Cat games are, without a doubt, the best kind of animal game. Why would I want to play as a dog, hearing nothing but "good boy" and wagging my tail as friendly passers-by give me treats, when I could be a little shit? In Little Kitty, Big City, not only do I get to run fast—getting the zoomies, as it were—and yell a lot at absolutely nothing, I can knock over plant pots and trip up humans, stealing their sandwiches and phones as I please.
Little Kitty, Big City stars the titular little black cat who falls from their comfy windowsill to the city below and promptly starts being a nuisance. The demo, which is available now during Steam's Next Fest, lets you get to grips with the game's core mechanics, like meowing, whacking things with your little paws, and doing A Big Stretch.
There are many dangers to face, such as puddles of water, as well as friends to find, like the portal-opening raccoon who wants feathers and the big orange cat who teaches you the Bread Proposition. Did you know you can lure birds with bread and then, when they're distracted by the bread, you can pounce on them? You know, to collect those feathers for the raccoon. Modern life is hard on all of us, even cats, who are also bound to fetch quest rules.
The animals can talk to each other, which is a nice touch, though this little indoor kitty has clearly led a sheltered life as it slowly comes to terms with the idea that bread is bird bait. If you don't fancy being an annoying cat who keeps attacking humans and birds, you can pick up litter, like soda cans, and recycle them for shinies for your new Crow pal, or whack a football into the back of a net for kicks.
While the demo doesn't feature too much plot, there are a few fun quests you can pick up and, even better, challenges to complete that really zoom in on the bonkers stuff cats do. For one challenge, I had to be an artist—namely, I had to knock over some dude's paint and run around a canvas on the floor to make some "art". One of the delights of Little Kitty is how realistic the animations are: just like my cat, Douglas, kitty pounces with devastating accuracy on unsuspecting foes (small birds), can leap to great heights before balancing awkwardly yet expertly on the edges of platforms above, and absolutely loses its tiny mind when encountering bodies of water. The animation makes it seem like kitty has been electrocuted by the water, the way it bounces off it in alarm. I also discovered that if you run full pelt into a wall, kitty's head will ricochet off the surface before it gives its head a little shake, readying itself for more shenanigans.
Cat in a (frog) hat
What's also neat about Little Kitty is the selection of hats you can find. During the demo, I found a bunny, ladybird and frog hat, the latter of which made kitty's head look massive. I tried to jump in a box to hide and all I could see was this big green frog's face. And much like when playing Stray, my own two cats were doing a concern when I made little kitty meow. "Where is this new third cat, is it also orange?" was Steve's first impression, probably.
It's easy to compare it to Untitled Goose Game with its colourful cartoonish vibe and pesky titular protagonist, but you can't help but love the kitty, with its shiny emerald eyes and swooshy tail. I really love cats, but I don't love geese, and in Little Kitty, it's impossible not to feel affectionate toward this scamp. It's a cute game with an impressive open-world sandbox (ha), amusing and silly dialogue, and some decent platforming. When holding the jump button you can see a forecast of where you'll land, letting you set up the perfect leap. Of course, like Douglas, I have terrible aim and poor kitty spent most of its time falling and bumping into things. It's a firm cat/10 from me.
Philippa Warr, ex-PC Gamer staff, has worked on Little Kitty, Big City. I am writing about it because I am a cat enthusiast.