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The Cat Lady

Developer: Harvester Games Publisher: Screen 7
01 December 2012
The Cat Lady - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.83 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
168 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#432 All-time
#14 for 2012
After failing to commit suicide, Susan Ashworth, a depressed and friendless middle-aged widow, is recruited in a dream world by the Queen of Maggots to rid the world of five psychopaths she refers to as "parasites" and is given immortality. In her journey she meets a young homeless woman by the name of Mitzi, with whom she feels a strange connection.
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I didn't play that many Graphic Adventure & point and click style games, but I usually feel like I "almost" hit the jackpot when I do. I've never played one that truly took quality, entertaininment or artistry to a masterful level, but I think The Cat Lady is probably my favourite one, and it's... a little bit of a weird one. There's elements of horror, surrealism, adventure, some bleak realism, and some nice character bonding. I got absorbed in it and ended up playing the whole thing throughout the night and finishing it. I liked it a lot, but let's just get some negativity out of the way first. I can do quite a bit of nitpicking but none of that is too important. However honestly I didn't think the main characters were well realized on the whole. There are many points where the game shows that it does have an understanding of realism (even at points where it may seem phony or be for comedic intent), and it interests me even more because at the same time, the game is largely fantastical and quite surrealistic. There's some content that really hits a home run, like a blackly comedic phone call to the police, and a fight between a married couple. I love this mixture of real and fantasy, and that's why the way Susan and Mitzi behave for large portions of the game disappointed me. Susan is so bland and unbelievable when faced with so many of the situations that to me, for much of the game, she's just too ridiculous and not relatable at all. That's confusing because for other parts of the game she shows some real humanity and character and could be very relatable. I think the writers couldn't decide if they wanted to portray a real depressed person, or an ideal, a hero with lots of sass, to impress the ever-so-"progressive" press looking for "strong" female leads maybe? It just belonged in a different game. You may be able to defend it but I still disliked these inconsistencies, at the very least, they could've picked one side of her character and worked on that one, leaving the other side out. Mitzi is also not very well developed as a character, it was a missed opportunity, as I feel the chemistry between the two could've been really memorable. It feels more like it tries to be memorable in a standard "adventure" way, like a more normal game or a bland mainstream story. Then again maybe my standards are just too high, or I was expecting something that was more in tune with horror.

In any case The Cat Lady overcomes these little problems with ease as it packs a fuckton of atmosphere, has a strong theme and narrative, memorable settings (never keeps you staring at the same stuff for too long) and an art design that is freaking brilliant. I think when it comes to the visuals, stills won't do it justice at all. Play it and pay attention to the movement. The design and aesthetic is impeccable and probably my favorite in any Point and click so far (and I love a lot of them). But, yeah, it's more of an aesthetic preference, whereas many other point and clicks would have more attention to detail, I think. So yeah, the game's really great, but the quality dips at points, though this really depends on who you ask. I thought the fourth chapter was a bit of a let-down as it felt a bit too standard compared to most of the rest of the game, and I was a bit annoyed during the second chapter when I was going around in circles trying the progress. Still though, I have to say that the narrative heads in various unexpected directions and I can appreciate that. I think that story-wise The Cat Lady covers not only a lot of bases but it covers a lot of them really well, too. Much of the game, such as the finale, is truly gorgeous. The graphics adventure gameplay is not my favorite, but it's hard to get stuck too often for too long here, there's only so many different things you can try. Besides, the game isn't very random about what you're meant to do, you can just figure out the general idea and that's usually (keyword) enough to be able to move forward at a decent pace, although as is the case with these games, you will get stuck on some little detail now and then. The dialogue can be fun. There are a few times where you get to "choose" the story, even though it doesn't actually "matter" (I think?) because it pulls the story in a certain direction and you get unique visuals. Of course, I gave Susan the most depressing backstory! These sorts of things breathe life into the game.

