Singapore-based developers The Gentlebros released Cat Quest back in 2017. Filled with adorable kitty cats and non-stop cat puns, the adventure-RPG became quite a hit. I had the pleasure of playing the game only for a couple of hours, that’s when my wife (who absolutely loves cats even more than I do) snatched my iPad away so she could play it instead. Fast forward to the present and we’ve got Cat Quest 2. The follow-up promises to provide more lighthearted humor and furry pals, and it even has co-op play. Will Cat Quest 2 exceed expectations? Or will you end up spitting it out like furball? Let’s find out in our official review.
Note: Of course, we’ve also got our Cat Quest 2 guides and features hub to help you out with other concerns.
The Story So Far
The first Cat Quest game baddies kidnap your sister and it was up to your fluffy character to save her. Cat Quest 2, meanwhile, tries to mix it up with a bit more fantasy and mythology. The game’s plot tells of a world at peace under the joint rule of the wise cat and dog kings. However, a powerful weapon known as the Kingsblade changed all that. Cats and dogs started vying for control afterward.
Eventually, the Kingsblade was shattered. Myth and legend faded, and the world was divided into the realm of cats (Felingard) and dogs (The Lupus Empire). This is when the descendants of the divine rulers managed to pop up as prophecy foretold. Characters even call you “Your Meowjesty” to take note of forgotten reigns in both kingdoms.
That’s the gist of Cat Quest 2‘s plot. It’s whimsical and, yes, quite shallow. But, in a game where you play as a kitten and a pup, with numerous cat and dog puns thrown in, you can’t really expect the game to take itself too seriously.
Cat Quest 2‘s core strength, much like the first game, lies in its use of classic adventure-RPG mechanics. You’ve got a top-down overland map which your characters can freely explore. The art style and presentation are quite adorable and endearing, with various moments that will leave you in “aww” — as in, “Aww, that’s so cute!”
Numerous enemies dot the countryside, and there are a number of dungeons and treasure chests here and there. Players might reminisce fondly about the olden days of yore with games such as The Legend of Zelda given Cat Quest 2‘s style.
Rather than turning into a fairly slow affair, Cat Quest 2‘s action can be a little fast and frantic as well. While you do have only one button which you can use to attack with your weapon, you have an assortment of spells and up to four can be equipped at a time. Given that you have two characters, you can have over half a dozen spells equipped as you continue adventuring.
Since the overland map and dungeons are littered with enemies, you’ll be facing a number of challenges. Most enemy skills rely on an AoE attack denoted by an expanding red circle as well as an effect outline for various spells they may use. When you combine these with other factors such as dodging, spellcasting, and mini-towers that lob deadly orbs, it becomes less of a standard adventure-RPG romp and more of a “lite bullet hell” type of game.
Indeed, there were a few times when my wife had exclaimed in exasperation because too many things were going on, a lot more than what she had gotten used to in the original game. That’s not to say that the added action in Cat Quest 2 is a bad thing. It’s just that it requires a bit of adjustment as well as some coordination. This is especially when you’re in the heat of battle and you don’t want to accidentally roll into an enemy’s attack that was triggered by your partner’s proximity to that enemy. (That happens very often, mind you.)
Dungeon Cat Crawlers
There are dozens of dungeons that you can explore in Cat Quest 2. Some are part of the main questline which you’ll be following if you wish to progress through the story. Others, meanwhile, are part of sidequests. And, of course, there are those that you can delve into that aren’t tied to any objective.
Most dungeons will follow a relatively familiar pattern. You spot some chests that can be opened, so just go ahead and grab your loot. One chest might be locked behind a “monstrous power” which means you need to kill all the enemies inside that dungeon first before getting your loot. There are also some secret chests that can only be found if you follow hidden paths inside these dungeons. Grabbing these chests will, finally, notify you that the dungeon is complete. Lastly, you’ve also got Golden Chests that provide some cool endgame items.
Note: Dungeons that haven’t been explored yet will have a question mark next to them. Dungeons that still have rewards left for you to discover would have a diamond marker. Lastly, dungeons that have been fully explored will no longer have any markings.
Of Cats And Dogs
The original Cat Quest only had one continent (Felingard) with a few islands off to the side. Cat Quest 2 doubles the feline fun by adding some canine companionship. After all, when the second character is a dog, then the second continent (The Lupus Empire) has to be filled with dogs too, right?
The Lupus Empire, which you’ll get to visit fairly early on as part of the main quest, would have a number of dungeons and sidequests to tackle as well. Of course, you’d meet new pals to help you along the way such as Hotto Doggo, who’s probably a Japanese Shiba Inu with some samurai moves. Oh, and he also doubles as another blacksmith who lets you upgrade your weapons.
Speaking of weapons, you would find an assortment in Cat Quest 2. Swords, maces, and axes all function similarly since you need to be in melee range. The difference is that each weapon type will have a corresponding boost to a certain stat. The same goes for armor pieces which can be upgraded by a feline NPC, Kit Cat. Wands and staves are also in the game and they let you do ranged attacks.
