Backstory: Odie sneaks up and scares Garfield while he is watching television, causing him to break it. They work together to fix it before they face the wrath of Jon. What is left is definitely NOT a television. Garfield throws away the 'spare parts' that were left upon completion. These parts come to life, becoming The Glitch, which throws Garfield into the world of television. Each level is a different TV genre. Collecting TV remote pieces lead you to win the game.
The game is filled with plenty of Hollywood Science. Whether it was intentional or not could be debatable.
The programming schedule:
- Count Slobula's Castle: A haunted graveyard Dracula-inspired level. Particularly annoying are the bats that you can. Not. Hit. Even. If. You. Try.
- The Curse of Cleofatra: Ancient Egypt. The boss is a large statue of Jon, complete with evil eyes.
- The Revenge of Orangebeard: Pirate themed, this level contains many references to Pirates of the Caribbean (the ride, silly - the movie came out eight years later).
- Cave Cat 3,000,000 B.C.: Prehistoria. Garfield is a sabre-toothed fat cat. Highlights include jumping up to avoid the broccoli falling down a cheese waterfall. The boss is an Odiesaurus, naturally and is glitchy (at least in the Genesis version). (arguably inspired by "Cave Cat" segment of Garfield: His 9 Lives, in which the dog is named... Big Bob)
- Catsablanca: Film Noir-themed level. Name is a pun on Casablanca.
- Alien Landscapes (PC version exclusive): Sci-fi level set in outer space.
- Bonehead the Barbarian (Game Gear version exclusive): Slippy-Slidey Ice World based on Norse Mythology.
- Slobbin Hood (Game Gear version exclusive): The Lost Woods with references to Robin Hood.
- Season Finale: Garfield faces the Glitch. Who only gets hurt by his own beams.
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.
- 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 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.
- Off-Model: The comic cutscenes at the beginning of the game have a few coloring errors, including giving Garfield a blue nose for some odd reason.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.