Cateau Review – The Cat Whisperer
Cats might be strange creatures to you and I, but there is a way to crack their mysterious code of meows and purrs. Lemon Curd Games’ Cateau has players setting out to win the hearts of three different cats – should you channel your inner Jackson Galaxy in this visual novel?
Life is swell for the protagonist in Cateau. This self-named character is living it up in Paris, working evenings at a newspaper. Their friend and roommate Roselle plays a major part in their life too, dabbling in her studies of vet medicine when she’s not on her computer. Nothing seems too out of the ordinary until three cats pop up.
These three felines (which the player can name) have distinctly different personalities. A scruffy cat that is known to pick fights likes to hang out near the bridge, while a skittish kitten with a collar can be found downtown. There’s also a fluffy fellow that has made its new home near a bakery. They all have different needs too – the treats that one may crave might be less appealing to another.
Presented in a visual novel-style format, players will interact with these cats through a number of different choices at key moments. Story is text-driven, with detailed cartoonish drawings to show each one’s personality. Art is top notch, and the music features a number of mellow beats that give it a relaxing and almost serene atmosphere.
Much like Atlus’ Persona series, some choices play out better than others. It can be tricky to figure out the best way to get a cat out of a tree or how to capture the perfect photo, but there is no serious penalty for choosing incorrectly. There are some different scenarios that depend on how things go, but it can be entertaining to see how things pan out. Those that are familiar with cat mannerisms will come out ahead, but even dog people may figure out the right thing to do the first time around. Those that pick the ideal choice will receive a reassuring tone, while the wrong choice will sound a lot more dour. Perfectionists need not worry though, as the ability to rewind back to the beginning of a section is available with the press of a button.
It’s just a shame that this tale is over before it even begins. Though it is a free release, we were disappointed to see it end after a short 30 minutes. Those looking for a deep tome full of twists and turns will not find it here – the light and airy tone focuses squarely on the cats rather than human drama. Whether these things are deal breakers is something for the player to decide.
Those with a love of visual novels, good art, or fur babies will enjoy Cateau. Though it ends far too soon, it provides a wholesome romp filled with three distinct personalities.
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