Developer(s) – The Genlebros
Publisher(s) – PQube
PEGI – 3
Released in 2017 by Singapore-based development studio The Gentle bros, Cat Quest is an open-world RPG heavy on combat, spellcasting, stat upgrading, and quirky feline characters throughout. For me, having watched the trailers for this game and playing briefly at video games expos, this seemed a perfect fit for me, as I am both a lover of cats and a lover of RPGs, and this game certainly delivers on both aspects.
Graphics – 8.5/10
The game takes place in the vast land of Felingard, where its inhabitants are anthropomorphic cats that quite harmoniously coexist; albeit there seems to be a small level of political intrigue between each faction of cats residing there. The seemingly hand-drawn world of Felingard is vibrantly designed, with lush green landscape, forests, and outstretched sea, along with dangerous caves and dungeons thrown in for good measure. The game’s enemy designs are also particularly variable, ranging from dragons to stone golems and even including monsters modeled after cats, such as the infamous Cathulu mini-boss. The game’s soundtrack, primarily composed in the chord of C, is also very upbeat and carefree, although it can take some dark twists; especially during the end of the story.
Gameplay – 8.5/10
Cat Quest is a traditional real-time RPG with combat elements reminiscent of Dark Souls, whereby dodging enemy attacks is made just as paramount as attacking with either melee weapons or spells. Players must level up the player character In order to effectively progress through the game. Areas are separated by recommended levels for players to be in order to undertake; however, more avant-garde players can choose to try and progress through more difficult areas at lower levels; the game is very much open-ended in that respect. But regardless, there are a lot of side quests to undertake throughout, including additional bosses, hidden armor and weapons to find, and spell upgrades to implement. More areas of the game also become available when skills like swimming and flying are learned; in my opinion, once the flying ability is learned, that’s when the game truly begins.
Controls – 10/10
The game’s control scheme is to put it in the simplest way, easy to learn and hard to master. Skill is required to be able to effectively play this game, especially if players decide to try their luck in more advanced areas at an early level. The player interface is also very well thought out, enabling players to simultaneously attack, cast spells, and avoid enemy attacks. Everything flows naturally once players have the basic premise down, but more importantly, there are no faults with the controls, which for a game that challenges players in this manner, is needed.
Lifespan – 7/10
To complete Cat Quest to 100% can take about 15 hours depending on how many times the player gets their character killed, which for unseasoned players may be more than the average. It’s a relatively decent amount of time for a game to last, but nothing compared to most RPGs, which whilst wasn’t a significant disappointment, made me think that there definitely room for expansion in the end. Gentle bros would expand on it with the release of the sequel Cat Quest II (along with expanding the concept in every other aspect), but for me, it needed to last a good few hours longer for it to be able to stand with the very best of RPGs like Final Fantasy and Mass Effect
Storyline – 7/10
The game’s premise is simple enough; the player character must save Felingard from the evil cat sorcerer Drakoth. But as the player progresses through the game, they will find out that there is a lot more to it than what they will have first realized. A level of doubt and moral ambiguity is later thrown in at a specific time within the game that will make the player question whether or not what they’re doing is right and that Drakoth may even be sympathized with. Especially for a game that has cat-related puns everywhere in the dialogue, what comes to light will cause quite some shock.
Originality – 7/10
Although it may not be one of the longer-lasting RPGs ever made, everything about this game, from the conceptual design, the combat system, and the story, make it an extremely memorable experience indeed. Of course, there have been anthropomorphic cats in video games before, but never has it been quite on this scale. This concept would again be expanded upon in the sequel to include dogs as well, but for cat lovers everywhere, this one comes highly recommended by me.
To summarize, Cat Quest is an addictive, quirky, and challenging game to play, as well as a whole of fun. It has grueling combat, a host of secrets to discover, and a story that will surprisingly have you on the edge of your seat. I can’t recommend it enough.