Cat Quest II is a hack-and-slash action RPG starring two playable kingly animals – a cat and a dog, referred to by their sprite-like companion as ‘Your Meowjsty’ and ‘Your Ruffingness.’ The game’s story is simple and easy to understand, the mechanics are effortless to pick up, and the puns are so frequent you kinda stop seeing them. Is the game purrfect? Of course not, but I still had a great time.
Cat Quest II begins with the prophesized re-awakening of the two kings of Felingard (Kingdom of Cats) and of the Lupus Empire (Empire of Dogs), and then the action begins. Your first adversary is legendary: some very mean hedgehogs. Don’t fret, however, your enemies do become more complex and exciting. Eventually, your foes begin to grow in size and toughness and develop resistances to certain classes of attacks, meaning that diversifying your kit comes highly recommended.
Unlike the original Cat Quest, Cat Quest II allows you to play with a friend in local co-op, or, if you’re like me and can’t be bothered to crowd around a single screen, control one king while the AI takes over the other. Very shortly into my playtime I realized that co-op is probably extremely helpful, as the AI is not what I would call IBM Watson worthy; my dog friend (king!) spent far too much time running in circles around enemies and not enough time smacking them.
Other features of the game include the ability to switch and upgrade armor and spells, as well as spells learnable from stones found throughout the game. The first Cat Quest drew its inspiration from such games as Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Skyrim, and honestly, Cat Quest II follows in their footsteps nicely. The magic stones screamed Skyrim to me, and the helpful sprite that serves as your trusty guide just as loudly shouts out Legend of Zelda.
Combat, while mostly consisting of mashing buttons and occasionally throwing out a spell, also requires timed rolls to dodge attacks that do far more damage than I was expecting. I got the feeling that it’s possible to go through most combat without getting hit once if you’re good enough, but I found it just a little too fast-paced for me.
The side-characters in Cat Quest II are all enjoyable, even if they don’t impact the story much. Side quest NPCs are fun to talk to, if only to see if this one also has an outrageously-written accent like Kit Cat, the blacksmith you help early on. I’ll say this though: the cutest thing in the game is the resting animation for the save stones – both of your kings flop down for a little cat-nap before your eyes. It’s very satisfying, in a ‘wow, animals are CUTE’ kind of way.
All in all, Cat Quest II is a truly puntacular catsperience that, more often than not, hits the mark. From the cutesy tone to the engaging combat, it’s sure to please those looking to scratch that itch for a whimsical adventure with a few feline friends. OK, and maybe a few canine ones, too. There isn’t much in the way of depth or complexity here, but the game’s visual style and sense of humor is undeniably addictive, and that you’re able to play local co-op really is the cat’s pajamas. See that little pun I wrote? Expect a lot more of that while playing, which should be enough to put a smile on your face. If you choose to explore the land of Felingard, I doubt you’ll regret it.