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About the Story
You are the new cat, but you do not have a name. Today, He has left the door to your place open. If you explore the new world, can you get a name?
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Number of Reviews: 3
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In this game you are a kitten exploring your owner's house from a kittenly perspective. This is an interesting idea for a short, atmospheric piece, but unfortunately the narrative voice is very uneven over the course of the game, which is deadly for something trying to be atmospheric. For example, you don't know what certain common household objects such as (Spoiler - click to show)walls and doors are supposed to be called, instead calling them something else, but the text of the game sometimes uses the words (Spoiler - click to show)walls and doors to describe those things anyway-- oversights I suppose. Also it seems strange that a kitten wouldn't know what (Spoiler - click to show)walls and doors are, but would know what words like "plethora", "threshold", (Spoiler - click to show)"palace", "phone", etc, mean. In fact the gap in the PC's vocabulary is apparently almost completely limited to (Spoiler - click to show)the correct words for walls and doors.
Implementation also is spotty, with many reasonable synonyms missing. And by reasonable synonyms, I mean in many cases what the game itself calls a particular noun. For example there is an object that the game calls a (Spoiler - click to show)metal box, but the player cannot refer to it as the (Spoiler - click to show)the metal, or the box, and calling it the metal box causes a disambiguation prompt: which do you mean, the Ftop or the fridge?. But of course the whole shtick of this game is that the PC isn't supposed to know what such things as a (Spoiler - click to show)"fridge" are, so why does the game even call it the (Spoiler - click to show)fridge, let alone require the player to call it that, refusing to accept the terminology the game's output itself uses? This isn't the fault of Inform of course, since Inform will handle much of the synonyming automatically if you give objects natural, fully written-out names (including all modifiers) instead of weird programmer-ish abbreviations like (Spoiler - click to show)"ftop".
These issues kind of kill the atmosphere of the game, but atmosphere is what a piece like this is all about: looking at the world that is familiar to the player, but alien to the PC. Instead it ends up dangerously close to being a glorified "My Apartment" game, except with neologisms where (Spoiler - click to show)"walls" and "doors" would be, and otherwise described almost exactly as one would describe a house or apartment to a human. So overall, it's a decent effort with an interesting idea, but the actual execution results in a pretty mediocre experience.
(Note that this relates to version 3, the newest release of this game at this time. Hopefully the author can fix a few of these issues.)
This game is a li’l bit similar to Snack Time, wherein you view a typical human environment through an animal’s eyes. This kind of game works when there is charm and puzzles/actions which hinge on understanding the perspective and making use of it.
One big problem is that ‘look’ doesn’t produce a description of the room you’re in. In an exploration game, this is a very strange omission. Also, for an exploration game, a lot of things aren’t really implemented. (Spoiler - click to show)I don’t understand how examining a object lets you know its name.
The limits of your understanding also seem arbitrary: you don’t know what walls and doors are, calling them ‘ows’ and ‘mows’, yet you know what (Spoiler - click to show)‘metal’ is, even ‘bathroom’, even though a moment ago you were calling it a dark room smelling of water.
The inconsistencies make immersion into the game difficult. Even if the premise is very cute, I found it hard to get into the flow of the thing, because a lot of objects were described in rather generic, sterile ways... unlike a kitten.
I really enjoyed this game. It's a great example of character exposition through description. Hint: (Spoiler - click to show)Smell everything.
A very short game, that you'll probably want to play through a few times and explore. Fun, and playful. The adaptive hints are useful, though I think I may have been better off switching them off and exploring more. The snippits of a bigger backstory are interesting, and the game world is well thought out and implemented.
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Games in which the PC is a cat, or which revolve closely around a particular cat. Generally pleasant games. I have thought about whether I should include Taghairm, but... well.
Oh, You BEAST: Games where you're an animal! by Ghalev
I know of a small handful of games where you play a beast, and I want to know of more. (By beast I mean a cat, a dog, a chicken, an orangutan, that kind of thing ... not looking for mythical monsters and not looking for part-timers, so...