One word fits Singapore-based developer The Gentlebros Cat Quest perfectly: charming. With the endless deluge of amazing Nintendo Switch titles being released each week, there is no doubt this one should stick out with a cute looking world and an anthropomorphic cat as its main character.
In Cat Quest you take the role of a silent protagonist and the story begins with your sister being kidnapped and it’s up to you to rescue her by slaying dragons along the way. There are some open world elements to Cat Quest which allow you to explore to your hearts content, but there really isn’t that much to see, and you’re encouraged to stay in certain areas due to how strong some of the creatures are outside of the starting area.
Quests are differentiated in two ways with there being the main quests, and the side quests. The main quests are usually told way ahead of time with most of them pointing out a big dragon you will eventually have to defeat once strong enough. However, if you attempt to go there too early you’ll probably end up being too weak and you will be defeated.
The main way to power up your feline protagonist is by clearing out various dungeons and side quests along the way. You’ll get side quests by going to quest boards in each settlement and each board usually has one quest open at a time leading to a more advanced quest with each goal met. By completing these objectives, you slowly increase in levels so this is a good way to level up for the main quest line. By completing the side quests you’ll get bonus amounts of money, experience, and occasionally equipment you’ll be able to put on your character.
Controls and combat are pretty simplistic with you having a single attack button, dodge-roll button, and four trigger buttons used for spells which can be set by the player in the menu. Spells in Cat Quest are typical of many RPG’s, such as fire, lightning, ice, and healing. You will be able to upgrade each spell by visiting the various Arcane houses where you initially get a new spell and then level up your previous magic spells all the way up to a maximum level of ten.
Equipment is also handled in a simplistic way, with you being able to have one weapon, a suit of armor and helmet equipped. There are a good amount of different types of weapons and armor pieces to find and it’s a nice touch that each item you equip shows up on your protagonist in the field of play. If you find the same piece of armor or weapon in a chest or by defeating an enemy, the current item is leveled up. It was refreshing to see that the exact same piece of equipment was being put to good use instead of just loading up your inventory slots.
Unfortunately, there is no way to just straight up buy the specific piece of equipment you want at the various shops in towns. When you go to the blacksmith you are able to buy one of two chests: a 50 gold chest or a 5,000 gold chest and each time you get a random piece of equipment and it can be something you are looking for, but most likely is not. It’s a gamble, similar to loot boxes, but thankfully there are no microtransactions involved.
The main quests and even the side quests progress in a pretty linear fashion even in the open world environment with most of the mission structures revolving around fetch quests of going to one spot, defeating the group of enemies, and then running back to where the mission originated from. There are a few different missions to take part in, but for the most part the side quests and even the main quests lack any originality or unique premise.
Cat Quest itself does not take long to beat taking me roughly 3-4 hours to complete on my first play through, though there are plenty of side quests to complete if you plan on maxing out your character. The difficulty is also on the easier side and if you fail a quest or are defeated in battle you’ll just get set back a little bit to where your previous destination was. Most of the quests only take a few minutes to complete anyway, so it really wasn’t that big of a deal. Finally, there is no penalty for dying and you are able to keep all the money, experience, and equipment you earned before dying.
My only big complaint with Cat Quest is its relatively generic presentation, not only in its overall design of the world, but in the overly simplistic nature of it all. While the world is somewhat big to explore and there are plenty of dungeons to loot, they all look very similar to one another and you will be fighting the same monster types from the beginning of the game all the way to the end. They don’t even change in color scheme, only attacking slightly harder and taking more hits to defeat.
Overall, Cat Quest is a cute and simple action-RPG. The charming aesthetic of the world and the cheery soundtrack will definitely be enjoyable to many people — especially children — and if you are looking for a simple RPG this may be a good one to check out.