Catacomb Kitties Review (Switch)

Catacomb Kitties Review: Can You Avert the Cat-astrophe?


Catacomb kitties

I’ve never played a micro-RPG before. I’d never even heard the term before I got my hands on Riddle Fox Games’ Catacomb Kitties. The term, however, is incredibly apt. It’s a snack-sized li’l RPG that can be completed in as little as an hour, though can take upwards of a couple of hours to get through a successful run. But like so many other micro-styled games, my concern with Catacomb Kitties was that it would run afoul of the biggest shortcoming of the micro genre: gameplay too short and repetitive to make me want to come back.


It’s No Great Catsby, and That’s Okay


catacomb kitties

Considering the micro nature of Catacomb Kitties, the story is appropriately sized. Which is to say, nearly non-existent. So if you’re needing some kind of narrative to keep you playing, you’re definitely going to want to look elsewhere. That being said, I don’t feel like the game suffers from a lack of story. What’s there is perfectly serviceable – the world is ending, you need to find a magic item that will help you to defeat the Big Bad Evil (™) and… well, that’s it. And that’s okay! The game has plenty of charm and appeal to make up for it.

At the start of a run, you’ll be given a choice between six different characters, all aptly, adorably named: Stabby Cat (basically your standard Knight/Warrior class), Sparkly Cat (mage), Sneaky Cat (thief), Ninja Cat (… ninja), Witchy Cat (also self-explanatory), and Cuddly Cat (healer/cleric). Once you’ve made your selection, your adventure will begin. And let me tell you, it is an adventure full of cat memes and puns, much to my delight. Every run is completely randomized, meaning the location and layout of towns, dungeons, and items will be different each time you start a new game.


Hiss and Make Up


catacomb kitties

Although the general layout and names of the locations change, the differences aren’t really all that big. The world map is fairly limited in size, and there are usually only a couple of towns and a couple of dungeons (including the final dungeon). You’ll always begin as a level one character, and you’ll need to do some fairly considerable grinding in order to level up. While I never mind a grind-heavy game (in fact, I typically love a grind-centric experience), the amount of experience and money that enemies drop seems, on the whole, unbalanced and somewhat inconsistent. There are some enemies that are (thankfully) easy, and give you a surprising amount of experience or money, while some of the more difficult enemies give you so few experience points it hardly seems worth the trouble. And this remains true throughout the entire game – you’ll come across enemies who can one-hit kill you with special skills, no matter your level, and you’ll get 1/100th of the points needed to level up if you manage to defeat it, and next to no money.


So Fur, So Good


catacomb kitties

Of course, being a cat, dying once isn’t enough to put an end to your adventure. In Catacomb Kitties (as, I assume, in real life) cats are given nine lives. Should you fall in battle, you’ll wake up in a hospital, all patched-up by some friendly healer-kitties, and you’ll be good to set forth once more. However, should you exhaust all nine of your lives before you beat the big baddie at the end, you will get a game over. Thankfully, with the exception of your very last life, you don’t lose any money, items, or experience should you die, so it’s not a huge setback.

Aesthetically, Catacomb Kitties is pixelated cuteness through and through. While there’s no one thing in particular that stands out in its design, it’s pleasantly adorable and works well with the game. While the enemies aren’t particularly varied, the ones that do exist look good and have delightfully punny names. The soundtrack is repetitive, perhaps a bit forgettable, but certainly serviceable.


Time to Establish Some Claw and Order


There are few things to complain about in Catacomb Kitties outside of what I’ve already iterated above. Really, the only other complaint I can think of is just a shortcoming of the genre itself: playthroughs are just a little too short and a little too repetitive to make you want to invest in more than a half-dozen playthroughs or so. Still, there’s a solid foundation for fun in Catacomb Kitties, with bite-sized runs that can be completed in a single sitting. The unique stats and abilities of each playable cat gives you at least enough replayability to spend more than just a couple hours on the game as well.

Final Verdict: 3/5

Available on: Nintendo Switch (reviewed), PC; Publisher: mazette!; Developer: Riddle Fox Games; Players: 1; Released: October 8th, 2022; ESRB: E for Everyone; MSRP: $5.99

Editor’s note: The publisher provided a review copy to Hey Poor Player.

Daymon Trapold
Once upon a time, he wrote for oprainfall. Now, he's scraping off the rust to get back into writing about the games he loves. From his humble origins of playing the Atari and Commodore 64, he now dabbles in just about every console there is. Although he has a particular love of hardcore dungeon-crawlers, roguelikes, and niche JRPGs, some of his favorite games include Earthbound, Persona 3, Eternal Sonata, Bravely Default, Tales of the Abyss, and Fate/Extra. If his geek cred wasn't good enough, he's also a bassoonist.

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