Developed by Roost Games and published by Freedom Games. Cat Cafe Manager is a simulation and strategy video game. It was released on 14th April 2022 on the Nintendo Switch and PC. So put your feet up, order your favourite brew and get comfy with this Cat Cafe Manager review.
Cat Cafe Manager – Lets Make Granny Proud
On the surface it begins like many simulation games, you move to a new place and step into your family’s shoes as the newcomer who can revamp the old business. Yet then there are quirky differences which keep you intrigued from the shadow cat with a quest for you and residents with interesting bits of information.
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One of my favourite things about this cosy little game is the fact that there aren’t too many buttons to press and get confused with. There’s nothing more annoying than getting your fingers in a knot trying to get your character to perform simple actions. Pressing and holding the Y button does most things for you in this game. Having said that though it can be irksome lining yourself up just right to the person/mess/cat that needs your attention to perform said action. I found standing just behind their head or just below their feet worked best.
The pace starts off lazy and slow as you may expect in a small country town but builds up and can become quite frantic within your little cafe until you unlock the slots that allow you to employ staff. Zoe was a godsend I tell you. This brings me to the shadow cat mentioned earlier. He appears one evening and takes you to an old village shrine.
Which like your cafe needs some TLC to bring it back to standard and essentially is your levelling up mechanism. The more customers and cats you keep happy the more you unlock on the levelling-up tree and more are available within your cafe regarding staff, menu, cat accessories and decor which in turn help you level up quicker.
Also to help with levelling up are the townsfolk who of course are friendly and who you can call on to come when you like. If they have a happy visit to the cafe their relationship with you will level up which also helps unlock certain perks within the shrine. The regulars also begin telling you more of the town and how a big company seems to be trying to buy everything up and may have an ulterior motive and interest within the town of Caterwaul (a great name by the way).
Graphics And Audio
The graphics are simple and cartoon-like. People look a bit square but you can tell a person from a cat. They made me think of graphics on mobile phone games. When a character is talking to you a larger version of themselves cuts onto the screen with a subtitle to read and they are more defined in these sequences.
The audio is none offensive but is the same tune over and over again. When a character “speaks” the music stops and the character says only a few of the words in the subtitle and makes emotive sounds such as a giggle, grunt or sigh for reference but the player reads the rest.
Cat Cafe Manager is a type of game the player can pick up from where they left off either after a few hours or days and still know what they were doing before they stopped, or can pick it up really quickly. There are also enough customisation options for your character and cafe that you would be happy to stop and start a new game to compare outcomes.
There may be an end game to do with stopping Hawkable Acquisitions, the company your regulars chat about, or filling your skill tree to the max but so far I’m happy just decorating my cafe and adopting out stray cats.
Cat Cafe Manager is a game you can pick up and play for while and put down. Then return too happily without wondering off the thread of your thoughts and objectives. There is some strategic aspects to the game when it comes to who to bring into your cafe to increase those resources. Then whether more staff is more urgent than having a better toilet. However each day goes by pretty quickly so its easy to obtain both.
I enjoyed the game and wanted to know what would happen to the town. And the townsfolk within the grasp of Hawkable. So it comes with some emotional investment or can just be another build and manage a business sim. Therefore I give Cat Cafe Manager the Thumb Culture Gold Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.