Garfield alive.
  • Gangplank Galleon: "The Revenge of Orangebeard"
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: When the player loses all of his or her lives and has continues, they will be treated to a screen of Garfield clinging to the TV screen, desperately wanting to get out of the TV World. He watches with a frightened look as the player makes the choice between "Yes" and "No" and the countdown decreases. When the player chooses "No", the TV forms a mouth and closes on Garfield, snickering. This means that Garfield will never return to his home to see his friends and family again.
  • Hammer Horror: Count Slobula's Castle.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Garfield cannot damage Glitch directly, he has to reflect his energy shots back into him.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Did you just see the level names?
  • Laughing Mad: Glitch, during his boss battle. As he takes more hits his laughing becomes more frequent to the point where he's constantly cackling on his last hit point.
  • Meaningful Name: "Season Finale" is an appropriate title for the game's final level.
  • Old-Timey Cinema Countdown: Used to introduce each level, starting at 3 and ending at 1.
  • Power-Up Food: Hamburgers and pizza restore lost health, and coffee makes Garfield temporarily invincible.
  • Prehistoria: "Cave Cat 3,000,000 BC"
  • Reformulated Game: The Game Gear version features eight levels and removes several features. The PC version has a different version of the Alien Landscape level, and the levels are in a different order, creating less of a difficulty spike towards the beginning.
  • Seesaw Catapult: The boss of "Cave Cat 3,000,000 B.C." is the Odiesaurus, who jumps across the ledge above, causing boulders to rain down. When the boulder is on the ground, Garfield must push it onto one end of a seesaw so he can jump on the other end and launch it into the air, at which point it can bring the Odiesaurus down so Garfield can attack him.
  • Tennis Boss: Indirect example, but you have to align the mirrors in the final boss fight so its own shots bounce back at it. Borders on invoking Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts with how many mirrors you need by the end.
  • Trapped in TV Land: The main premise.
  • Whack-a-Monster: If you find the hammer, you get to play this mini-game after clearing the stage. The game has six holes and thus requires the six-button Genesis controller to play.note  You must hit every character except the one shown at the beginning in order to win a continue.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the Game Gear version, Garfield actually rescues Odie at the end of Catsablanca but he's not seen in the ending. He also rescues Arlene in the first level and she's not seen again.