Bossa Studios, purveyors of flipping good toast and some questionable anatomical redecoration, are back with their latest game and they seem pretty pawsitive that you will adore it. Out now on PC, Purrfect Date is the brainchild of indie outfit BAE, and published by the team at Bossa Studios. It is also the best cat dating simulator that I have ever played. This is our Purrfect Date review.
This story of love, life, and cat wrangling on a remote island is preceded by games like Hatoful Boyfriend, Pony Island, and Panzermadels. All of these eccentric dating simulators present a wonderfully warped narrative and Purrfect date is similarly unique. Essentially a quirky visual novel, Purrfect Date puts players in the shoes of an eager research assistant en-route to the mysterious Cat Island. This cat paradise is the location for the remainder of Purrfect date and provides the perfect backdrop for players to romance their way through six chapters of distinctly offbeat humor.
Not all of Purrfect Date is about playing with kitties. Players begin each day on Cat Island, staring at a screen of stats, allowing them to go on dates, explore the island, or conduct some seriously urgent research. While cat dates are great, focusing solely on this element of your adventure will definitely undermine the overall experience. Research, exploration, and dates all interlink, providing the potential to unlock new research opportunities as you get to know more about the surrounding island and its inhabitants.
Completing three research tasks concludes your time on this cat infested island. As a result, it’s quite obvious that trawling through the rest of the island is essential in order to complete the game’s research beaker. Overall this might seem like an extremely short scientific expedition, but an unusually dark twist hits the reset button on this stat screen, and players get five more chapters to chase down more kittens.
These dark narrative twists are hidden below a quite charming facade. BAE knows how preposterous their title is, and seem to actively play on this. While the human cast are a seemingly suspicious bunch, the cat’s characters are far less sinister. Major, also known as Floofybutt, is a fantastic example. A bright orange ball of fluff, Major is a pretentious know it all that is ready to lecture just about anybody and appears to be one of the more challenging cats to charm. The remaining five cats, can be wooed as the game resets. Just like many similar titles, the final chapter of Purrfect Date appears to contain fresh, and interesting twists that I cannot reveal. Suffice to say the witty writing is deceptively dark at times, and full of some great self-effacing fun.
Purrfect Date’s visuals are a great accompaniment to the game’s piffy script. While other dating sims, like Hatoful boyfriend, are full of crisp clean lines and high-fidelity graphics. Purrfect Date is a little rougher around the edges. Hand-drawn stills are used effectively and remind me of some classic British comic books that are bursting with mischief. The overall aesthetic is likely to be fairly polarizing, and probably indicative of your reaction to this game. It is a rough, bright, boisterous depiction of a very offbeat adventure. If the visuals are not to your liking then you might have little trouble with the rest of the game.
Soundtracks can also have a massive impact on the tone of any game. Games like RiME and The Sexy Brutale are excellent examples of a soundscape that immerses the player in their adventure. Purrfect Date, unfortunately, misses the mark by more than a cat’s whisker. The audio landscape should really be as mysterious as Cat Island. Instead it feels like placid rolling hills, undulating but never surprising you. I shifts rarely and with no other audio effects, I found it more effective to disable the sound and concentrate on my research.
Ultimately, I found Purrfect Date to be a fun distraction. It is not the longest, slickest, or most evocative title sometimes. It does, however, have a surprising amount to do, and under the bubbly facade it takes a very unusual concept and weaves a slightly twisted tale. Do not let looks deceive you, this is more than just a series of cat puns. Purrfect Date is out now and available via Steam.