Little Kitty, Big City review | Purrr

Little Kitty, Big City review cover image: Kitty is being carried out of a konbini while a row of ducklings follows

I love cats, you love cats, everyone on the internet loves cats. That’s why we’re all playing a children’s video game about kittens. That’s right, it’s Little Kitty, Big City time on Barrel Drill dot com.

The drama of this piece begins with the eponymous Kitty taking too long a stretch on his favorite sunny perch. This leads to falling. As they tend to do, our feline protagonist lands on his feet (or a trashcan), but far away from the home he had never left before. It is up to us, the players, to step into his paws and get him home.

Little Kitty, Big City screenshot: Kitty sits on a fence. He has a duck hat one and is holding a wakizashi in his mouth.
Any rumors that Kitty took some time to become vigilante ninja striking fear and blade into the hearts of evil doers are entirely unsubstantiated.

Little Kitty, Big City is a charming third-person exploration and platforming game. Our tiny purrtagonist is a big pacifist, so there will be no killing (or even life-threatening) situations. In fact, there’s even a diegetic reason (related to raccoon shenanigans) why cars, the urban cat’s biggest natural predator, aren’t present on the streets. So the player can relax, explore at their own pace before going zoomies, knocking down everything in sight.

Where the meow do I go?

As a cat lover, I bear the shameful stain of not having played Stray. However, a Cohost user said that Little Kitty, Big City is the superior title – giving the player free-form control of feline’s movement – so I had to play it. And it’s true. As Kitty, you can run, jump, vault and climb all over the place.

The game isn’t high-enough budget to let you seamlessly parkour like a beclawed Ezzio Alditore, but most of the time, anything you think you can jump on is accessible. Very helpfully, holding down jump lets you aim where you’ll land. In a world of fences, tactically positioned boxes and strategically placed A/C units, knowing whether your leap is long enough to get you there is a super power.

Little Kitty, Big City screenshot: Kitty in a space man helmet is knocking down a flower pot from a really high ledge. The shot is at an angle that accentuates the height of the position.
If that pot hits anyone on the noggin, they’re gonna have a whole flock of birds circling their head before they come to.

Kitty has other ways to interact with the world too; he can carry a single item in his mouth, just like any normal feline. He can also swipe at stuff – very useful for breaking containers with shinies (game currency) or removing recalcitrant flower pots. It’s also effective in tripping up humans – humans that drop whatever they’re carrying in their hands.

For example, bread from fallen sandwiches serves as a lure for birds – birds Kitty can pounce upon and steal a single feather before release. Why would any cat need feathers? To pay the raccoon who opens quick travel portals, naturally.

Little Kitty, Big City screenshot: Kitty in a shark hat (trans rights) is leaping over a small blue bird standing next to a doughnut. Two white pawmarks can be seen on the ground - this is the jump destination marker.
I’m calling this one “One Flew Over the Coocoo’s Blue Cousin Formerly Employed As The Twitter Logo”

Here we go meow

Yes, Little Kitty, Big City is a somewhat fantastical game. Kitty will get to talk to many animals who aren’t cats – and some that strictly fall into the category of “prey.” But the interactions are all lighthearted – and many have quests or services to offer.

Little Kitty, Big City screenshot: Kitty in a hardhat is making a face while standing next to a duckling in a parking lot.
Meow, meow, meow, meow, sir.

In exchange for shinies, for example, the Crow can buy hats in vending machines (hard to input coins with paws) for Kitty to wear. And that’s a critically important part of the game: experts agree that cats can look even cuter in hats. Headwear of all sorts can also be earned as quest rewards or found via exploration.

Most are very cute, though I took issue with the ones that hid the ears – a very important attribute of any cat (sorry, Scottish foldailures)!

Little Kitty, Bit Buggy

On the more notable downsides of Little Kitty, Big City, bugs were an issue. Kitty would get stuck in place – not even in geometry – to the point where I had to reload the game a few times. And with this gameplay element, Kitty has somewhat extreme reactions to touching water puddles. The whole freak-out animation just takes entirely too long.

Finally, the map can be a little hard to read, even for someone who had just finished Morrowind. You can’t even blame it on the crayon-drawing quality of it; something is just wrong with the orientation and the way Kitty is marked on it.

Little Kitty, Big City screenshot: Kitty in a shiba inu hat is looking at a shiba inu without any hat that's looking back at him.
The real chore is choosing between all the cute screenshots.

But unlike Morrowind, Little Kitty, Big City is a very cute game. The visuals are a dead ringer for the tasteful pastel minimalism of Untitled Goose Game and they work well. Kitty is adorable beyond measure and the rest of the cast isn’t bad either. The audio part is less impressive, but I can make Kitty meow on command, so that evens out.

Game good

Little Kitty, Big City is a beans/10 game about being a cat. You steal fishes, sleep in sunny spots and knock things over. The fulfillment of the ultimate male power fantasy: being very cute.

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