I love cats. They’re ruddy great. Not nearly as “ideal” a pet as a dog, but still great. They have their own distinct personalities and little idiosyncrasies that we all either love or loathe. Or sometimes both. At the same time.
Sure, a dog won’t voluntarily eat your face after you’ve passed away. Nor will a dog tear the hell out of your mother’s brand-new, house-encompassing carpet that she most definitely got ripped off on over the pricing.
Sorry, that was a hyper-specific one there.
But a cat will do something a dog can’t do; win in a battle of memes. And, when a game series is as quintessentially a meme as it is an RPG, then you know you’ve got something good.
And so, we (in a roundabout way) come to our review: Cat Quest II.
If you’ve somehow missed the original Cat Quest, I urge you to do yourselves a favour and play it.
In fact, leave this review, play the heck out of it, then come back and read my review for the sequel!
Cat Quest (one or two, it doesn’t really matter) takes part in a fictional kingdom run by cats. (The sequel expanded this and brought in a neighbouring kingdom run by…dogs!) Within the kingdom of Felingrad (DO YOU GET IT?!), the players are tasked with completing quests and going about being a hero.
Your typical RPG stuff, really.
You’ll find dungeons, towers, forests, mountains, and more. Each of them is filled with monsters, inhabitants, or magic. Think, Skyrim, if every NPC was a Khajiit. Developers The Gentle Bros. put a whole heap of love into the game. And you can tell that from the opening cinematics to the combat, to the ending.
That’s a little exposition out of the way.
This Makes Me Feel Ruff!
Cat Quest II is a cartoony epic with grand designs. There’s plenty of nods to other RPGs involved – from The Elder Scrolls to Dragon Quest – and each one adds to the humour of it all.
For example (trying to avoid spoilers as best as possible), in Cat Quest II, you meet a character that is heavily inspired by Batman. He takes you on a series of quests that leads to you entering the Felingrad’s version of the Batcave.
It’s all tongue-in-cheek, but that’s the beauty of the Cat Quest games.
As I briefly alluded to before, Cat Quest II adds dogs to the mix. The result is two completely versatile and vast landscapes, one ruled by cats and the other by dogs. Each area has different inhabitants and monsters and rules, with plenty of feline/canine-inspired puns to go around.
The other result is that you get to play as both a cat and a dog. Each one behaves exactly the same, so there isn’t any real difference in playstyle. Heck, if you really wanted, you could make both Mages. Or Warriors. Or whatever class you wanted.
The double-team gives you a bit more leniency in combat: in the first game, you were more-often-than-not forced to take on all manner of creatures on your own. Depending on your skill/competency/equipment, you’d either win heroically or die constantly.
A-mew-sing Puns, James
In Cat Quest II, if one of you falls in battle, you have the option of rushing over to them and helping them up. Of course, this comes at the risk of making yourself ever so slightly vulnerable to attack. But it beats taking on Cathulhu on your own.
As you progress, you learn new spells, gain new weapons, and earn new pieces of armour. All of them can be upgraded from various vendors (a few of whom you’ll know quite well if you played the first game). However, you can also upgrade your equipment by completing various quests or dungeons. Oft-times, the quests will see you defeat this person, or go clear out that dungeon, etcetera etcetera.
Again, the usual RPG stuff.
However, these side quests are the best way to increase your levels and earn some coins to further improve your best equipment and spells. Unlike other RPGs, Cat Quest doesn’t have an inventory system with consumables.
If you’re running low on health, you can use the health spell. If you’re short on mana, you can beat up some lowly monsters which regenerate magic. (Don’t ask me why).
The Fur Will Fly
One of the main problems with getting around Cat Quest I was the fact that you only have one speed: jog.
This was circumvented with a power-up that came at the end of the game. However, if you thought getting around was tedious in the first, wait until you see the map in the second. It’s at least twice as big, if not more.
Thankfully, the Gentle Bros. came up with a unique way to get around the sequel quickly: interlinked portals. It might sound a bit odd, but, once you access one area, you can travel to any other unlocked area simply by walking to it in the hallway.
It’s possibly something you’ll have to explore yourself to understand better. It doesn’t take very long to find them though, and it can cut the travel time down considerably.
Every Dog Has Their Day
Graphically speaking, Cat Quest is a joy to behold. The visuals are pretty and apt for the narrative: detailed enough to look interesting, but not too detailed that you get bombarded or lost. It comes across as looking simplistic, which plays right into the nature of the game.
Gameplay in Cat Quest is simple and intuitive; you attack with your weapon with one button, cast a spell with another (which you can assign to any of the shoulder buttons), and dodge roll with a different one again. Combat is mainly comprised of you swinging your weapon/casting a spell until your enemy is defeated. If they attack, simply dodge roll out of the way.
It isn’t too tasking, and seasoned RPG enthusiasts might sneer at its simplicity. However, you are playing as an anthropomorphic cat here, so.
The music is cutesy, yet suitable. It wouldn’t seem amiss in a Medieval TV series, which I half suspect was an aim. There is no recorded dialogue past the occasional animal noises (a meow here, a bark there, a monster’s growl in between).
However, every character has their own personality shine through with speech bubbles instead. It doesn’t feel like it needs a highly-paid voice-actor dictating the conversation to be enjoyable.
Cat Quest actually has a fairly decent level of replayability. The Gentle Bros. added a Mew Game + Mode at the tail end of last year that allows players to control the difficulty. The usual amount of stuff you’d expect from a New Game + is on offer (previously acquired loot, armour, etcetera is kept) whilst presenting more challenging monsters.
And, if I’m honest, Cat Quest is enjoyable enough that you’ll want to play through it again and again. Puns are great, after all.
Whilst the simplicity Cat Quest offers might not be for everyone, it is a solid RPG. It boasts plenty of the usual genre conventions and tropes to make it credible. And, if you can stand the plenty of puns, you’ll have a giggle throughout.
Thankfully, all of the charm from the original game has been successfully kept for the sequel, with enough changes to make it feel like a fresh, new game.
If you have played the first game – which I, again, urge you to do so – you’ll know what to expect with this. There’s a great deal of grinding you can put into the game if you so desire, or you can rush through the main storyline and come out the other end in next to no time at all.
Cat Quest II was reviewed on the Nintendo Switch. The game is also available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Steam, and Apple Arcade. For more information, check out Cat Quest II‘s website. Or, if you fancy more, great reviews, stick around. We’ve got plenty to choose from!
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Cat Quest II Review
- Overall - 8.5/108.5/10
A jolly good RPG with plenty of love to the genre and pet puns to go around, Cat Quest II is, dare I say it, the PURRfect sequel to an already stellar first outing. If you enjoy games like Monster Quest or even the original Cat Quest, you definitely need this game in your life! Plus, you can bring your best friend along for the ride as well, as Cat Quest II supports CO-OP play. The only argument you’ll have is who gets to play as the Cat and who gets to play as the Dog!
+ Wonderful and riveting story
+ Puns for days!
+ Easy to master combat
+ Easy to like graphics
+ Co-Op mode makes playthroughs even more special
— Might be a bit too “simple” for RPG purists
— If you don’t like cats (or dogs), you’ll loathe it.
— The grind can be real tedious at times (but, that’s why it’s called a “grind”)