Magic spells can also be upgraded in the “Arcane Headpawters.” You’ve got more than a handful of wizardry wonders from lightning strikes, flame AoE casting, protective barriers, berserk attack boosters, and healing. Magic spells cost mana which is replenished as you land hits on enemies.
Furry Feline Friends
I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about Cat Quest 2‘s multiplayer co-op feature. If for one thing, my wife and I no longer need to pass the iPad around just to be able to play the same game. Couch co-op in Cat Quest 2 is quite seamless and “purr-fect.”
It is, however, worth noting that couch co-op will have your characters somewhat tethered. Yes, you and a partner can freely explore Cat Quest 2‘s map, but you won’t end up seeing each other anymore once you reach the edge of the screen and you’re too far away from each other. Similarly, healing via save points will require each player to interact with the marker (compared to solo play which heals both characters at the same time). Starting quests or talking to NPCs may also require both players to be at the same spots to continue progress.
In any case, I had her use an Xbox 360 gamepad while I tested out the keyboard and mouse controls, and things went amazingly well. The controls were tight and intuitive, and we hardly have complaints in this regard. Movement using the keyboard is via the WASD keys, attacks via the left mouseclick or enter key, and dodging/rolling via the spacebar. For gamepad users (and it’s ideal to use a gamepad, mind you), movement is done using the analog stick, attacks are done by using the “X” button, and dodging via the “A” button. Spells can be remapped on four specific keys on the keyboard and through the shoulder/trigger buttons on a gamepad.
You can start Cat Quest 2 solo or with a friend, and you can toggle between these options at any time. By the time she went to bed, I simply paused the game and set the mode back to “Play Solo” and player 2 became AI-controlled.
Furry Feline Failures
When you switch to an AI-controlled companion, well, that’s when Cat Quest 2 starts to become frustrating. That’s because the AI is horrendously inept. Oftentimes, my teammate was just charging into an enemy’s attack, getting mauled within a couple of hits. I thought this was due to having a melee weapon. Naturally, I switched to a ranged wand and, lo and behold, the AI still kept committing the same grievous mistakes.
Now, there were times when it was smart enough to dodge/roll away from the attack swings of mobs. Unfortunately, the AI-controlled character would often roll into another enemy which leads to an additional mob getting “aggro’d.” At other times, it would end up teleporting near me at the exact moment that I had to dodge an enemy’s attack (leading to my AI companion suffering from that blow).
You might also want to just equip all the spells on your controlled character. That’s because the AI does a terrible job at casting spells, oftentimes hitting nothing but empty locations. By playing Cat Quest 2 solo, I found myself babysitting — or rather, pet sitting — another character. Although you can switch between the two characters while playing solo, it just leads to the non-player-controlled character still screwing up badly. For the most part, the AI companion was a distraction for hostiles to target while I wail away on them.
If you have a partner who’s keen on playing the game with you, then that’s great because you can plan and coordinate your attacks. If not, then be prepared to get annoyed at the AI’s incompetence.
Throw The Dog A Bone
Although my wife and I had no problem with couch co-op and controls, the main issue we did have was with Cat Quest 2‘s interface. Certain enemies have resistances and you may want to try out a different weapon. To do that, you’d have to open the menu, switch to the character that has that weapon, unequip it (and equip something else), switch to the other character, and then equip that weapon. The same goes for spells. It does become tedious after a while when you’re switching back and forth.
Allowing characters to quickly swap weapons, or being able to rebind them to other keys (or the D-pad which is also used for movement despite the analog stick already having that function), might be worthwhile QOL improvements.
Perhaps the biggest flaw of Cat Quest 2, much like the first game, is that it does become repetitive after a few hours of playing. Unlike adventure-RPG classics that had a compelling and deep narrative that complemented in-game mechanics, Cat Quest 2 suffers from cat puns and doggie jokes that become tiresome in due course. Though my wife and I love taking care of our pets, Cat Quest 2 already had our eyes drooping since it couldn’t keep us engaged and enamored for longer periods.
Note: I did let my four-year-old try the game for a while. But, since we’re playing on a 72-inch TV, I decided it’s best not to increase his screen time. Still, he did find the characters cute, though he’s not quite used to these types of games just yet.
Cat Quest 2 isn’t necessarily a bad game. As mentioned, you can pour in several hours as you progress through the story. You can collect more loot or find more secrets, and the developers are even planning on a New Game+ mode. The graphics aren’t demanding at all, and older rigs can definitely run it. Cat Quest 2‘s visuals and characters are also delightful. The game has a unique charm that’s sure to be pleasing to any cat or dog lover, to those looking for a fun, lighthearted romp, or for the younger gamers out there. As mentioned, couch co-op would be “purr-fect” for family members and friends joining in.
Unfortunately, the unvaried and routine-like experience can overshadow some positive factors, and Cat Quest 2 is better played in short bursts. The combat, eventually, becomes bogged down into dodging, slashing, and button-mashing, followed by a spell or two getting cast. Lather, rinse, repeat this entire process — along with the AI messing up as usual — as you keep rolling to the next quest dialogue to see another variation of “meow” or “fur.” It’s cute, and it does what it sets out to do, but mere cuteness could’ve been more especially for a sequel that needed that extra depth.