Author Topic: Summer Game Fest Preview: Critter Cafe  (Read 392 times)

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Offline Oronalex

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Summer Game Fest Preview: Critter Cafe
« on: June 11, 2024, 08:15:39 AM »

All the fun of a cat cafe without having to pick fur out of your latte.

Straight out of a game jam and the mind of indie dev Eleanor Gregory from Sumo Digital is Critter Cafe. Deeply rooted in the cozy game zeitgeist, as well as the Cat Cafe crazy, Critter Cafe has you saving mythical creatures and housing them in your cafe sanctuary. It feels like a fever dream of mashup ideas but creates a surprisingly satisfying loop of management sim and exploration, all in a warm blanket of cuteness.

   Building and managing your cafe is just the beginning. Decorating, color matching and designing a cafe all your own is the name of the game, and there’s a deep level of customization. Once you have the cafe to your liking, it’s time to explore the world in search of critters that need your help. These creatures are stranded in other dimensions, calling out to you from hidden portals found on the world map.

   It’s in these portals where you are given environment puzzles that teach you movement mechanics organically by building upon yourself. One example has you pushing blocks to unblock paths, but later on you are using those blocks to create elevated pathways. They build upon themselves over time to create a natural learning curve, and considering there is no combat, these are nice little bite sized treats.

   There’s also a business management mechanic where you open your cafe to serve customers via mini games. On top of that, you pick the creature who accompanies you during the business day, to help grow your bonds and get new perks. There are also side quests that help you plan private parties based on aesthetic, color matching and a creature to go along with their private party. NPCs will also point the player towards new creatures in need of help throughout the story. The game mechanics go on and on, but never in an overwhelming way. Critter Cafe looks to be a new cozy game sleeper that people should check out. Especially considering we all want to save these adorable critters.