Games check: Cats and the Other Lives – be a house cat for once – news
The Turkish developers of Cultic Games will always have a special place in my heart because of their debut Stygian-Reign of the Old Ones (to the diary) has burned into me some “special” memories that I probably won’t soon forget. your second game Cats and the Other Lives is (fortunately) different in many ways.
While Stygian was a real role-playing game with tactical combat, Cats and the Other Lives focuses on telling a family story with a special twist: You slip into the role of the house cat Aspen, who doesn’t have any superpowers, but still has them in a way in the background pulls strings.
|Scratch tree? What if I can scratch the couch?|
Melancholic family history
The game begins with the death of your master, Bernard Mason. You are his only companion when he begins his journey into the realm of the dead in his large estate at night. The story now spans three eventful days and a shorter epilogue, during which the family of the deceased gathers for the funeral service at the Mason estate to pay their last respects to the former head of the family and to plan how to proceed with the inheritance.
As a silent observer, you quickly realize that the relationships within the family are anything but harmonious. As the story progresses, family relationships cool even further as the mystery Bernard Mason has been chasing after all these years is revealed. Allusions to supernatural powers should not be missing either.
|“Privacy” is written in extra small letters for cats.|
A normal cat
Aspen the cat doesn’t need to be able to talk or walk on two legs. He doesn’t need a funny companion or technical gadgets. He’s just “just” a house cat. The game focuses on what real cats are all about. You roam around the house and the surrounding area, overhearing conversations, being fed and petted, scratching the couch, playing with your toys, chasing mice and insects and turning three times in circles before lying down in your basket. However, some aspects, such as using a litter box, were left out.
This is done with simple point-and-click mouse control. If you keep the left mouse button pressed, you can dash around with Aspen. When you click on hotspots (which, by the way, there’s no display help), the mouse pointer will show you what you’re doing there: hop, lick, meow, and so on. While you seem to have little influence on the plot at the beginning, this changes as the game progresses.
|The roast smells good! I have to get my paws on there!|
Cats are said to be able to see things that the human eye cannot. In Cats and the Other Lives, this is one of your most important skills. In the rooms of the house you can observe and listen to what the former and current residents did and talked about there in the past. These fragments, along with your current observations, then piece together in your mind the backstory of the family.
In certain situations, with the help of an object, Aspen can pick up the owner’s scent, thereby tracking him around the house. This probably explains why all the people in the pretty pixel graphics are shown faceless. After all, other characteristics are more important for cats in order to be able to tell people apart. Noises and smells, as well as needs such as food and sleep are also displayed to you on a given occasion. The game then also suggests that you pursue it.
Of course, as an Aspen, it’s easy for you to run around on the roof to scare away crows, for example, or chase a mouse in the basement with built-in night vision. Unfortunately, this leads to some skill passages in which you have to steer your velvet paw around as quickly as possible, dodge objects and click on hotspots. I didn’t like these passages at all and should have been optional from my point of view.
There are almost no puzzles in the game. You will almost always know how to proceed. If you still get stuck, you can let the game give you tips. When I tried these for this check though, I found them mostly useless as they just repeated obvious things (in the quality of “cats like laser pointers”).
|“Driving people insane” is just one of my many cat hobbies.|
At the beginning, I found my freedom of action too limited because I was only allowed to act in defined hotspots. However, over the course of the eight hours it took me to play through, I found this limitation to be positive for the flow of the game, otherwise I would have had to frequently graze all hotspots using trial and error to continue. I was able to relate well to the role of the cat and had to grin wickedly at certain points when I deliberately caused chaos.
The family history is staged nicely and contains interesting elements, but to be honest it only interested me marginally. For me, the focus was on the cat. Hardcore adventure fans who don’t like kitties and expect tough puzzles won’t be happy here. If you can overlook the skill passages, I would recommend the game to every furball fan. German texts are included, but there is no voice output (with a few exceptions). The introductory price on Steam is discounted by 20 percent to 15.60 euros until November 28th.
- Catventure for PC
- single player
- For beginners to professionals
- Price: 19.50 euros on Steam
- In one sentence: story adventure for cat lovers