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  • Writer's pictureLaura Collins

Review: Cat Café Manager

By: Laura Collins (Blu3Rizing)

Developer: Roost Games

Available on: PC, Nintendo Switch

You dream the dream of many, moving to the town of Caterwell for a fresh start and a chance to take over your late grandmother’s business, restoring the local Cat Cafe, which will involve the adoption of many cats and serving food to many patrons.

What this actually means is building this empty plot of land into a bolstering haven for the hungry, both cats and humans alike. You are starting off with not much more than some shabby furniture and the means to build a few walls around you to serve water to the thirsty.

Each customer type has one person that you can befriend. Throughout the story, you’ll become close to these people and see how Axel is more than just the punk he pretends to be and even shares in Matteo’s ethical struggles and Catla-Lalla’s family troubles. You’ll discover their hopes and dreams. Building these relationships often results in rewards from new and exotic lures to attract new cats to your Cat Cafe to new decorations and furniture.

For your Cat Cafe to thrive, you’ll have to cater to each of the six customer types, each with its own desires when it comes to dishes, decor, and cats and each with its own currency, which you'll in turn use to purchase upgrades and necessities for your cats, recipes and ingredients, even furniture and decorations. Personally, I found nectar to be the resource I constantly needed or was running low on, so I’d advise utilizing the advertisement mode within your menu. On that same note, I realized the hard way that hurrying up and trying to get all your recipes unlocked just leads to a shortage of resources and customers continually asking for things that you don’t have, even if you keep them off your menu.

To do your dirty work, you’ll need to hire and train local staff from the town’s billboard. At first, they can only cook and serve customers, but in time and with enough skill points, they can also socialize with the patrons and clean cat pee and litter boxes for you, sometimes even gaining a new trait just as your character can. These can be used for things like having them eat less or finding puddles of pee all over your cafe less often.

On your first eve, you’re visited by the mysterious Grimalkin, who tasks you with restoring the local shrine. This involves collecting delight from your satisfied patrons. Each of these different projects unlocks everything from more seating in the cafe to more cats and dishes to be served. Keep in mind that some of these projects are locked behind other projects or friendship levels and may take a bit more time and energy to unlock.

At the end of each working day of Cat Cafe, you’re provided with a cafe rating with ratings from each of your patrons for the day based on how satisfied they were with the food and with the feline companionship. This same screen also provides hints to optimize your cafe’s output, such as having additional chair spots left or if you have cat slots left or are at your max of cats.

While occasionally being out of ingredients beloved by its patrons and having furniture and decorations belonging to several different groups to slightly bring down ratings, ultimately, there doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. You’ll still receive some resources, so this is by no means leading to eventual failure, just maybe a slower success.

Cat Cafe had a few performance issues, mainly once the cafe was built up and when there was a lot of activity going away, but this wasn’t enough to hinder my gameplay. There were a couple of random crashes, so while I’d advise saving regularly, I didn’t find this to be an end-of-the-world issue. Some of the controls were also a bit awkward. You had to be standing in exactly the right place at exactly the right angle to interact with the desired thing.

Despite that, overall, Cat Cafe is an amazingly adorable and satisfying game that I have no doubts that I will spend many more hours with.

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