Garfield: Caught in the Act is a platform game by Sega. It was originally released in 1995 for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, but later had an 8-bit version released for the Sega Game Gear, and the 16-bit version ported to PC. Each platform had notable differences, each provided below in their respective categories.
While Garfield is watching television, Odie scares him and he ends up falling on the TV, breaking it. The two quickly try to reassemble it before Jon Arbuckle catches them. They end up with a crudely made television, leaving out a couple of spare parts. As Garfield throws away the spare pieces, they become an electronic monster known as Glitch, who transports Garfield into the TV. Garfield must travel through various films in order to defeat the monster and make his way out.
The Sega Genesis and Mega Drive version of the game was the first to release, appearing on store shelves on October 31st, 1995.
The game is a platformer, with Garfield being able to attack enemies up close or throw objects at them (the close-range weapons and the objects thrown change between each level). There are also two special stages; one which resembles a Whac-A-Mole game, and one which Garfield flies through a tunnel, trying to grab Pookys for an extra life.
The following items are found in the game:
- Hamburger and Pizza - recover health
- Cup of coffee (named Java in the manual) - invincibility
- Pooky- Garfield's teddy bear. Acts like a checkpoint, to which Garfield will return if he loses a life.
- Mallet - unlock the "Whack-a-mole" bonus round.
- Garfield heads - earns an extra life.
- Count Slobula's Castle - Defend yourself against spooky skeletons and ghastly ghosts. Count Slobula awaits you anxiously in his lair!
- Revenge of Orangebeard - Claw your way past poisonous piranhas and mischievous monkeys in this adventure on the high seas!
- Cave Cat 3,000,000 BC - Leap into underground caves, ride on gushing geysers and crush clawing crabs!
- Catsablanca - You're the ultimate alley cat on the streets of Catsablanca. Dodge belligerent bulldogs and nasty neighbors to avoid a real cat-astrophe!
- The Curse of Cleofatra - Look out for razor-sharp spears and mummified mice as you probe the passages below the pyramids!
- Season Finale - You've almost made it! But to escape the Television Wasteland, you'll have to defeat the evil Glitch!
The 8-bit version of the game was released in 1995. This version of the game is largely different from its 16-bit counterpart, sharing the same storyline and many of the same level concepts (plus two new levels).
It was published by Novotrade International (now Appaloosa Interactive).
- Cave Cat 3,000,000 B.C.
- The Curse of Cleofatra
- Bonehead the Barbarian
- Count Slobula's Castle
- Revenge of Orangebeard
- Slobbin Hood
- Television Wasteland
- Pooky (Password character and checkpoint icon)
- Arlene (Password character and bonus icon)
- Jon (Password character)
- Stretch (Password character)
- Irma (Password character)
- Squeak (Password character)
- Fire Breathing Mice
- Cavemen (resembling Jon)
- Snakes in Jars
- Viking Women
- Snapping Plants
- Nest Birds
- Alley Cats
- Sewer Patrol Guards
- Great Bob
- Viking Man
Differences from the 16-Bit Versions
- Controls now include a dash function, activated by double-tapping the control pad, and one button for both of Garfield’s attacks. The short-range attack will be used if Garfield is out of ammo or close to a target.
- The opening sequence includes additional scenes.
- The password screen is accessible at the beginning of gameplay, located on the other side of the first level entrance.
- Garfield does not wear costumes for each level.
- Levels from the Mega Drive/Genesis have similar designs and some common enemies (including bosses), but different setups and mostly new enemies.
- Two new levels- Bonehead the Barbarian and Slobbin Hood- are included.
- The final level is renamed from Season Finale to Television Wasteland. It includes a section with various enemies (mostly ones from previous levels) and obstacles to deal with before the final boss fight (which is different from the 16-bit version).
- The order of levels is arranged similarly to the PC version.
- Although remote controls are still used to exit the level after defeating the boss, batteries are used to transport from one part of a level to another.
- Both bonus levels from the 16-bit versions are replaced by one where the player destroys things in Jon’s living room to earn an extra life. It is accessed by collecting a head icon of Arlene.
- Pizza items are featured as an entire pie, rather than a slice.
- There are no invincibility items.
- In the main lobby segments, rather than lose health, touching obstacles will cause Garfield to be taken back to the last spot where he arrived.
- The background music compositions are different.
