Cat Quest by developer The Gentlebros and publisher PQube Limited definitely doesn’t hem and haw. The introduction lasts about 30 seconds, and by the end of it you know the premise – you’re a cat knight who kills dragons. The action is fast-paced, the dialogue is snappy, and you bound across the landscape from town to town in just a matter of pawsteps. Think Skyrim if it were 80% simpler and, well, feline.
In fact, a lot of the mechanics of this game are much simpler versions of classic RPG adventure games like Skyrim. While there are weapons and armor to find, there’s no selling or bartering, and certainly no customization. Everything pretty much just upgrades as you do, and getting new toys is a game of luck. It has the classic setup – a main quest with side quests along the way – but each mini quest takes about a minute and a half to complete. You can learn magic to supplement your attacks, but there are only six spells available over the course of the whole game, and most of them do pretty much the same thing.
The simplified RPG experience has both positives and negatives. It’s terribly satisfying to plow through the main storyline, soaking up XP and gold left and right, especially when the fighting mechanics are easy to pick up. Learning the attack patterns of new monsters is intuitive yet challenging and a lack of complicated combos and attacks for your own character allows you to get into a good rhythm when you stand up to a swarm of bad guys. There’s something refreshing about stripping away the complicated upgrades, levels, bonuses, customizations, and gadgets of more convoluted RPG games.
But with simplicity you also lose a great deal of the newness that keeps these games interesting. Cat Quest is addictive and its shtick is clever and fun – up to a point. After a while, you’ve giggled over all of the cat puns, learned all of the spells, and seen the same side quest with only a small variation about 50 times, and things start to slow down. At a certain point the only way to progress in the game is killing the same monsters over and over in order to gain the XP necessary to complete the next quest. That can get tedious, especially when there isn’t a wide variety of interesting places to explore or people to meet (the townspeople, or towncats, are all a touch bland, and the caves are devastatingly similar). If the game were a little shorter, the simplicity might have been a better advantage.
Still, the mechanics are sharp and fun, and the storyline is humorously clever, so I’d give Cat Quest a 7 out of 10.
Here is the official Cat Quest Trailer: