Game: Cat Quest
Platform: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, MAC
Rating: E for Everyone 10+
From genre classics such as Final Fantasy to instant classic Octopath Traveler, Role Playing Games (RPG) are everywhere these days. Heck, even non RPG games have RPG elements included with-in, like the latest WWE title (which the Spring Creek Sun will review in the next issue). So, with so much RPG goodness out there how can developers bring anything original to the table? How about constructing a world in which all of the primary characters are anthropomorphic cats? Yeah, that will do it.
A Cat’s Tail
Cat Quest begins with you and your feline sister sailing across a rather choppy looking ocean, when an evil masked cat seizes your sibling before destroying your boat, leaving you adrift. Luckily, your guardian spirit—named Spirry of all things—hovers in and saves you from a watery grave. Once back on land your floating, blue spirit friend explains that dragons have re-turned to the land and you, a “Dragonblood,” are the only cat that can stop them, drawing deep parallels between The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Developer The Gentle-bros freely admits that this game is not only inspired by Skyrim, but also The Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy as well, and it sure shows—in a good way. RPGs are synonymous with long, drawn-out dialogue or text boxes. Thankfully Cat Quest is a more streamlined experience thanks to the fact that quests are delivered through no more than a few lines of discourse, making sure you are never kept away from the action for very long.
Although Cat Quest was first released last year, it is only now hitting store shelves for the Nintendo Switch in physical form, i.e. on a cartridge, as opposed to being downloadable only. This way collectors can have something to place on their game shelf. With that being stated, we are not here to discuss the box’s aesthetics, we are here to talk about the gameplay.
The game’s map is… well, a map made to resemble a fantasy chart. Similar to one that you would see in the back of a J.R.R Tolkien book, except this one is filled with cute cat puns. For instance, players will come across locations named Mew-town and The Catpital. Bad puns aside, there is a real fun time to be had running hither and thither around Felingard, yes, another pun. While the plot pays homage to Skyrim and the world is a tribute to the early Final Fantasy games, the combat is clearly inspired by The Legend of Zelda. It is fast-paced and, most importantly of all, entertaining. Every enemy has an attack radius represented by a red circle that appears around them when they are about to land a blow. Roll out of the circle to dodge and follow up with an attack of your own, it is that simple. On your adventure you will gather new equipment—like armor that will show up on your cute little cat once equipped—and spells that can be cast on enemies and upgraded.
Cute and Cuddly
The game’s visuals are nothing astounding. However, that does not mean they don’t serve their purpose. We see our four-legged protagonist from above as he traverses the land. The map nor the characters themselves are vastly detailed, though what it lacks in graphical fidelity, it makes up for in adorability and charm. The cats are overwhelming endearing, and the sprite work is fantastic. It has that 16-bit allure that would fit right at home on a Super NES.
Cat Quest lacks depth and an engaging plot. Nevertheless, it is super cute, super charming, and super fun. The combat is so addicting that you will find yourself thinking about its joyous romps mere hours after putting it down. Both RPG fans and cat lovers will lap this up like warm milk, and with its physical release and the recently announced Cat Quest 2 on the way, it has never has never been a better time to pick this one up.