I’m the sort of person who likes the idea of RPGs, but always struggles to find a way into the incredibly rich worlds just begging to be explored. Even when I do, I hardly have the time to commit hundreds of hours to finding every little detail. But then comes Cat Quest, an RPG which revolves around CATS. How could I NOT want to jump into this game?
Cat Quest, published by PQube and developed by Singaporean indie developer The Gentlebros, tells a pretty familiar story, a story we’ve witnessed many, many times before in various RPGs. One that sees things plodding along happily until a nefarious being swoops in and kidnaps someone you love. In this case, it’s your little cat sister.
Once this happens, you find yourself shipwrecked on an unknown land and with a new mysterious mark on your head. After we’re introduced to a Navi-like companion, we’re quickly thrust into the story and are set upon our quest.
As far as RPG stories go, this is actually a very clever parody on the entire genre. There are so many tropes thrown in here that it becomes hard to keep up. You find out that you’re a Dragonborn, and it’s up to you to not only save this little cat-inhabited world, but also save your sister. It’s actually brilliantly well done. The game consists of one overarching quest to defeat dragons sent down by the game’s antagonist, while hundreds of side-quests is where you’ll be spending most of your time in order to level up your character.
Cat Quest is however incredibly simplistic, and this is where I’m personally going to applaud the game. This not only gave me a satisfactory RPG experience, but it was simple enough for me to grasp as well as easily hop in and out of at a moments notice. With only one active quest at a time, you’re required to complete the task at hand before starting another. The game is also incredibly addictive, again due to how easy it is to go from one task to another. I loaded up the game one afternoon to perhaps put an hour or two into the game, and before I knew it four hours had passed.
Gameplay-wise Cat Quest throws you onto a little island that’s completely open to exploration. However wandering too far will likely put you in the middle of an area with much higher-level enemies to defeat. The game takes on a sort of top-down isometric theme with no real depth in terms of exploring buildings and other areas, it’s a “what you see is what you get” sort of experience.
As for combat, the game brings a combination of melee action combat and magic. Throughout the game you’ll find little magic huts which you can enter and unlock various different spells which can be bound to four keys. There are six spells to unlock overall, so it’s about finding the ones you find the most useful or which suit your play style, and switching it up before battle.
The majority of the game does involve dungeon crawling through a series of different caves which usually end up being the climax of each side-mission. Though each side-mission has its own unique story which can span across several different chapters, they all usually end up outside of a cave where you’re tasked with defeating everything within to either “find” a quest item, or trigger a boss fight back out in the main world. While it can occasionally become quite tedious, each cave you visit requires clearing only once.
There is a level of replayability, but this comes much later on in the game when you unlock the ability to open lock chests which rewards the player with higher-value gear.
Speaking of gear. These can be unlocked in a number of ways, by either opening chests in caves, or visiting Kit Cat, the resident blacksmith. However, unlike most RPG stores, you aren’t able to simply purchase the armour or weapon you want, instead it’s down to chance. You pay 50 or 5,000 gold to be randomly awarded a piece of gear which is sometimes a blessing, but also a curse.
The way the game handles gear is also quite nice. Rather than complicating things by having players choose to level up gear stats, whenever you’re awarded or find a piece of gear or weapon you already own, it just ups the stats automatically rather than leaving you with duplicate items. There’s no ditching loot either, but that’s not necessarily an issue as you’ll often find that certain scenarios require a different level of magic or armour, so it’s nice to be able to switch on the fly.
Visually, Cat Quest is basically a cartoon RPG involving cats. The entire world has areas named after various cat attributes, like “Mewtown”, “Catpital Lake”, “Purre Mountains”, and various other cat-related puns. Every NPC you meet, is a cat, certain quest items are cat-related too, like Catnip. The only things that aren’t cats are the various enemies you take-on which can be anything from fire magic-wielding Foxes, or lightning-wielding sheep, to huge dragons.
My only real grump with the game is that I’d have liked some customisation options for our voiceless protagonist. Walking around as the same yellow cat as everyone else is fine, but being able to add some personality would have been fantastic. Especially if I could have put one of my own cats into the game…
The game itself will last you around 6-8 hours depending on how deep you go into completing quests. In comparison to other RPGs it’s hardly a tutorial, but for this game I feel that it’s the perfect amount of time needed to experience all Cat Quest has to offer without dragging it out too long.
Sure, there are certain times the game can become quite tedious, like the endless fetch-quests you’re tasked with, but you generally level up quite quickly and some you found difficult to begin with, become a walk in the park about half an hour later. But if you’re looking for a casual RPG to kill a few hours with, I’d recommend Cat Quest. It exceeded my expectations, and they were fairly high to begin with because it’s an RPG involving CATS.