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1 Sept 2023

REVIEW: Cats and the Other Lives on XBOX

Review By Jon Donnis
Today we have an unusual game, a point and click game that has been converted to Xbox, that features you in control of a cat within a narrative story.

The story is set after the passing of Bernard Mason, the family patriarch, all the remaining members of the Mason clan return to their childhood home one last time. In this unique game experience, players step into the paws of Aspen, the household cat, embarking on a captivating journey through the hopes, disappointments, and regrets of the enigmatic Mason family, spanning decades of their intricate narrative.

This game offers an interesting point-and-click play style that pays homage to the behaviours of everyday house cats from around the world. As Aspen, you'll explore the simple areas of the house, is this feline companion just a pet or does it harbour a more mysterious role in our lives.

The cat has no special powers or abilities, it is literally just a cat, the object of the game is to unravel the story of the Mason Family. You will listen in to conversations, solve puzzles, and in general do cat things like follow scents, chasing a mouse, causing chaos during family dinners and so on.

The game is rendered in 2D pixel style art.

Also, worth noting that a portion of the proceeds from "Cats and the Other Lives" is dedicated to funding medical operations for street cats.

The Good
An interesting concept for a mainly story based type of game, I liked the 2D pixel art, and the game looks great.

The Bad
I found the controls of the cat a bit clunky, the problem is this is a PC game, and controlling the game with an Xbox gamepad just doesn't quite work, and a few times you will find yourself literally stuck, and you are unable to use the gamepad to move to a separate section, for example I was on a sofa, and could only interact with a small figurine on a side table, for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to get off the sofa, as you need a mouse to select the correct movement.

This is a PC game, not an Xbox game, so although I played this on an Xbox, I can't really recommend this unless you play with a mouse, both figuratively and literally!

An interesting concept for a game, which is very storyline heavy, might not be for those of you who prefer more of a gameplay experience. But if you enjoy narrative/storyline-based games, where you are more of a bystander, than active participant, then this game finds a happy middle point.

If you like these kinds of game, get it on PC not Xbox, as it just doesn't quite fit the gamepad experience.

I score Cats and the Other Lives on Xbox a 6/10, playing it on a PC I would give it a 7/10

Out now!

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