The Cat Lady - Destructoid

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4:40 PM on 06.21.2013

The Cat Lady is a game about a woman, Susan Ashworth, who likes cats. From the moment you see her walking through the cornfield, evening sun shining in her face, you can tell sheís had a tough life. The world has not been kind to her. You start walking. At the end of the cornfield there is a small, wooden house. The door is locked, so you keep going. Youíre suddenly on a tunnel. You pass by a car crash. A bus. An ambulance. Suddenly, the ambulanceís door opens, and a stretcher rolls out of it and onto the road. Thereís a dead body on it. Your body.†

Susanís bright green eyes still shine. Sheís dead though, and thereís a key on her mouth. You take it, and head back to the wooden house, in case itís still there. As you go back through the tunnel, the ceiling collapses behind you. Thereís a huge deer in front of the little wooden house now. When he sees you, he runs away into the woods. The cornfield is nowhere to be seen. You open the door and go into the house. Thereís a noisy machine, and next to it a hole, clumsily covered with two pieces of wood. Blood is shedding from it, and when you get close, you can hear a heart, beating.

The Cat Lady is a horror adventure game developed by Harvester Games and published by Screen 7. Itís in 2D and it is controlled exclusively with the directional buttons. Thereís an inventory system. Thereís a story about death. Also life, but mostly death. Thereís nightmares. Thereís puzzles. Sometimes the nightmares are puzzles. Other times, the puzzles are nightmares. The environments are dirty, dark, and rotten. Thereís a subtle illusion of choice and non-linearity, but itís not explicit enough to make you complain about the fact that it is, in fact, an illusion. The UI is slightly intrusive, the animation is archaic, and the character models are ugly. Itís one of the most beautiful games Iíve ever played. Thereís a few minor, unobtrusive bugs. As the interface and control scheme are pretty limited, the game never letís you panic, it never lets you run away. Itís mostly very dark, but when there is color, it shines. Susan Ashworth feels like a real person. The game is her. Sheís a bit crazy.†We all are. The game is not very challenging, especially for someone whoís played a few adventure games. Itís not a walk in the park -itís definitely not a walk in the park-, but it wonít make you look it up on the internet either. Thereís a conversation system. The characters actually talk like people instead of walking encyclopedias. It merges abstract and explicit elements quite well. Thereís explicit violence, thereís nudity and thereís bad language, but they arenít used to arouse or amuse the player, but the opposite. Itís a game that I enjoyed playing. I think you might enjoy it too.†

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