Posted: May 17
"Have you ever felt like a game was made just for you? Like it was pandering to your own sensibilities and sense of humor?"
The Cat Lady is a 2D sidescrolling adventure title that features dark, macabre settings and situations. If you're sensitive about suicide or think mental illness is merely matter of willpower, you might not enjoy or understand this game.
If you want to know enough about the story, I'll talk about it here, but it'll be blacked out for those who wish to skip this part of the review. The story starts with a 40-year-old lady named Susan Ashworth, who abruptly ends her life at the beginning of the game, but instead of being brought to a traditional afterlife, she's brought to some strange place in between life and death where she meets a mysterious old woman who explains that Susan has a job to do back in the world of the living: Kill "parasites". After convincing Susan that she should give this life a chance Susan revives in a hospital wondering if she just had a really awful coma experience or if what she experienced while dead really happened.
The voice acting usually hits the mark and I feel like a lot of the characters are actually having a conversation instead of reading lines. There's a few actors who felt phoned in (two, in fact), but they're so minor it didn't really bother me.
The puzzles aren't really difficult, but sometimes finding the right item or information to progress can be frustrating. Exhausting all of the game mechanics will help you out though, as you can grab, use and examine objects, and the adventure game pro in you should always do all these things. Sometimes though you will have to just mess around with fussy positioning of your character.
There is a problem with some of the layering taking up massive amount of resources while in the highest "resolution". The resolution is probably actually 800x600, but there is some texture options that the setup offers that allow you to make the game look as it was intended with crisp background. The character models suffer a little and look a bit pixelly, but I didn't think that detracted too much from this title being that it didn't require mechanics that revolved around precision.
There are multiple endings, but I just played through it once and the ending was really emotionally satisfying.
All in all, I'd say that I really, really enjoyed my time with The Cat Lady and I think people who have similar dark tastes as I do would as well.