I was sent The Fantastic Kitty Rue as a review code. While I am very grateful, I won’t let it sway my opinions. This will be an honest review.
The Fantastic Kitty Rue is an interactive visual novel with a rhythm game baked into it. You take control of a young cat girl as she tries to become a famous performer to help her family financially. It’s a cute short title with puzzles, decent voice acting, and a solid story.
The gameplay is split into two parts. There is a rhythm game where you perform to captivate an audience of onlookers and some minor exploration where you scroll through rooms to find items you need to solve puzzles.
I thought the rhythm mechanic was rather clever. Kitty dances to ragtime music, and you are positioned on your keyboard as if you were playing the piano she dances to. The gameplay isn’t very challenging, growing stale after the first song. The music you play isn’t very catchy and part of the reason I grew bored. The animation isn’t finished yet, but promises were made for future updates. What animation exists is fine, but I was so focused on not missing any notes that it didn’t matter.
The exploration is where I take issue with this game. While I did appreciate the bits of world-building presented through the exploration bits, it feels clunky. Moving the camera around feels slow, and some of the puzzle pieces are hard to see.
The story was the best part of this game. It tells a sad but solid narrative while building up to a proper climax. There is a part of this game that gave me anxiety because of how invested I was in Rue’s adventure. I was a big fan of the art and the storytelling, but I wish there was more.
You can buy this game for $16.99 on Steam, but it isn’t worth it. This game is short. It took me 2 hours to finish even though I explored everything. This game is cute but lacks the substance and polish to be worth your attention. I would wait for a sale unless you really want to support the developers. I would be interested to see what they can do in a longer title. Skip this game for now.
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