If you have never stepped foot into a comic book or gaming convention, I strongly urge you to do so. Last month I was blessed with a press pass to the Indianapolis based Indy Pop Con, where I had a chance to check out tons of cool art, books, celebrity panels, and most importantly, indie video games. One of my favorites from the convention won my heart with the very first words the creator said to me: “Do you like cats?”
Cattails is a passion project of Lead Programmer Tyler Thompson, who has already successfully ran a Kickstarter campaign to bring his game closer to the mainstream release he has set his sights on. Cattails was described to me by the creator himself as a cat-based life simulator, much in the same vein as Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon. The player creates their cat avatar which they use to discover new lands, stalk mice, engage in intense cat fights, and even find kitty love in a cat town with a dynamic social system. However, Cattails does enough to stand apart from contemporaries such as Stardew Valley.
When I sat down with Cattails I was instantly charmed. The handcrafted soundtrack accompanied the playful curiosity one would foster stepping into the fluffy paws of a feline. The world was absolutely gigantic and you’re given free reign pretty quickly. Playing into the curiosity of a cat, I immediately attempted to find the edge of the world. It felt like I was tearing through the map for a solid 10 minutes, but ultimately I was selfishly hogging the Cattail booth for too long and had to give up the edge of the world quest. Cattails perfectly delivered the feeling of being a tiny creature in a huge world.
After I was satisfied with a good bit of exploration I tried out the dynamic social system, naturally, by killing a mouse and giving it to the first cat I saw. As someone whose cat has dropped a dead rodent at his feet, I can tell you that it’s not a fun time. However, the cats in my village praised me as a hero for slaying the tiny beast and looked upon me with avarice for my accomplishments.
Cattails took a silly premise on paper, “Cat RPG”, and instead opted for a route that was beautifully sincere; I didn’t feel like Cattails played up the cat angle for the meme of it like some other titles do. The game I played was absolutely relaxing; a slice-of-life simulator that happened to star cats in a role we haven’t really seen them in before.
Cattails has a soft release date of December 2017 on PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam. However, the game features full controller support and the creator wasn’t striking out the possibility of a console port sometime in the future.
You can check out the official website here, and the Steam page here.