A comfortable and perfect switching game
There are games that just scream “Nintendo Switch”. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a wonderful device. While you have the option to go from a big TV screen to playing something on the train, my favorite way to play is engulfed in blankets, in bed, in handheld mode, on a cute game that doesn’t require the using too many of my brain cells. I do not even know Why handheld mode feels better – I can just as easily play with the console docked and be just as comfortable, but there’s such charm in having the screen too close to my face, just like the good ol’ DS under the covers after bedtime”. Immaculate chill atmosphere.
If the thought of all this also makes you feel a little warm and fuzzy inside, I’m here to report that the perfect, comfortable Switch game may be upon us. Walk in Cat cafe manager – an adorable management simulation in which, you guessed it, you have to build, decorate and manage your own cat cafe in a town of charming characters. If you’re not already sold, I don’t know what to tell you.
Take a look at the trailer for Cat cafe manager here.
Except me, because that’s the whole point of this article. This indie darling, developed by Roost Games, is a clear example of simple and fun entertainment. You begin your feline escapades (catscapades?) when you settle in the peaceful village of Caterwaul Way, with the aim of taking over your grandmother’s cat café. Except there’s not really a cafe to take care of – other than a few moldy chairs, a table, and a single solitary sink, there’s absolutely nothing to see here. You have to build your own cafe, the Sims way – dragging the floor, adding wallpaper, doors, windows… you know the drill.
At first you don’t have a lot of resources to do this – eventually you can expand it to be bigger and have much nicer furniture and decorations inside, as well as all the practical equipment like Milkshake and Coffee Machines. Earning resources is simple – they can all be accumulated simply by pleasing your customers. Caterwaul Way is home to all kinds of people, including witches, punks, businessmen and fishermen – all have different preferences when it comes to the food and drink they enjoy, as well as the resources they enjoy. they will give you as payment. You’ll need all of these if you want your coffee to be the best it can be.
Once things kick in (which doesn’t take long at all), the gameplay loop is incredibly addictive. Every game day goes by fast – customers come and go fast, and you and your staff won’t stop going back and forth between your kitchen and the tables in an effort to serve them all before closing time . This fast pace makes it so easy to keep going “one more day” – seeing those resources pile up and being able to outfit the cafe with a whole host of new decorations is so satisfying, it really does get hard to put down the game.
All those words, and I just realized I haven’t even spoken properly about the stars of the show yet – my apologies. The cats are absolutely adorable. You start with just one and are able to adopt more strays by enticing them with food and gaining their trust. Each of them has their own personal traits (usually related to what kind of customers will like them the most or how much food they need), and I would die for each of them.
Unfortunately, you have limited space for them, so you can’t endlessly fill your cafe with more kittens. What you can to do however is find forever homes for them that are just right for them – townspeople will leave messages on the bulletin board describing the type of cat they’d like to adopt, and you can play matchmaker. Sadly, you won’t see anything happen here other than the cat disappearing from your cafe and your reward appearing, but it’s nice to think they’ve gone to the right place. I’m not going to lie though, I only did it once, because I’m way too attached to cats and didn’t know they would basically disappear into a vacuum. Heed my warning if you want to avoid your own meeting the same fate.
There’s also some sort of story to follow – on your first day in the game, you’re visited by a very scary talking cat, who brings with him some words of warning and launches you into restoring a cat mysterious shrine on the outskirts of the city. You’ll do this with the “fun” gained from happy customers (essentially another resource used specifically for this), and restores will net you a host of upgrades, from more space for cats to expanding your menu.
The story is a background story, so don’t expect grandeur. That said, the dialogue with the NPCs is amazing – there are a handful of regular customers that you can invite to the cafe and get close to, and they’re all very endearing. Some conversations with them made me smile completely at my Switch – Bonner, for example, is a lovely old man who likes to tell stories about his husband (and appreciates a good pun on cats, so bonus points there- low).
Unfortunately the game isn’t without its issues – during my time with it I’ve had a recurring minor visual issue (some clients keep showing up with a weird green outline), and at the time of writing my cats seem being stuck saying they are hungry, despite the many bowls full of food strewn about them. Some real cat owners will probably tell you this is realistic. Also, if you come across a new recipe that you don’t have all the ingredients for, you’ll have a notification letting you know in the corner until you do, which isn’t a problem, but it’s just kinda annoying to have a pop-up shouting “Ham sandwich requires ham” constantly (I speak from experience).
Overall however, Cat cafe manager is just a delight. I haven’t been able to devote a huge amount of time to the game yet, but I have absolutely no intention of stopping – it’s so easy to snuggle up and relax, and I feel compelled to point that out to my wholesome playmate the amateurs. It will also be available on PC, but if you have a Switch I highly recommend you install it there – it’s just one of those quintessentially cute games that is perfectly at home on the console, and if you like literally any of what i just said, i promise you will have a great time.
The Cat Cafe Manager code was provided by the publisher and tested on Nintendo Switch. The game releases on April 14 on PC and Nintendo Switch.