- When paused, the game will display a screen similar to a comic strip panel. Garfield is shown napping in bed next to an alarm clock, with “GAME PAUSED” featured as a thought balloon from Garfield. The lives section of the HUD remains on the upper right corner. When the player resumes gameplay, the clock will ring, waking up Garfield and removing the thought balloon.
- "Bonehead the Barbarian" was a name Garfield used to refer to Rick Deltoid.
The PC version is also known as simply Garfield (and with the tagline "Garfield in TV land!" on the box art, which is said to be the subtitle of the canceled Sega 32X version that would have supposedly contained the Lost Levels). The game is virtually a direct port of the original release, with a few key differences. For instance, it contains a remastered CD-quality soundtrack. Like the Game Gear version, the levels are presented in chronological order (from the past to the future). There is also another unique final level that replaces the Season Finale door. The PC demo only included half of Cave Cat 3,000,000 BC and The Curse of Cleofatra. In the full game, the levels are:
- Cave Cat 3,000,000 BC
- The Curse of Cleofatra
- Count Slobula's Castle
- Revenge of Orangebeard
- Alien Landscape - a sci-fi set which was a world removed late in the original development. The weapons are a laser sword and rockets. Enemies include little UFOs that shoot and robotic poodles with an Alien-esque "bear-trap" second mouth. The boss is a flying saucer, after which the player has one last chance for bonus rounds - Garfield is then taken directly to the Glitch battle.
In September of 1997, the game was reissued by Expert Software.
Sonic and Garfield Pack
In 1999, the PC version was released as part of the Sonic and Garfield Pack, which also included the Sonic and Knuckles Collection, a compilation of PC versions of Sonic the Hedgehog games originally released on the Sega Genesis, and Baku Baku Animal, an arcade game.
- Microsoft Windows: Windows® 3.1 or Windows® 95, 486 DX2 66MHz, 8 MB RAM, SVGA 256 colors, Single Speed, 2 MB, Sound Blaster(TM) 16 or compatible (Other: Windows® 95 compatible gamepads/joysticks or keyboard)
Garfield: The Lost Levels is a lost version of Garfield: Caught in the Act that supposedly included levels cut from the original game. Magazines and merchandise have proven that 16-bit versions of the cut levels existed, as well as the fact that several people have testified to its existence, though the cartridge and ROM's current whereabouts are unknown.
In December 1994, Sega opened the Sega Channel, a pay-to-play service on the Genesis in which subscribers could access and download Genesis games, play demos and access cheats through an adapter. The lineup of games used to change bi-weekly to monthly, in order to give subscribers a more varied experience. Each game was put into a specific category, with the Test Drives having upcoming and newly released titles.
Though some American Sega Channel schedules are not available, The Lost Levels has three known appearances on the service:
- February 1st, 1996 in the Test Drives
- April 25th, 1997 in the Family Room
- August 15th, 1997 in the Family Room
As the game first appeared in the Test Drives category, that has been accepted as its first public appearance. Similarly to the American Sega Channel schedules, a couple of UK are missing and only one appearance of The Lost Levels is known of on August 1st, 1997 in the Family Room .
The Internet's oldest mention of the Lost Levels on dates back to February 4th, 1996, when a cable company owner by the name of David Madden announced the Sega Channel listings for the month.
The following levels were removed from the Genesis version of the game. Possible reasons for the removal of such levels include not being fun or distinct enough, lack of time or budget, programming difficulties and memory limitations of the Genesis hardware.
Bonehead the Barbarian
Bonehead the Barbarian was featured only in the Game Gear version of the game.
Slobbin Hood was featured only in the Game Gear version of the game.
Alien Landscape was featured only in the PC version of the game.
A t-shirt used as merchandise for the game has shown that a level set in Ancient Rome was possibly planned.
Catsablanca Train Sequence
Featured on no other platforms, there was apparently a train segment in the Catsablanca level that was supposed to be featured on the Sega Genesis version, but was ultimately cut. It is assumed that it was featured on the Lost Levels. A similar sequence, involving cars instead of a train, was used for the Game Gear version of Catsablanca.
A port to the 32X, under the title Garfield in TV Land, was apparently planned. Programmer Pravin Wagh, thinking otherwise, claimed that "a 32X Garfield might just have been wishful thinking."
The PC version uses the TV Land title, and includes the level Alien Landscape.