It is not every day an Indie studio push out an open world game, what’s more, a game revolving the internet sensation animal, cats. The Gentlebros have made a valiant attempt at creating such a unique game, so let’s find out did they purrfected it.
Cat Quest is a game that takes the open world concept back to its 2D roots. The game is fundamentally simple and almost all you need to know of is explained in the initial tutorial and that is where I think Cat Quest shines the best. The game does not drown you in a wave of RPG complexities but still offers the challenges as expected of an RPG. There is no “dexterity”, “luck”, or “Intellect” to pay attention to, and newcomers to RPG games can complete the game from start to finish just knowing what level, HP, and Mana are.
Once you have completed the tutorial, you are free to explore the entire continent of Felingard with very little blocking your way. Despite the linear story progression, nothing is exactly in place to restrict you from what you wish to do. You can speed through the game’s main quest only, you can invest a whole bunch of time on the side quest, you can even spend time exploring every cave and dungeon.
The game will, however, provide you with relevant information for you to make educated choices on your next step of action. For example, the entrances of caves, as well as, quest request will place a level recommendation so players can make the decision as to whether or not they are ready to jump in. Skilled players should find no trouble entering into quest and caves at a level below the recommendation and many times I accepted a side quest that is slightly above the level I’m currently in.
Speaking of side quest, they are usually short and easily completable in no time. The gameplay of side quest is not exactly very creative and can get repetitive after a while. It usually goes in the following form: accept a quest, fight monsters (in cave or overworld), complete quest. However, what the side quest misses in gameplay, it makes up for in the story. Side quest provides an avenue for players to further explore the world of Felingard and delve deeper into the lore behind the continent.
Still, one of my greater disappointments with the gameplay is the fact that you can only take up one quest at a time. You cannot accept multiple side quest at once and complete them concurrently. As a result, you will find yourself walking through the same paths of Felingard again and again.
There is no shortage of exploration in Felingard. Although the continent is not super big, it has more than enough to add hours more to the main storyline. The continent is literally littered with caves and dungeons to explore, each with a different level recommendation so you can explore them as you progress through the game. The highest level recommendation I saw stood at level 200, and you should complete the main storyline at around level 60, therefore it is safe to say that exploration will take up a far greater deal of your time than the main storyline.
The game’s story is actually both straightforward and deep. Indeed, you play through most of the main quest storyline with the story just being about saving your sister, who has been kidnapped by the evil Drakoth. But as the main story nears the end, it develops into something you would never have imagined when you started your quest. It is one of those stories that starts off slow but eventually suck you in it.
The game’s story also is explored in greater depth through the side quest. Most of the side quest’s storyline occur as a result of what has happened in the main storyline and through completing them, you get a greater insight of Felingard and the history surrounding it. Side quest are also usually more light-hearted in nature, with the main character’s fairy-like companion being more candid and witty.
One thing players would have to note about the game’s writing is that it is full of puns. Gentlebros. really jumped at every opportunity they could to insert a cat pun into the game. I’m not quite sure if this is a positive or a negative thing, but I think to each his own.
Graphics and Audio
Cat Quest’s graphics is very worthy of praise. The cutesy art style might look aloof at times, but in the end, it feels right in place. In fact, I dare go on to say that the game’s premise can only be achieved with this kind of art style. Only behind the paper like bushes and the colourful overworld can the surplus of cat puns and jokes fit into an action RPG. It is also a fresh change of view at a time when many indie developers try to reminisce pixel art in not so great ways. Indeed, the art direction is one of the game’s strongest strength and is something that instantly pulls aspiring players into the game.
The graphics is generally smooth as well, although not perfect. There are a couple of times, (spoiler: especially when flying), the game’s frame rate stuttered. I’m not sure as to what the cause is, but it might be due to the fact that the main cat is travelling too fast and more time is required for the overworld to load.
When it comes to audio, I wish I was a bigger fan of the music as I was to the art. The repetitive main theme finds itself in a huge expanse of scenarios and quickly becomes borderline irritating. Although it did not affect my gaming performance, I found it distracting at times.
I created this paragraph because I felt that this part is kind of a nitpick on my side, readers are fine to skip this section as it would not affect the game’s final verdict. I am not a fan of the loot box-esque business Kit-Cat is doing.
In the game, there is only one way to purchase armour and arms, that is from Kit Cat. However, Kit-Cat is a certain gaming company in disguise. In her shop is literally 2 loot boxes, one that cost 50 gold coins to open, and another that cost a whopping 5000 gold coins. There is no in-between and you do not get to choose what armour or weapons you want.
It is totally fine to drop 50 gold coins multiple times, 50 gold coins are, after all, a paltry sum in the game. But what you get out of the 50 gold coin box is some lousy armour that, chances are, you are not going to use.
If you choose to drop 5000 gold coins and go in big, which, by the way, 5000 gold coin is not that easy to save up within the game, you still run the risk of getting something that you do not like. To put things in perspective, with 5000 gold coins in the game, you could upgrade one of your magical skills to quite a decent level. It is not something you just gamble with and hope you get an equipment you like.
So Kit-Cat… you should look into reviewing your store policy, it hurts too even though it is not real cash.
Cat Quest is one of the best Indie games you can get your hands on at the moment. The art and gameplay synergises in a way that totally complements its light-hearted narration. The game is simple for anyone to pick up and quests are short enough for players to just hope in and out of no matter how little time they have on their hands. While the main storyline is not as long as I thought it would have been, the huge wealth of quest and places to explore within Felingard provided many hours more of extra entertainment. Overall, this Cat Quest is something that everyone should embark on.
- Beautiful art style
- Storyline plot twist and lightheartedness
- Hours of exploration content
- Simple and intuitive to play
- Some frame rate stuttering
- Inability to do multiple quests simultaneously
- Not a fan of the music
Verdict: A Unique Blend That Even The Grumpy Cat At Home Will Enjoy
A review code for Cat Quest was provided by PQube for the purpose of this review.