The Cat Lady is a game developed by Harvester Games, and published by Screen 7. The game, which was released in 2012, follows the suicidal 40-year old Susan Ashworth as she’s given a new chance at life. In the process she befriends a young woman named Mitzi Hunt.
The game mechanics are very simple, and you can only walk to the left and right without actively making a choice by hitting enter. If there’s any other places you want to go, such as straight ahead, you simply use the up arrow key. Although you need to select if you truly wish to go there. There’s no combining going on in the game either, so no need to worry about anything like that. The puzzles are fairly easy, but I’ll write more about it later. What I like a lot is that you get to play as other characters a bit further in the game. I won’t spoil it too much, but it’s a nice change. Occasionally I got lost a bit, but for the most part it was due to lack of exploration. Everything is available to you when you need it. You just need to figure out in what way, and where.
The graphics may not be the best, but I actually like them. It adds to a certain feel that you wouldn’t been able to attain with modern day graphics. Some of the animations for the characters seems to be a bit… off. It’s not a big deal, but it looks like they’re spazzing out, or are high on drugs. Or something. I like how the scenes were drawn out though, and the various perspectives found in the game. It added something extra so we just don’t see the characters dead on all of the time.
Something I truly liked about this game is the voice acting. It’s fully voice acted for every character, and it’s actually really well done! My only complaint is that the person who voice Susan sounds a bit too young in certain parts. She has a very pleasant voice though. In certain parts when there’s a bit of yelling going on you can clearly hear the microphones giving out a bit. It’s a pity, but not too awful. Since we’re on the topic of sound and music. The sounds in this game is one of its weak points. I find that many of the sounds were reused in various parts of the game, and so was the main soundtrack. The latter is very good though, so I don’t really mind too much. It would have been nice to see some variety in those aspects though.
What about the story then? I did like the story a lot, mainly due to personal reasons. Susan is easily the most likable character that is a murderer you can come across, except maybe Agent 47.. Maybe. I found it nice to have someone like Mitzi there, to sort of add a bittersweet tone to the whole game. Susan wants to die, Mitzi wants to live. They aspire to different things, and have different possibilities to attain those things. It’s almost ironic. I would have been ashamed though; here we have someone who desperately wants to live, and I’m contemplating killing myself.
Susan’s story made me want to cry. Yes, I admit it. I wanted to cry when she told Mitzi about a certain event in her past. I also wanted to cry towards the end. That being said, I was not necessarily heartbroken over it. Maybe over Susan’s confession, but not over Mitzi. I love how you actually feel justified for killing those who have hurt Susan. You care for her, you don’t want her to be sick or feel bad. In Chapter 1, I felt that the dialogue was a bit drawn out, I would have liked it to have been shorter, or spaced out a bit throughout the chapters. It would have added a certain sense of mystery which disappeared when we found out everything right at the get-go.
I suppose it’s here you want me to make my closing statement. Was the game good? Was it bad? Should I play it? It was an amazing games, and yes, you should definitely buy it! Despite some flaws, it was enjoyable to play. I was so sucked into the game’s story and pacing I couldn’t do anything but play it for the entire day. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone below 18 years old, since it does tackle some very bloody scenes. Even if it didn’t, the whole theme of the game is mature. I don’t feel like children should be playing it, since I don’t think they can truly appreciate it. If you’re not a fan of psychological horror, or adventure games, this is not for you. For a rating I’d give this game a 9.5/10.
The Cat Lady creates a portrait of a suicidal woman, who through the actions of a dying friend, learns to live again. It’s beautifully done, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Head on over to The Cat Lady’s website in order to purchase the game.