Cat Quest is an open world RPG that’s filled with more cat puns than an episode of ALF. It’s adorably drawn, effortlessly cute, and it’s been a fan favorite on Steam and mobile for a while now. But is the Gentlebros’ game actually worth a purchase? That’s what we aim to find out. This is our Cat Quest review for the Nintendo Switch.
The story of Cat Quest is straightforward enough, at the start. Long ago, there were cats who could wield powerful magic and fight back the onslaught of dragons. These were called the Dragonblood. One day, you’re at sea with your sister when a powerful evil mage kitty takes your sister and leaves you for dead. You wake up with a mark on your head… you’ve been designated a Dragonblood. And thus, you set off to help the world and save your sister from the evil mage… all while uncovering the mystery of where the Dragonblood come from.
Action plays out in traditional hack-and-slash format, kind of like top-down Zeldas of old. A button to attack, a button to dodge roll out of harm’s way, and as you earn spells you map four of them to the R and L buttons. Combat is a joy in Cat Quest, really. Simple enough to pick up for anyone, but facing off against tougher monsters requires patience, reflexes, and good use of spells. Even the smaller enemies of the world can hit hard as heck, especially if you’re somewhere you shouldn’t be too early.
There are loads of quests to pick up across the world, alongside the main story, so if you’re having trouble progressing simply looking for the next town or NPC kitten with a ! over their head can get you some XP and rewards. There are blacksmiths and mage huts scattered across the land too, which you can visit and spend your hard-won gold at to increase your spells’ power, pick up new gear, or learn new spells. Nothing about Cat Quest is overly complex, and that could be its weakest point.
It’s not that the game isn’t good – Cat Quest is indeed very fun and incredibly charming from first moment to last. But it’s quite repetitive, making long play sessions drag on a bit. I also wish there was some way to play shared-screen co-op with a friend. Like a hired mercenary cat to help you along. My wife adores the game, and we’d play it together in a heartbeat, making the repetitive nature of hacking and slashing that much more tolerable over the long term.
You will run into some hard to beat mobs and bosses in Cat Quest, but it’s nothing a little grinding can’t fix. Find a dungeon and clear it for loot, or find a quest and complete it for XP. My only wish is that there was a way to fast travel early in the game. A lot of running back and forth grates on the nerves for sure. That, and the quests do a little too much hand-holding, clearly a design decision made assuming that lots of non-traditional RPG fans will play this cute AF little game.
All in all, you could do a whole lot worse than Cat Quest if you’re in the mood for a lighthearted RPG adventure. If you’re looking for something with a little more teeth and a little less purring, that’s what Skyrim or Zelda are for. Cat Quest is made with love, joy, and a sense of humor that’s too often forgotten in games. It’ll last you a handful of hours and has a decent amount of replayability in New Game+ and the Mew Game (additional challenge modifiers). Definitely worth a look, at an affordable $12.99.