I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I. Love. Cats. (Well, I also love dogs, but mostly…CATS). I’ve got five cats and (and three dogs and two guinea pigs). But do you know what I love almost as much as cats? Games about cats, and our latest indie game selection is chock full of the cute little furballs.
Created by indie developer Upper Class Walrus, this month’s pick is perfect for pet lovers or anyone whose looking for a great excuse to try something very different. In Fort Meow, you play as a young girl named Nia who uncovers her grandfather’s secret journal in an old mansion. Settling in to read the unusual diary seems like a great idea, except for the sudden appearance of many, many cats—all of whom are intent on capturing your attention and your lap for a quick snuggle.
There’s a mystery afoot in this charming physics-puzzle adventure, but you’ll never solve it if the swarm of needy cats have their way. Part of what I like about this game is it’s not that far from the truth, as any cat owner will tell you. Anytime I’ve got something important to do, it seems like one or more of my four-legged feline pals decides that’s the perfect time to plop into my lap or start nudging me for affection.
But I digress.
Pillow forts are your main line of defense against these cat commandos, and you have limited time to build them using old furniture and junk you collect around the house. Scavenging rooms with the help of a trusty robot crane gives you stronger and more interesting items to stack around you, all in hopes of keeping the cats at bay. Every item you place has its own durability and time cost, and you’ll unlock both stronger items and more time to play as you progress through each wave.
New cat types, like cat duos, fat cats, and speedy cats force you to shift your strategy, and the timing for each wave and which direction each cat type comes at you from can make a big difference in how to best place your defenses. It’s not easy to keep your lap cat-free, but Nia gives you clues about the queue of kitties that’s about to dive-bomb you every round. Building a successful stronghold each round involves a lot of trial and error, though losing a round isn’t so bad, since it means you’ll wind up with a purring ball of fur curled upon you.
Fort Meow’s gameplay might be a little repetitive, but the more you play, the better you’ll get at building forts with the cool new doodads you unlock, and the game does a good job of adding in new wrinkles—both in terms of story and unlockables—at a steady pace.
You don’t have to be a cat lover to get hooked by this cute indie, but there’s a certain intangible quality to this silly game that’s simply…purrrfect.