Sometimes we need a break from the story-driven and lengthy RPGs and are looking for something fun and light-hearted to get stuck into. Catie In Meowmeowland mostly delivers on this. As you can probably guess, Catie In Meowmeowland is inspired by the classic story of Alice In Wonderland which already piqued my interest, plus it’s combined with cats! The game is described as a “classical humorous point-and-click adventure game” where you must help “little Catie get back home from the bizarre cat world of MeowmeowLand!” And bizarre it certainly is.
The game kicks off with the white cat who adopts the persona of the white rabbit frantically checking his pocket watch. He rushes down the rabbit hole, and Catie follows and falls, Alice In Wonderland-style, into MeowmeowLand. First off, the animation strangely reminded me of Peppa Pig, I think it’s due to the lined features, especially Catie’s mouth. But overall, Catie In Meowmeowland delivers on beautiful visuals with each level having a new theme and overall design to keep you captivated and wondering what’s next. It is also littered with Alice In Wonderland references, such as the large white cat resembling the Caterpillar, and the numerous ‘Eat Me’ and ‘Drink Me’ aspects integrated into the puzzles, transforming Catie and other characters into all sorts of bizarre objects! The feel of the game is as cute as you’d expect with various adorable characters and cats you can meet and interact with along the way. It also welcomes you to unexpected references such as “The Rock” obviously meant to resemble Dwayne Johnson, which definitely adds to the whimsical vibe of the game. That being said, Catie In Meowmeowland doesn’t hold back on being all out weird, with Catie arriving in Meowmeowland by being pooped out by a cat in unexpected detail, so make of that what you will.
Each level of Catie In Meowmeowland greets you with all sorts of different puzzles to solve, with some being geared more towards being traditional point and click, and others requiring a bit more thinking to work out the solution. The variety works quite well as you don’t feel like you’re essentially repeating the same puzzle over and over again. Likewise, each level has music that fits the theme of the puzzle and visuals or even welcomes you with relaxing ambient music so that you can chill out and take your time enjoying the puzzles without feeling like the sounds and music are offputting. I also believe there are different ways you can solve the puzzles. My favourite puzzles in Catie In Meowmeowland were the musical orb level which had a puzzle that required a bit of thinking to get the tune to sound right whilst still looking astonishing, and the constellation level which was the most atmospheric and visually impressive in my opinion. It was a relaxing puzzle where you had to find the orbs/stars around you to create a cat’s face in the sky, the music and ambience were incredibly fitting. The level also has a helpful worm-like character who strangely reminded me of Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio, but I have no idea whether that was ARTillery’s intention.
The animations and visuals are on the whole very well-done and manage to keep you engrossed in each level. Once again, especially the constellation level which is so atmospheric and enchanting, it’s worth playing just to enjoy that section of the game. The characters also all have enough detail to them without being over the top for the game’s style. Something else Catie In Meowmeowland does well is that it is a suitable game for all ages as although there are some issues with the mechanics, the puzzles aren’t too easy that adults would breeze through it and the game is also appropriate and appealing for children.
Now onto some of the gripes I had with Catie In Meowmeowland. Firstly, there is no main menu music or ambient sounds which seems a shame given the cute and cheery visuals you are greeted with. With the wrong player, it could give off the impression that the game is incomplete in some way. However, the lack of sound was by no means a dealbreaker. Unfortunately, I found that the point and click controls weren’t always the best as in some cases you had to be very precise with where you wanted to put objects and often the right position seemed incorrect. Also, if you put the object in the wrong place, it’ll snap back into its original position. Therefore when this happened, I’d assume I put the object in the completely incorrect part of the level and would then spend some time trying to find the solution only to realise I hadn’t put it in its exact spot. I also found that although the game is abstract, some puzzle parts didn’t make much sense to me, with one example being a hand randomly and conveniently appearing to give you parts of the puzzle to complete it, whereas it didn’t before, which felt a bit odd and could be deemed as lazy. Likewise, on one of the levels, you have to interact with characters to get them to fall asleep so that the steps rise so you can progress, but if the characters wake up, then the steps will drop back to the ground. However, I found that if you are standing on the steps and they wake up again, the steps no longer drop, which felt a little inconsistent but again it’s no dealbreaker.
My biggest issue with Catie In Meowmeowland came later on in the game. At the start of the game, there is a handy duck who will give you pointers if you are stuck, which is a great tool to make the game accessible for all ages. The duck unfortunately no longer appears later on. This makes some of the later puzzles quite frustrating as because the game is very abstract, it is not always obvious what objects are supposed to interact with each other. This can leave you hoping and praying as you point and click every object with each other to no avail. This was especially annoying at the elevator level where you had to interact the feather with a pot on the floor to tickle it because that’s apparently the norm! This problem was also in the potion level shortly after, where you have to turn into the rock creature to lick the key in order to make it smaller to fit in the door? Apparently the rock creature has magic powers. Because that was obviously my first thought… I personally think the duck would have been much more valuable at these levels. In other point and click games that are grounded in realism, this wouldn’t be such an issue but as Catie In Meowmeowland is very surreal, it felt like it was an unnecessary challenge.
Overall, Catie In Meowmeowland is an adorable, visually stunning and quirky game to play over the weekend. It would be great for family or friend get-togethers as it is light-hearted and fun, plus you can easily complete it within a few hours (unless you fall victim to the tickling pot or key-licking-rock fiasco).
Catie In Meowmeowland is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Have you played Catie In Meowmeowland? What are your thoughts? Let us know!