Catie in Meowmeowland is a point and click puzzler game full of dreamy landscapes and quirky characters. It has 2D hand drawn artwork and 24 maps for you to explore.
My favourite thing about the game is absolutely the artwork. It has a visual juxtaposition of cute and crude, drawing its inspiration from a long history of classic animation. I am reminded of old Disney and Looney Tunes cartoons but also more contemporary works from Studio Ghibli and Nickelodeon.
This Alice in Wonderland inspired journey will take you through the bizarre ‘catified’ world that Catie finds herself trapped in, after following a white cat she saw in the garden of her home. The slapstick style comedy of Meowmeowland will give you a good giggle and you will be given control of the game after being farted out of a giant cat’s bum!
While the very first screen gives some hints about how to solve the puzzle, after that you are mostly on your own and it can get quite difficult the further you make your way into the game. If you are moving through at a good pace, the game should take just a couple of hours to complete. I personally find it is well suited to short sessions of play when you want something quick to jump into. It will autosave which map you are up to, so you can come back at anytime for another attempt!
Creative thinking and persistence pays off if you want to advance! Moving the cursor over the entire map to find objects to interact with, clicking them in different orders, or dragging and dropping a moveable object on literally everything will often yield results. Sometimes you don’t get it right but at least the animations can be quite funny and adorable. But if you really get stuck, it can be a bit frustrating, as there’s no hints or dialogue.
The use of musical sound effects to emphasise character movements again has that classic cartoon feel to it, as there isn’t really any extensive spoken dialogue aside from a few one-liners from Catie and other creatures. Honestly, I do not miss there being dialogue, as it would detract from the game, which is in essence, a very visual experience.
Catie in Meowmeowland is simple by design and while it doesn’t bring anything particularly innovative to the gameplay of the point and click genre, it does however have the advantage of modern graphics allowing for far more high resolution art. There is so much more detail in each map when compared to its old-school pixel predecessors. Catie In Meowmeowland can really let these detailed sceneries shine, as you spend quite a lot of time scrutinising everything as you try to piece together what objects relate to others.
It’s a little disappointing that the Nintendo Switch version does not utilise the touch screen for controls, as I thought this style of game would have lent itself perfectly to touch controls. But as this is an indie developer, I can forgive this oversight. Probably the most user-friendly way to play the game is on PC with a mouse, as I did find using a Switch controller a little clumsy.
Overall, Catie in Meowmeowland is a great little game for those with a silly sense of humour that love art and thinking their way through a bizarre and unfamiliar world.
Catie in Meowmeowland is available now on Steam, GOG, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S!