Cats and Other Lives is a cleverly crafted narrative-driven adventure where you view the reunion of a broken family, relive ghosts of memories past and unravel a dark mystery via the eyes of a cat.
In Cats and Other Lives you are a cat – a normal everyday housecat with no ability to talk and no special skills (other than looking cute and causing mischief). Like most cats you’re not too bothered about the events that are occurring around you, as long as you get some food and a little affection. However, it just happens that there’s quite a lot going on around you at the moment – your owner has died and the rest of his friends and family are at your home (a rather large mansion) to attend the wake.
As you go from room to room you overhear conversations between the family, learn more about them and start to piece together a dark mystery. It’s a fairly wealthy family, but fractured and there’s a lot of in-fighting (rather similar to Knives Out). Sometimes you’ll also see ghosts of memories past and learn a little about what caused them to become this way. Your owner wasn’t particularly beloved by his family, but his death has brought them together – maybe they’ll heal old wounds or open just them up again and you get a front row seat as it all unfolds.
You’re not just a bystander as all of this drama happens around you – you’re an integral part in how the story plays out. A lot of your seemingly insignificant actions can have a big effect on the narrative and you’ll help unravel the mystery of the occult oddities your owner dedicated his life to.
The demo build of Cats and Other Lives telling its intricate story takes around an hour to play through and it’s a beautifully crafted experience. The pixel art animation is fantastic and it does a great job of telling its rich story and allowing you to get to know the foibles of every character – all through the eyes of a cat who’s more interested in chasing mice and eating food than all the commotion of the wake. The mystery at the heart of the mansion is also very intriguing and you’ll be dying to learn more by the end of the demo. Hopefully curiosity doesn’t kill the cat!