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Cat Quest

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4
Genre: RPG/Action
Publisher: PQube
Developer: The Gentlebros
Release Date: Aug. 8, 2017


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PC Review - 'Cat Quest'

by Cody Medellin on Jan. 23, 2018 @ 3:30 a.m. PST

Cat Quest is a 2D action-RPG featuring real-time combat set in the vast open-world of Felingard.

Buy Cat Quest

The past few years have seen numerous games across genres that have one common factor: cats. Do you want a puzzle game with cats? Look no further than The Cat Machine. A side-scrolling adventure? Hunters Legacy and The Purring Quest have you covered. A coming-of-age adventure with a bit of the supernatural involved? Night in the Woods. The good news is that most of these cat-related games are actually quite good, making them more than failed titles that are trying to latch on to a fad. For action-RPG fans looking for a feline fix, look no further than Cat Quest.

The evil Dragoth has decided to resurrect dragons from across the land of Felingard, and for good measure, he has also kidnapped your sister. Though rather weak overall, you might have the mark of Dragonblood, a special breed of cat that is especially good at vanquishing dragons. Your quest is to slay those dragons so you're strong enough to defeat Dragoth and get your sister back.

The story may lean toward familiar tropes, but the whole tale from beginning to end is a lighthearted affair due to the humor. You have to be cautioned, as the humor comes from cat-related puns and imagery. You'll visit places like Mewtown and Catpital Lake. Some towers are adorned with cat ears, and gravestones have pawprints in place of names. You'll dock at pawts, go to the catpital, and hear someone talk about how much they love "The Pouncing Dead." It's all very silly but not annoyingly so. There's still some funny stuff here for those who aren't into cat puns, so you'll crack a smile every now and then.

The game plays out like any standard action-RPG but with a controller-friendly setup in conjunction with the expected keyboard/mouse setup. Exploration and combat occur in real time; you'll deliver basic attack combos and easily use your magic spells while dodging other attacks. Gear and weapons are given out via quests or through treasure chests, while cash and XP are both gained by beating enemies or picking it up in the world. The cash can be used to buy new spells and their upgrades or buy new gear and weapons while levels gained from XP help you gain stat buffs. In short, there's nothing unfamiliar here for those with genre experience.

What is immediately noticeable is the simple and distilled experience. There are only five stats you need to heed (attack power, defense, health, magic power and mana) and a handful of gear and weapon items to collect, both of which can't be sold off since you'll find their counterparts that will help them automatically upgrade themselves. There are no consumables to collect, since mana is regenerated by hitting enemies and energy is regained by leveling up, completing quests, or taking quick catnaps in the various inns that dot the world. Enemy attacks are easy to read, so there's no guessing about what will happen unless your view is obstructed by large trees and bushes. Weapon attacks and spell attacks have similar execution times, so using an ice spell is just as fast as using a fire spell; attacking with either an ax or a sword doesn't slow down the attack cadence at all.

The world itself also helps with the simplification process. Most of the game takes place in a large overworld map where towns and major points of interest aren't that far from where enemies spawn and gather. Caves are also easily identifiable in the overworld and are small enough that you won't feel lost in them, especially with several exit points in the more sizeable caves. More importantly, the caves all have level ratings, so you don't blindly enter an area that'll be overwhelming.

The result is a game that feels quite breezy. The quests don't take ages to complete, and you can only take on one quest at a time, so things are easy to manage. While there's no minimap, you're always guided about where to go, and the spots where you have to go usually aren't far off from where you began. Even though you'll be engaged in plenty of side-quests to level up, the job boards that contain these quests are never too far apart, so there's no downtime unless you choose to just wander the world. Dying is a rarity, but when you do, you'll start off where you completed your last quest.

With that said, Cat Quest isn't exactly easy. The world is rather vast, and enemies do a good job of getting close to you, and they fire attacks at different intervals. Also, the random chance mechanic of buying goods from the shopkeeper means that you won't have direct control over which things you want upgraded.

For a game that's relatively flawless, Cat Quest accomplishes one thing that other titles still struggle with: game length. The journey is quite meaty, with a ton of quests to occupy your time and loads of environments to visit. However, it doesn't present so many quests that the game can feel bogged down, and the pacing of the title feels just right. It isn't too long of a game, so the jokes and combat don't get an opportunity to wear thin. It's balanced between getting your money's worth and being short enough that you won't spend too much time on it.

The game may have its roots in the mobile arena, but the presentation translates well on the PC. The music is just the right tone to make this feel like an epic adventure, and although there aren't too many tracks here, you won't really notice that some songs repeat. The animations are simple, but the color schemes are bright and vibrant, and the character illustrations show off a very appealing art style, no matter the resolution. Honestly, until you notice some of the bigger buttons used for the interface, you'll never know this was a mobile-first title.

Cat Quest is an excellent and charming action RPG for all ages. Combat is enjoyable, and the usual elements in the genre, like inventory control and stat tracking, never become overwhelming. The quests flow smoothly into one another, and the adventure is just the right length. Most of all, the game is charming, and despite the story and game mechanics not delving too deep, thisis a title you'll want to keep playing until it's 100% complete. For adventure and action-RPG fans, Cat Quest is a must-have.

Score: 9.0/10

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