Release Date: 12 November 2015
Developer: Valhalla Cats
If you had asked me before I played this game how good my knowledge of obscure internet cat memes was, I’d have said it was pretty top notch. The Purring Quest has taught me otherwise. This indie platformer based around internet felines only had maybe one or two moggies that I recognised!
The story’s introduction places you in the role of a cat chasing after its owner. From here you platform your way through five different levels to reach him and return his locket. Along the way you meet some famous cats who…I’d say they encourage you along, but they really don’t do anything other than recite a few lines which presumably are based on what they’re famous for.
The best thing about this game is the aesthetic, which the game ascribes to “detailed hand drawn graphics and…smooth animations made by a veteran traditional animator with experience in major studios like Disney and Warner”. It’s almost cutesy, and reminded me almost instantly of 102 Dalmatians on the GameBoy Color, which is a game that I played a lot as a child. Everything is hand drawn and has a consistent theme to it. The animations are also fantastic, especially the one you do to hide behind things, but they often transition awkwardly ruining the flow of them.
The platforming itself is difficult thanks to some pretty nasty controls, you lose any momentum immediately and the jumping feels too heavy especially when you use the high jump. Some levels, the final one most obviously, also have a few issues where it can be difficult to tell the background from platforms. The levels themselves however aren’t very hard to get through and the majority of the games difficulty comes from collecting all the items around the level. With 200 ‘fish bones’ throughout the level and a couple of other things hidden out of the way, there’s maybe three or four hours of content in all.
Each level also ends with a different style of ‘boss’, from a combat based enemy to a difficult Assassin’s Creed-like climb. The last two of these, a Guitar Hero-type piano playing section and a speed run platforming section, were enormous difficulty spikes compared to the rest of the game and would likely cause many people to give up on it.
Overall, The Purring Quest ends up being an unfortunately mediocre platformer in an oversaturated marketplace. Its core theme isn’t strong enough to pull it through the occasionally dodgy platforming, and the general difficulty of the game will leave a lot to be desired. Still, there’s far worse out there, and every purchase will send some of the profits through to animal charities so you might want to give it a look.