Cat Story is a free and fun Adventure & Simulation hybrid game about exploration, discovery and starting a new life in an unknown island. The game is in the same vein with many of the popular titles such as CastleVille, Gnome Town and Botkin’s Hidden Cave but optimized for the touch-screen experience with intuitive control and brand new storyline and contents.
Cat Story, as the title implies, stars a unique group of feline explorers who has been shipwrecked but luckily didn’t drown. They managed to arrive at an unknown hurricane-hit island but lost contact with each other and were trapped in different areas. You play the role of a cat in the game and you will try to find and gather your friends together rescuing them out of plight – a tree surrounding by the villains, a swamp or a patch of poisonous mushrooms. But before you set off for adventure in distant regions, you need to set up a base where you can keep yourself fed and collect necessary materials needed to reach your friends.
Compared to adventurous exploration, city-building simulation actually plays a heavier role in Cat Story. You will clear the beach to collect wood and stones while clearing enough space to build huts, plant veggies and wheat, raise animals and set up other facilities. There is not the usual Energy Bar to set the game pace. Instead, you can play as long as you can if only you can manage the balance of coins, food and a variety of other resources.
In the game you collect coins from residential houses and completion of quests and use them in improving your life in the tropical land – open up to grow food, build shelters and workshops to make products and craft items and tools, and level up useful facilities to fully exploit their usage. Then, from veggie lands, animals and natural bushes you can harvest food that is required and consumed to fuel the diverse factory-like buildings like Sawmill and Fishers’ House to get other resources like wood and fish. And the resources in turn go to different structures like kitchen, smokehouse, mill, camp pot, etc. to produce more complex goods, which can be either sold in the market to earn coins or consumed to complete different missions. All resources go in circle. The process of development is the management of all in balance.
You will have endless tasks in the game that guide you to develop your new home, gather all lost friends together, meet and help the local islanders and unveil the mysteries and secrets of the unknown land. And there are quite many facilities you can establish and use to gain resources without harming the environments and craft a wide collection of new items and necessity. Although there is no Energy system, you will encounter the forced pause during which you wait for the completion of construction or upgrading, for harvest of resources, products or items or for the accumulation of certain resources to proceed.
It takes time to gain enough coins and gather resources to buy new structures or upgrade existing ones. And the fastest, free way to grow is constant in-and-off-and-in, which in fact demands more attention than contemporary yet continuous play. As always, you can find a hard currency, the Rubies, which allows you to play Cat Story in a more comfortable and faster manner. You can spend Rubies on purchasing exclusive items and all resources or on speeding up the completion of any projects.
In-game art design is detail-oriented and crisp. It not only presents a beautiful and mysterious tropical island but also incorporates a day-night shift and weather change. As you occupy yourself in the chores, you will naturally slide into the dimness and then darkness and then brace the first ray of sunshine that casts the shadows of crossing birds on your veggie patches as the morning arrives again. The beauty of the land, the light and shadows and the stylish animation all make the casual gameplay more immersive and enjoyable.
Cat Story has polished graphics, intriguing detective-style storyline and solid simulation with traditional time management gameplay. It intrigues you to find the mysteries of the island as you start a new life here. Though it is a slow process, there perhaps comes the day when you can choose to return home. It is a wonderful choice for pastime.