We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.

North America

Little Kitty, Big City (Switch) Review

by Joel A. DeWitte - July 1, 2024, 10:11 am EDT
Discuss in talkback!


All that feline fun without the self-seriousness.

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’re familiar with Stray, the cat platformer (catformer?) from Annapurna Interactive that takes itself very seriously and received a ton of accolades along the way. While I’d be remiss to ignore the polish of Stray, its gameplay was too linear in a space that felt open, coupled with a tone that felt self important bordering on excessive. But what if I wanted to be a cat doing cat stuff in a world focused on fun? Enter Double Dagger Studio’s Little Kitty, Big City, a title we were able to preview during 2023’s Summer Game Fest with the promise of living the fluff life the way you see fit.

Little Kitty, Big City is the story of a little black cat who fell off the ledge of their apartment home. The space they tumble into is what amounts to a borough or neighborhood of a larger city, but is bustling with foot traffic from people in business wear. Apparently this is a commuter town, as they’re all passing through, never taking direction to an open apartment door. The faceless people were perfect fodder for me, as the cat can both nuzzle up against them for affection or run underneath their legs and trip them up. Besides the joy of spreading affection or being a nuisance, people will drop “shinies,” basically a currency made of nuts, bolts, and other glittering bits and bobs that a helpful crow will happily take for various helmets and hats. These range from purely cosmetic, cutesy stuff like a banana hat to a Shiba Inu helmet that confuses dogs that gatekeep certain areas without it.

The cat is kind of fumbly to control. Their standard walk is a slow saunter that has plenty of maneuverability but crawls at a snail’s pace. They can also run, but it shifts momentum into a slow-to-turn freight train that makes it tough to travel across some more narrow spaces. For the most part this balance works - the majority of the map is wide enough to accommodate full speed, but the constrained spaces saw me banging my kitty cranium so often they probably have a concussion. This is especially evident in areas littered by the cat’s arch nemesis - the dreaded water puddles. In some instances, I found my cat jumping back and forth as the leap backward they make landed them in another body of water. While amusing at first, it became frustrating when my lack of precision butted up against the map’s lack of consideration for the toolset provided. Their crouch is used for both crawling through small spaces and creeping up on unsuspecting birds to pounce on and collect their feathers. Feathers are used to unlock fast travel points, which come in the form of a network of manholes operated by a raccoon that teleports you through a rainbow portal. While the map real estate isn’t all that big, these points are critical to jump back and forth places, especially when larger obstacles or nuisances stand in your way.

Without question, it’s a lot of fun being a cat in this game. Little pleasures like swiping a paw to knock down and shatter a potted plant never got old, and I found myself trying to figure out how to reach them when passing by a ledge or wall. A slow motion effect takes place when successfully pouncing on a bluebird, and more than once I had to tilt the camera around to see a scene with the cat’s joyful expression as if it were Tom catching Jerry. In one mission I was tasked with collecting three of a dog’s favorite tennis balls that got scattered about. When I found one I realized that I couldn’t pick it up with my mouth, only bat it with my paw. What could have been a frustrating exercise in tedium was set up so that the balls didn’t have to travel far to the end goal. Similarly, there are soccer goals with stray balls to paw. Empty soda cans to recycle, stray ducks to find and return to poppa, and shop owners to anger are just a taste of the hijinks potential pussycats are in store for.

The actual layout of the world and map can at times leave something to be desired. For starters, don’t expect meaningful markers for several of the missions. Some (like the duckling hunt) will give a basic region to look for each goal, but then there are others which give a basic objective statement and expect you to suss-out where to go. It lends to the “explore and be a cat” ethos, but those looking for a guided tour along the way will have a hurdle to jump. The modest sized map shows different landmarks in cutesy styles as if drawn with a crayon which matches the tone but is a tad too obtuse at times to recall what’s exactly in each zone. While that tone creates issues with navigation, it’s that sense of humor that makes the game shine. Whether crows, cats, dogs, or ducks, all the animals are bursting with personality and have their own distinct senses of humor (or lack thereof) that play off the curious and silly jokes the cat throws at them. In a way that lends to the idea that animals only notice other animals, the nondescript, expressionless people populating the city feel more like a movable obstacle. The mission descriptions, while not always substantive in direction, all feature flavor text that left me with a smile. The game’s charming sense of humor and earnestness gives Little Kitty, Big City a warm vibe.

Little Kitty, Big City may not be a high profile hit with huge accolades like Stray, and it doesn’t aspire to that kind of photorealism, but what you do get is a breezy, cute, colorful, and fun sandbox to explore. The animal friends are diverse and expressive without having a lot of physical facial expression, which is a testament to the writers’ skill. This cartoonish game is uncomplicated in the best ways, and while there’s a little stumbly-ness in some of the movement, it doesn’t detract from this brisk, entertaining experience.


  • Clever humor.
  • Colorful cartoony world.
  • What's not fun about being a cat?
  • Climbing ledges can feel fiddly.
  • Map is difficult to read.

Share + Bookmark

Genre Adventure

Worldwide Releases

na: Little Kitty, Big City
Release May 09, 2024
Got a news tip? Send it in!