The Purring Quest is a love letter to cats. It’s filled with cute cat puns, referential humor, and nods to Schrödinger’s cat. However, all of the cute cat imagery doesn’t make up for some of the frustrations in its gameplay.
In The Purring Quest, you play as Kimchi, a cat trying to find its way home after being left behind in a cemetery. It’s essentially a 2D platformer in the spirit of classic left-to-right side-scrolling games. There are five different levels, and the game keeps things interesting by introducing new gameplay elements along the way. For example, in the graveyard, Kimchi will have to jump over graves, hide behind headstones, and fight the rats patrolling amongst the dead. In the village you’ll need to be stealthy to avoid patrolling dogs. In the city, you’ll need to avoid elderly women who will attack anything jumping on their window sills. It’s amusing at its best.
Much of The Purring Quest is very rudimentary. The animations and design aren’t breaking any new ground, but they’re acceptable. Many of the jokes are cute, but have existed long enough in the public conscious that they didn’t tempt much more from me than a smile.
Its biggest stumble lies in the controls. There’s a slight delay to the commands in The Purring Quest that takes away the precision necessary for smooth platforming. When playing a platformer, I like to know that it’s my fault I failed. In The Purring Quest, there were several times I had to revert back to a checkpoint because of a failure I did not wholly feel responsible for. Floaty jumps mixed with challenges demanding precise movements made for frustrating moments that never truly felt satisfying.
But I do appreciate its earnestness. Throughout this two- to three-hour game, I met several quirky cat characters, discovered hidden secrets and collectibles, and enjoyed the sweet, sentimental story of Kimchi and his owner. But the lows are especially frustrating when the game demands a lot and doesn’t provide the right tools. Failing due to the mechanics instead of actual player error breeds a lot of frustration. Still, this is a game designed to help raise funds for animal shelter services, and its love of cats is professed in virtually every facet of its design.