The contents are awesome, they're gruesome but not cheap, the overall narrative is effective, and the art design totally stands out in key moments. Overall, a very pleasing game that I would highly recommend. It drew me in and kept me playing. It even managed to be scary sometimes and didn't let go of the fact that it is a horror game, even though large parts of the game is a more standard dialogue reading/point and click affair, and like I mentioned there's some pretty standard adventure characterization for a lot of it. If there's one thing I really wanted more of in this game it would be an indepth study of the "version" of Susan that I liked more (which is as I mentioned the more relatable depressed Susan). I'm 100% sure if Susan's personality was better directed the relationship between her and Mitzi would've turned out better as well, and improvements such as this could've really taken the game to the next level. As it is, it's a fucking great game, but no masterpiece.
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Title
playing as an old lady has never felt so good
i loved this one, which is even more impressive considering how hard it is for me to get into point and click games. This one however just gripped me and had me playing the night away.

The puzzles are actually quite logical and simple, and even if i did resort to guides sometimes i never felt that the solution was inaccessible.

Visually it looks like nothing i have seen before, just has a very surreal, bleak and opressive visual style, helped by high contrast and paper cut animations. Though initially it looks jarring, its a visual style that you quickly get used to, and one that is surprisingly good at portraying the more sinister moments.

What really makes the game a must play though is the story and the atmosphere. The dialogue and voice acting is spot on, offering one of the most accurate representation of depression i have seen in a videogame. And yet it could also be really funny at times and self aware. Its also one of the heaviest games i have played in terms of themes, and while playing it i never was sure of how fucked up it could get. Its just an incredible experience from beginning to end.
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Threntall 2016-11-29T18:35:01Z
2016-11-29T18:35:01Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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Catalog

eschaton1000 The Cat Lady 2022-10-02T02:29:07Z
2022-10-02T02:29:07Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
cybervampire The Cat Lady 2022-10-01T23:47:15Z
2022-10-01T23:47:15Z
5.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
zeyOasx__ The Cat Lady 2022-09-30T18:06:46Z
2022-09-30T18:06:46Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DJSteph The Cat Lady 2022-09-29T00:34:11Z
2022-09-29T00:34:11Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
getlostdave The Cat Lady 2022-09-28T01:34:20Z
2022-09-28T01:34:20Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
PashaAlex The Cat Lady 2022-09-24T23:48:29Z
2022-09-24T23:48:29Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
likefigureskating The Cat Lady 2022-09-24T16:06:36Z
2022-09-24T16:06:36Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
zero_signal The Cat Lady 2022-09-23T16:31:19Z
2022-09-23T16:31:19Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
NortonTheTree The Cat Lady 2022-09-14T00:26:17Z
2022-09-14T00:26:17Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Boris_Bezdar The Cat Lady 2022-09-12T07:41:30Z
2022-09-12T07:41:30Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dragoonWho The Cat Lady 2022-09-09T14:43:24Z
2022-09-09T14:43:24Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
BigRav The Cat Lady 2022-08-31T04:24:34Z
2022-08-31T04:24:34Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
Single-player
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  • ColtXplosion 2018-04-14 09:53:05.400618+00
    I'm someone with quite a fondness for adventure games and horror, but this just didn't do much for me.
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  • semihedonist 2018-06-20 01:58:04.652491+00
    Goddamnit macbook
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  • szo 2018-06-29 14:55:27.152432+00
    references to like classic rock bands and social media and stuff like that can sometimes be hella corny in games and films and whatever but this game pulls it off
    reply
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  • StrangeMechanism 2019-02-02 06:52:28.155504+00
    Some of the voice acting in this game sounds like it was recorded on a $5 mic from 2001
    reply
    • slib 2020-02-29 20:12:42.271078+00
      good
    • hopeascendchaos 2020-05-10 01:49:42.536111+00
      this is absolutely not a bad thing
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  • slib 2021-01-17 02:46:20.528402+00
    This is the greatest game ever made.
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  • tommyinchainsrekl 2021-06-06 08:45:43.3413+00
    That "you are dead" moment was the most trolled I've ever felt
    reply
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  • simonkenis 2021-08-06 14:07:57.069705+00
    Was expecting this to have a way lower rating, honestly. Glad people like this one. Despite some flaws, I still think its a really special game.
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