The Cat Lady is a psychological-horror puzzle-adventure game. It deals with themes such as depression, loneliness, illnesses, suicide, homicides, torture and revenge. But, unlike the vast majority of horror stories, it offers an ultimately hopeful take on the many horrible things in the world.

The game starts when Susan Ashworth, a lonely 40-year old, commits suicide. But instead of finding eternal rest she ends up in a hellish Limbo, where she is forced to come back to life, made immortal against her will and tasked with hunting down and killing five abominations, the "Parasites."

The Cat Lady review

.

"So this is the Afterlife... It's not so bad!"

The Cat Lady review

.

.

.

.

.

"...On second thought..."

.

.

.

The Cat Lady review

.

"Hey! A deer. How cute! Wait for me, little friend!"

.

.

.

The Cat Lady review

.

.

"SHIT!"

.

.

The Cat Lady review

.

.

.

"DOUBLE SHIT!"




The Cat Lady review

The Cat Lady is one of the most original games I've ever played. I've been a gamer for 25 years and I had never seen anything like it.

The protagonist is downright unique. She is also complex, and her character development is excellent. She is a deeply flawed person and can be grating at times, but watching her steadily dig herself out of the hole and take control in the face of unspeakable horrors can be immensely satisfying.

The story is carefully built with excellent foreshadowing. The mature themes are tackled with brutal honesty. And, even when dealing with horrific serial killers, the game takes care to show the other side of the coin: compassionate people who care for you and will welcome you home with a hug.

The visuals are both minimalist and brutally raw. There is a lot of gore, but the essential approach to graphics means that they look more creepy than gross. I have a relatively weak stomach, but I never felt nauseated except in a "those character are sick bastards! I'm so going to make them pay!" way.

The Cat Lady review

.
"Then again, if I had friends I could show off my cat pictures".

The Cat Lady review

.

.

.

.

.

"This is a nasty way to wake up."

The Cat Lady review

.

.

.

.

"THIS IS A NASTIER WAY TO WAKE UP."

The Cat Lady review

.

.

.

.

.

"AHHHHHHHHHHHH WHY DOES THIS KEEP GETTING WORSE!!!"

The Cat Lady review

.

.

.

.

.

"STOP MURDERING ME!!!"

The Cat Lady review

.

.

.

.

"Ok, that's it, I'm pissed."

The Cat Lady review

.

.

.

.

.

"It's 'fighting back time', bitch."

The Cat Lady review

.

.

.

.

.

"Nothing like a nice hot bath at the end of a long day of murder."

The Cat Lady review

.

.

.

.

"This better not be a telemarketer or so help me God."

The Cat Lady review

Speaking as a point&click adventure veteran, I'd say the puzzles are pretty easy. I only got "stuck" at one point because I figured out the solution but it looked very unethical (it involved a mentally-ill suicidal girl with a history of drug addiction, I REALLY didn't want to fuck her over if I could help it), so I kept trying to come up with alternate solutions (in the end I couldn't find any, but thankfully the solution wasn't as bad as I feared it would be). I only ever needed the guide to unlock the Best Ending, but the ending I got on my own was pretty satisfying too (there are four different endings).

However, in this case, it's say it's definitely for the best. The Cat Lady is extremely narrative-driven, like a sort of horror visual novel, and I think that getting the player stuck would ruin the flow of the story. Plus, the imagery is horrifically creepy the first time you see it, but you start getting used to it quickly, so it's important that you get to new locations at a good pace.

The Cat Lady review

The Cat Lady is VERY story-heavy and narrative-driven. There is A LOT of dialogue. You may wonder "when will the characters stop talking?" and the answer is "they don't. Ever."

Also, the gameplay and the story are relatively slow-paced. For example, half a chapter is dedicated entirely to the budding friendship of Susan with a girl (Bechdel test: passed with flying colours).

Tl;dr: if you can't stand the thought of spending 20 minutes watching people talk about their lives, The Cat Lady is not for you.

Also, I have to reiterate, this is a horror game. You see many very disturbing things, you are repeatedly threatened with rape, at one point you are even disfigured. This is not a game for the faint of heart.

The Cat Lady review

You can't quit the game whenever you like, if you are in the middle of a cutscene you are forced to wait until it's over. And, as pointed out, some cutscenes are pretty freaking long. I was playing on Steam and got a message from a friend that something I had been waiting for was finally ready, I was forced to resort to Ctrl+Alt+Del to quit the game.

I have no idea if it's a bug or what, but the final chapter doesn't have any subtitles. Thankfully the voice acting is excellent so I was able to understand everything, but English is not my first language and I often rely on subs when I can't understand what a character is saying. I don't understand why the subs were working just fine for 90% of the game, but suddenly disappeared for the finale.

At one point, the game froze and I was forced to restart. Remember to save often!

Chapter 5 is not terrible, but it's definitely worse than the rest. While the other villains are gradually introduced and developed as threats, the villain of Chapter 5 could be accurately described as "random bad guy suddenly jumps out of the bushes." If the others were "HOLY SHIT!" this one was "wtf?"

The Cat Lady review

If you like original stories about unique characters who go through incredibly horrible things but always strive to make things better, if you like minimalist graphics, if you like reading and if you have a reasonably strong stomach...

Than I wholeheartedly recommend The Cat Lady to you :)

http://store.steampowered.com/app/253110