Cat Quest II
Players first got to experience the captivating country of Felingard a few years back when Cat Quest was released. It was a charming action-RPG that streamlined all the elements of the genre into one addictive package and then wrapped the whole thing in cat puns. Due to the success of Cat Quest, it’s no surprise that the developers have been hard at work on a sequel, which is bigger and better in every way. Players are once again returned to Felingard, but this time things have changed a bit.
Cat Quest 2 opens with the feline and canine protagonists being summoned and told that they were the former rulers of the cat and dog kingdoms. Not only have their kingdoms been usurped, but now the cats of Felingard and the dogs of the Lupus Empire are at war with each other as well. It is up to the two rightful rulers to travel through both kingdoms and attempted to broker peace once again. It’s not much a storyline, but it does provide a good excuse for the first new addition to the game, the co-op mode. The original game was a strictly solo affair, but Cat Quest 2 allows players to team up with a local partner. Although the differences between the characters are purely cosmetic, it is possible to specialize them as either a fighter or a mage, depending on the equipment you give them. Solo players need not fear either as the game will take control of your partner if you don’t have a friend nearby. In solo mode, you can also switch between the characters at any time if you want to switch things up. In essence, the additional character functions as an extra life as you can revive whoever is knocked out as long as one character is still up and running. In solo mode, the game also automatically gives you control of the other character if your character is knocked out. This feature also means that Cat Quest 2 is slightly more relaxed than its predecessor, which was already a very casual game.
Apart from the additional character, it doesn’t look like much has changed for this sequel until one examines it a bit closer. The 2D visuals are very similar to the first game, but a comparison shows that everything looks even more polished and detailed this time around. Along with the familiar country of Felingard, players now also get to explore the Lupus Empire. Compared to the lush green fields of Felingard, the canine country is a lot arider.
The game still features an open world without loading times, which makes the exploration as much fun as it was in Cat Quest. Veterans of the first game will notice a couple of familiar characters as well as enemies, but there are also plenty of new additions. The story is not a continuation of the first game, though, so this sequel can be played without any prior knowledge.
The gameplay once against consists of completing a series of story-related missions while doing side quests for extra experience and rewards. The game features a total of 67 side quests, and while the majority of them involve fetching or killing something, there are some unique ones in between as well. Pursuing these side quests and wandering off the beaten path also allows players to uncover some of the goofier elements of the game, such as encountering the developers in their feline forms. Cat Quest 2 also has more than 70 dungeons to explore, and while you don’t have to complete all of them, it’s worth doing so to get your hands on the more than 100 pieces of equipment. Speaking of equipment, the game now features melee weapons, staves, helmets, and armor to customize your character with and most of them have bonuses that they bestow as well. This makes a nice change from only being able to use swords in the original game. Equipping a staff instead of a melee weapon automatically halves your health, but does provide you with ranged attacks, which is very useful. Your character doesn’t have to have a staff to wield magic though as there are 12 spells to find and equip in the game. Some of them make a return from the first game, but there are also a couple of devastating new ones to try out. A melee-oriented character will still be able to use these spells, but will not have as much mana as a magic focussed character. This means that it’s best to have a party with one dedicated mage and one fighter to complement each other’s skills. Of course, nothing is preventing you from playing with two mages or two warriors if you want a challenge. Just keep in mind that you only have access to four spells per character at a time. As you progress through the game, you will also unlock skills, such as water walking or doing damage to enemies when you perform a dodge roll.
Although Cat Quest 2 has a couple of minor puzzles most of your time in the game will be spent exploring and fighting. Thankfully, the combat is still as much fun as it was in the first game. Combat is real-time and is initiated as soon as you come close enough to enemies on the overworld map or inside dungeons. During battle, you can attack, dodge and cast spells, but you might also have to watch out for traps, depending on where you are fighting. Enemies still telegraph their attacks with red markers, so it is easy to know when to attack and when to get out of the way. Combat is a lot more fun with a real co-op partner as the AI in the game is not always too bright. It’s best to take control of the fragile magic-user while the AI handles the slightly hardier fighter. As entertaining as the combat is, it can become a little repetitive eventually, especially when you clear out all of the dungeons in the game. Clearing a dungeon requires you to kill every enemy inhabiting it and opening up all the chests, some of which are tucked away in secret corners. However, most dungeons can be cleared in a matter of minutes. One new addition to the game that we loved is the fact that you can now see whether you have been inside a dungeon or not. The game also indicates whether a dungeon that you have previously visited has been cleared on not. This is something that made clearing out all the dungeons in the original a real chore if you didn’t manually keep track of it.
Although the game world is much larger than the original game, once you unlock the skill to walk on water, it is very easy to discover everything it has to offer. Cat Quest 2 also has certain buildings dotted around that allow players to fast travel between them, but we rarely made use of them. Completing the quests are also extremely easy as the game always has a marker showing you in which direction your next objective is. Completing just the story quests is extremely easy, so there is rarely a need to grind for levels in this game. If you do ever get stuck, it’s advisable to use your gold to upgrade your gear and spells. Your equipment is also automatically upgraded each time you find duplicate pieces, which is still a neat feature. As with the first game, Cat Quest 2 is perfectly playable with a keyboard and mouse, but it just feels more intuitive with a controller. We were surprised to hear some of the same tunes featured in the first game, but this game does have a couple of new tracks as well that fits in nicely. The sound effects are once again decent, and the cat and dog sounds are adorable. Fans of Cat Quest will remember that the game didn’t miss any opportunity to lapse into bad puns and for this sequel the developers went even more overboard with this. Some players might find it annoying, but it didn’t really bother us and did give the game a unique feel.
Overall we enjoyed our time with Cat Quest 2, and it took us about 16 hours to get 100% of the achievements. This playtime can be decreased drastically if you are someone who simply wants to complete the main storyline and maybe a couple of side missions. However, doing so will mean missing out on a lot of the optional dungeons in the game as well as some funny side questions. It would have been nice if the storyline was a bit more memorable and the casual difficulty might also deter some players, but all in all Cat Quest 2 is a very decent sequel.
- OS: Windows 7
- Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-2100 CPU @ 3.10GHz (4 CPUs), ~3.1GHz
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: Intel(R) HD Graphics 520
- Storage: 600 MB available space
- OS: Windows 10
- Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-7500U CPU @ 2.70GHz
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: Intel(R) HD Graphics 620
- DirectX: Version 12
- Storage: 600 MB available space