A couple of months ago I discovered a game for sale on the Nintendo Store called Cat Quest. It was $5 but with my coin credits I only ended up spending about $3 and change. At the time I was in Iceland, preparing to go to school and on my own in a new house, new city, new country and new culture and my anxiety was high. Cat Quest seemed like a fun little game, but I didn’t expect it to help as much with my mental health as it did.
Cat Quest II is the same formula but improved. In the first game you played the Dragonblood, an unassuming hero on a journey to find your sister and along the way save all of catkind from the return of dragons. In the sequel you and your doggie pal are the dethroned kings of Felingard and their aggressive neighbor the Lupus Empire. The world is bigger and better than ever, and now comes with co-op (although unfortunately for me it’s local only). Cats and dogs have been involved in a long, aggressive war with each other and it’s up to you and your companion to defeat the evil tyrants, reclaim your thrones and bring peace to the world!
Cat Quest II keeps the same basic formula as the first one. The controls are simple, and combat is largely based on timing and button mashing. The weapon and magic systems have both been expanded, and there’s still room to tailor your character to a more magic or physical DPS based playstyle. You can also equip whichever character you’re playing to pick up the slack if you’re playing solo and you can swap back and forth between both at will.
In addition to a strong, amusing and epic main quest there are also plenty of cute/funny/punny side quests to do, dungeons to explore, and awesome little easter eggs to find (for instance the first game has a Cathulu hiding in the middle of the ocean). Some recurring characters are back but there’s plenty of new friends to meet and it’s not necessary to have played the first game to enjoy this one, but having done so will make the experience more enjoyable.
I have a couple little nitpicks, but they really are nitpicks. The companion combat AI could be a little bit better, but they’re not dying all the time, and the level suggestion for the main quests and side quests has been replaced with a difficulty meter which makes it harder for me to gauge what I’m strong enough to do. I also still haven’t figured out a good way to tell which fast travel point leads where outside of memorization but that might just be me being thick.
While the original game had a mix of cringy and amazing but all hilarious cat-related puns, Cat Quest II also has dog related puns (my favourite so far being Amuttdeus Woofgang and Furvaldi). It seems like there’s even more to do in the sequel, in part to the larger world map (and the first game had a pretty decent size map) made easier to navigate by a proper map menu in the pause screen. I also feel like I’m levelling up quicker than I did in the first, and combat is made a little bit easier by having your AI (or human if you have real life and not online friends) partner bop enemies every so often.
I’m having the time of my life with this game. Just like the first one I keep going back to playing it and it’s having the same calming effect on my mind and body. I heartily recommend it for anyone looking for a simple (but not necessarily easy), funny game with great art and music to boot.