I’m a big cat person. I think if you looked at the subreddits I subscribe to, at least 30% of them would be about cats. I find them utterly adorable, and so when Cat Quest came out the first time, I was pretty happy about giving it a go and seeing what the world had to offer. After getting through that, I was even happier when Cat Quest II was announced, and having been granted permission to get a sneak peek at it a few days prior to its release, I was in my element.
What impressed me most about Cat Quest II, is that it isn’t just a slight polish of the original, which you often see with indie developers seeking to make a quick buck on a popular IP. This sequel improves the original significantly, while still keeping the charm of the first game intact. Instead of just having a little cat hero, this time around, you have a puppy pal that you can switch between, or, in another new addition to the series, your friend can control in some couch co-op fun. As you’re able to switch seamlessly between the characters, it’s not clunky or anything in combat, so you’re really able to properly kit out two characters exactly how you want and use them well. It definitely makes for an incredibly fun combat system.
Retained from the first game is the lovely art style. It, like almost everything else in the game, has been enhanced and it looks wonderful. Crisp, cartoony and cutesy critters populate the well rendered and nicely designed world and it’s a joy to wander through. Even when you stray into a forest with enemies that are far too powerful for you to consider taking on, you can at least enjoy the wander around.
As I played through Cat Quest II, I was actually fairly surprised with the amount and variety of equipment that you’re given access to in the game. It gives you the ability to form your duo exactly how you would like. If you want a mage and a tank, you can. A healer and a rogue? That’s doable too. You can even create a hybrid of classes using the equipment and spells available to you, in order to really bolster your chances of winning fights. The other aspect I enjoyed was the inventory management side of it. Rather than picking up dozens of the same useless weapon, every time you pick one up, the one in your inventory levels up, making it more powerful and more useful. It means that weapons or armour that you may have thought as being a bit on the rubbish side actually turn out to be half decent the more you find of them.
The final positive I’d like to throw out there is the length of the story, and all of the quests surrounding it. On the face of it, I was thinking it’ll be another short-ish endeavour, but actually it’s possible to spend a lot of time in it if you want to achieve 100% and see everything. The main quest itself will take you a good few hours, but there are also over sixty side quests for you to paw through and complete. It’s good enough to keep you going for hours on end, and the quests are equally as cute as the rest of the game, so it all meshes together extremely well.
The one main thing I noticed about Cat Quest II, is that after a certain point, it gets quite punishing. Quests that are only regarded as two star difficulty have you facing off against multiple enemies above your level, which requires some extremely tight manoeuvring and quick thinking. This, in itself, is definitely not a bad thing. It’s just that Cat Quest II is definitely marketed more towards children and casual players, so it’s a bit of an odd design choice. I don’t see either wanting to either have lengthy battles in which they may die a lot, or putting the game on hold while they go and grind a few levels in order to defeat what lies in front of them.
The Final Word
Cat Quest II is an adorable game. It’s got quite a lot of content crammed in as well, making it a great game to keep young (or young at heart) gamers occupied. I’m not quite sure who the audience is, but I’m sure it’ll reel a lot of people in just with its adorable-ness. Once they’re in, I think they’ll find a terrific game – if a little grindy at times.