The Purring Quest
The Purring Quest is the heartwarming tale of Kimchi the cat who goes on a dangerous quest to track down his lost owner. We don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but the reason for his owner’s abrupt departure is quite sad, which makes the quest even more touching. Although it is a platform title, Kimchi is just an ordinary cat and not the usual anthropomorphic animal hero so often found in the genre. The moving story and feline protagonist should be enough to pique the interest of the average ailurophile, but underneath the cute exterior is a pretty good game as well.
Kimchi starts his quest in the cemetery and must travel through five levels, including a village, Gothic quarter, city and skyscrapers. In addition to the myriad of platforms that must be traversed, Kimchi also has to face the dangers found in each location. Rats can be disposed of with a few well timed paw swipes, but dogs must be avoided at all cost. Then there are also pigeons, moles, frogs, electricity, old ladies and falling plants to contend with. At the end of each level you also need to face some type of unique boss challenge. These range from perilous climbs while avoiding pigeons to a rhythm action mini game and even evading a helicopter!
While five levels might not sound like much, each one features beautiful hand drawn graphics and smooth, 2D animations. It is clear from the way that Kimchi moves around that the person doing the animation is very familiar with cats. The colorful visuals and the fact that you bump into cats made famous by the internet along the way make the levels fun to explore. The levels are for the most part relatively straightforward left to right affairs, but while you can speed through them it is worth slowing down. This way you will not only see some of the clever visual touches added to the backgrounds, but can also search for the caged kitties hidden on each level. Freeing all of them adds an extra challenge to the game, along with the fish bone collectibles scattered about. In fact, finding all the collectibles opens up a secret ending, so they are well worth tracking down.
Kimchi can be controlled using either a keyboard or controller, but both options felt a little stiff to us. The developers have made some improvements to the controls since the release of the game, but it still doesn’t feel as smooth as we would have liked. The biggest change was an update that added the choice between two jumping styles; either a double-jump or the original long jump. The latter is obviously the most realistic, but the double jump adds a better flow to the action in our opinion.
Kimchi is also able to climb up vines and hide behind certain objects, including a cardboard box he acquires. His only attack is a claw swipe, but don’t worry about blood or gore as enemies simply disappear in a puff of smoke when defeated. The audio consists of plenty of cat sounds along with a nice orchestral soundtrack, which is actually quite atmospheric.
Overall the game isn’t that difficult and most players should have no trouble completing the five levels. Each level has a few checkpoints and Kimchi has seven lives, which means he can get hurt seven times before it is game over. The exceptions are dogs and long falls, both of which cost Kimchi a life and returns him to the last checkpoint. Don’t worry about running out of lives either as you are allowed to continue with a fresh set after losing all of them.
There are longer, more challenging and better looking platform games available on PC, but The Purring Quest is absorbing despite its short length. The adorable feline protagonist is obviously another plus, provide you are a cat fan of course. We would have liked to see a couple more levels as the five on offer can be completed rather quickly, but finding all the hidden cats and collecting all the fish bones does add some replay value.
If you are looking for a platform game with clever new gameplay mechanics and challenging puzzles you can skip The Purring Quest, However, if you are looking for something fun and non-violent then you can’t go wrong with this game. Even better, the developers are donating a percentage of the profits to various animal welfare associations, so you’ll be supporting a good cause too.