The one thing that Cat Lady had going for it right from the start (in my opinion) is its proclivity to name animals after things that they definitely are not. Case in point, my first dog would have been called “Bean Curd” were it not for my parents putting their foot down. I also called the neighbourhood cat “Pickles” and I currently have a chicken named “Oyster”. It’s probably a good thing I don’t have kids.
How much does this matter in a game about collecting cats? Technically not a whole lot. But it won’t stop your brain from continually going “awww”. Cat Lady is a card game port that allows you to embody an avid cat collector and pits you against other collectors who might steal that animal costume from under your nose. Cards are laid out in a 3×3 grid shape and on your turn, you choose a row or column to take. These cards might include cats, food, costumes, toys, catnip and a few other things that are weirdly feline-related. Score points based on combos that you collect and the highest scorer wins the game. If you want to know more about the rules and gameplay, no video does it better or more charmingly than this one here:
It’s simple, kind of like a faster-paced version of Stone Age, and the games last anywhere between 5-10 minutes. And while the rules are pretty easy, there are lots of different strategies that make it feel like you can’t just mindlessly grab cards as they come up. The app itself is a pretty darn cute package complete with a virtual cat lady living room that becomes outfitted as you gain achievements.
One weird thing I discovered about myself in the process of playing this game was that I love virtual cat noises. Every time you feed or take away food from a cat, you’re rewarded with a purring or yowling noise accordingly. Okay, I might have repeatedly fed and unfed my cats just to hear the satisfying noise of them reacting. Don’t worry, I don’t actually do this to my pets in real life. There was just something very soothing about the audio that you have to experience to understand.
The game comes with a three-fold tutorial that thoroughly explains everything you need to know. Once you’re up to scratch (hehe), you can tackle other opponents in the form of AI or pass-and-play. There’s also an online leaderboard, but no online multiplayer, at least at this point. Is it enough? I’d say yes, because with Cat Lady having such quick gameplay, you’re probably not going to want to wait your turn anyway. The AI is pretty formidable and all of the opposing cat ladies come with impressive “CVs” that are both intimidating and amusing.
So, do you have to be a cat lover to love this app? Definitely not, although I think it does help to be the kind of person who can be swept away but general cuteness. Also, if you’re a fan of card games, Cat Lady is an excellent port and a great way to pass the time if you’ve got a couple minutes to spare.