Evil Space Cats – Shadow of the Wool-Ball Mod Review

For a Doom II mod (or Freedoom if you will), I think Shadow of the Wool-Ball, developed by moddb user MSPaintR0cks, is a great take on the classic style of Wolfenstein 3D. Yes, it’s a Doom II mod that plays a lot like Wolfenstein 3D, with evil space cats instead of Nazis. As Scott, a hedgehog, you will escape captivity from the cats with guns blazing and attempt to rescue Scott’s girlfriend, Rebecca, who is also in captivity.

“Watch Out for The Watcher,” one of the most dangerous traps in the game.

What makes Shadow of the Wool-Ball interesting doesn’t stop here. In addition to the tight Wolfenstein-like corridors (which may hide nasties like the Berserker Kitties which hurt quite a lot but are only melee), there are now air vents which forcefully push Scott to probably undesirable destinations, mines that detonate half a second after walking on them, unsavory traps, and doors that eat you alive.

Escaping the level just as it blows up to the smithereens.
Scott escaping the level as it is blown up to smithereens.

But the best of these additions, in my opinion, is the exit sequence. You have to find the shutdown panel for each level, which will start a self-destruct timer for the level, and then you have to find the exit and leave within 10 seconds. Thankfully the game aids you by marking the way to the exit, but you’ll have to figure out the way to the secret exits by yourself – if you found any. The exit sequence is one of the most thrilling events you can experience in the game.

Although I played the game on Hard, with the classic tank-like controls on top of it all (directional keys to move forward, backward or turning left and right, Alt to strafe, Shift to sprint, Ctrl to shoot), I felt the game was just balanced, except in areas where there are a lot of strong enemies. You will dread anywhere with Spider Kitties and you will be tempted to pull out the golden shotgun with its scarce ammunition to finish them off, the best weapon out of the four available in the game. The bosses probably would’ve been easier if I had gone for the modern WASD + mouse control setup, but I think the third one is the hardest due to how often he shoots.

That's one unsavory corridor in "Paw-nic Room."
That’s one unsavory corridor in “Paw-nic Room.”

Shadow of the Wool-Ball offers 18 levels split across 3 episodes. Each episode has four regular levels, one boss level, and one secret level. The art was done using Microsoft Paint, which is an achievement considering the terrific art and the basic nature of Paint. It is hard to believe that this is a Doom II mod.

I seriously loved playing all of the game’s 18 levels even in their worst moments. I applaud the developer for making this game in the first place, and then for offering it all for free.

You can download the game as a WAD mod or as a standalone game package here.

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