When I was a kid, my friends and I used to play a lot of imaginary games including one where we were pioneers who owned an inn and one where we famous equestrians and we jumped over obstacles made from lawn chairs and broom handles. We also played Cats a LOT. We each had our own feline identities and we’d create stories around the characters, from where they were born, why they were “lost in the woods” as we generally decided, and what adventures they’d go on next.
Fast forward to 2017 and a brand new indie game called Cattails is bringing my childhood fantasy of playing Cats to life in the digital realm with their open world cat and wildlife simulator.
In this game, you will start as a cat in a forest colony, ready to hunt, explore, and survive alongside other colonies, some friend, some foe.
I recently had a chance to play a pre-alpha version of the game (and I’ll be sharing my video soon!) and it’s absolutely beautiful. Even in its first phase — with a final release date coming late 2017 — the game is exactly what I wanted it to be.
Cattails is in funding mode with Kickstarter right now, and at the time that I’m writing this, they’ve actually already hit over 200% of their goal, and were fully funded within HOURS of their launch. So exciting! They’ve since added stretch goals and they’ve been crushing them one-by-one, including a goal to add Mac support, which I’m definitely excited about, being a total Apple nerd 😉
Here are a few of my favourite things about the game so far, and why I think it deserves a spot in your future gaming library:
The soundtrack is mesmerizing. There’s SO much that goes into composing an original soundtrack for a game and this score has such a perfect feel to it. It sounds exactly how you would want it to and I think if you watch the video you’ll know exactly what I mean. The development team is putting a lot of their funding into music alone (learn about the composer on the Kickstarter page), so this is an important aspect of the game and deserves ever bit of credit possible. (The songs are literally already stuck in my head.)
The pixel art is adorable. The way the cats move, and the animations when pouncing or stalking a creature make me smile every single time. The trees are lovely, the way the grass moves, and how your character interacts with the environment is seamless, especially considering this is pre-alpha and we know there are going to be changes. Love it. I even found a log to crawl through… which I may have done about 2394 times. I’ve dabbed in RPG style game design and creating layers to manipulate your character in and around is complex at best. I will always appreciate how much work goes into creating games that run smoothly.
Time progression and weather dynamics make a game immersive. You really start to tell a story when time is moving and the scenery around you starts to change. You can tell there’s a passing of time and it changes how you play a game. I love that this has been a part of their planning and I know it’s going to make the game that much more exciting that if we were in an forever-summer sort of world.
Cattails is also hitting Steam Greenlight today (Thursday April 6th) so be sure to click here and vote for them! Getting Greenlit on Steam is a HUGE deal, especially for indie titles like this, and I know it’s going to help the dev team at Falcon Development — husband and wife, Tyler and Rebekah Thompson — get this awesome game into more hands and onto more screens.
Pixel art games like Cattails are a beautiful blend of nostalgia mixed with modern gaming trends. Sandbox games allow you to create your own stories within the scope of what’s been built, which means that no matter who you are or what your ideal narrative is, you can find it within the games and tailor your experience to it.
So far, Cattails has a sweet sense of humour (especially for the descriptions when you hunt a little creature for dinner!) that both entertaining to adults, but not crude or over the heads of children. I can see this becoming a family favourite — my eight-year-old gives it two enthusiastic thumbs up!
How can you support Cattails and Falcon Development? Here are a few ways:
- Back their Kickstarter (for as little as $15 with other higher pledges to get more bonuses and special items — I went with the Abyssinian Alpha!)
- Vote for Cattails via Steam Greenlight and encourage your friends to do the same
- Follow them on Twitter at @cattailsgame and @FalconDevelops (give them a shoutout or RT their tweets!)
- Like the Cattails Facebook page (and share their posts!)
- Visit the Cattails website and sign up for their newsletter to get updates
Supporting indie developers is important.
It keeps gaming fresh and inventive. We support them for the same reason that we strive to shop local or buy handmade. We do it because creative people deserve recognition, especially when they’ve made something wonderful. And Cattails IS wonderful. I hope you’ll join me in supporting Cattails on Kickstarter (even a $1 pledge will get your name in the credits!) and in any other way that you can.
Thanks again to Tyler and Rebekah for allowing me to check out the pre-alpha version of Cattails. I’m already hooked on it and I can’t wait to share my video series with you guys. Subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss upcoming episodes.