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Capsule Review: Cat Quest II

A cute and simple action RPG set in a world populated by anthropomorphic cats and dogs. Wander around a 2D Zelda-like overworld getting into quick fights with randomly-spawning enemies, descending into mini-dungeons and clearing them of enemies, and doing quests for NPCs (that usually involve killing particular enemies).

Like the previous game, the story is more about setting a light and gentle tone and atmosphere than creating narrative depth (and there’s no need to be familiar with the first game’s story to enjoy this one). The simplicity lends itself well to a game designed to be playable in short bursts, but also means there’s not a lot to sink your teeth into if you’re looking for a rich world or developed characters. As before, the emphasis is much more on the combat and related progression.

Combat is still straightforward with tactical and strategic depth through the need to position yourself and time your attacks properly and a range of build options through varied gear-based stat boosts (including a couple new weapon types) and spells to equip. Things are made more interesting this time by the introduction of a dog partner. You can play co-op or solo with an AI partner and switch between the dog and cat at any time. This means you can build the cat and dog differently (I had a melee cat and a caster dog) and work together or switch as needed for the particular combat situation.

The game’s overall structure is very similar to the first one - just longer and more polished. As before, there is an open-world mission structure with a main quest line that gradually takes you across the entire map past towns where you can take on side quests (often in short quest chains) and past mini-dungeons and random enemy spawns providing additional opportunities for action. Combat and quests level you up and you can decide how much side content to do before advancing the main quest line - it’s very easy to get and stay ahead of the level curve, though it seems like enemies are level-scaled somewhat so that combat never becomes trivial.

Content is still placed in a way that creates backtracking - high-level dungeons can be found in low-level areas and there are “gold chests” scattered around the entire map that can’t be opened until you find a key late in the game. However, this is less obnoxious than in the first game thanks to some quality-of-life improvements - there’s a lot less mixing of high- and low-level content, the gold chests are on the overworld instead of inside dungeons, there’s a limited fast-travel system, and you can actually scroll around the entire map to see the icons indicating content you haven’t finished yet.

Cat Quest II is a bigger and better sequel that fully replaces its predecessor with more content, more polish, and the ability to play co-op. The decrease in tedious backtracking and increase in combat depth went a long way to make the game more enjoyable for me. I found it a great way to relax after work.

I Stopped Playing When: I finished a solo playthrough and did all side content. (I think so, anyway - there isn’t a checklist or anything and I might have missed a map icon somewhere.) At the time I played, the “Mew Game +” and “Meow-difiers” challenge mode were on the roadmap but not yet in the game; I doubt I would have bothered with them either way.

Docprof's Rating:

Three Stars: Good. I liked the game enough to finish it (or just play it a bunch, for games that don't end). I recommend it to most genre fans.

You can get it or learn more here.