Little Kitty, Big City Review

Exploring the Mind of a Feline Friend in Little Kitty, Big City

As a cat owner, I spend an excessive amount of time looking these fur-covered creatures in the eyes and wondering what they truly want. Would they enjoy the world outside, or would they immediately come running back to their parents’ protective embrace? Little Kitty, Big City attempts to answer this question for me and every other indoor cat owner out there through an adventure that fictionalizes the thoughts and feelings of a feline friend lost in a small Japanese metropolitan sandbox. Solving platforming puzzles in this charming environment is a relaxing time from the get-go, but like a cat aiming to jump up to the top of a dresser and not quite making it, Little Kitty, Big City falters in a few areas that keep it from being a wholly satisfactory experience.

Embarking on an Adventure with a Feline Friend

Little Kitty, Big City finds its main character, a short-haired black cat that lacks a defined name, trying to return to their high rise home after a fall from an apartment window. You’ll cross paths with all manner of obstacles, be that busy humans staring at their phones or other animals, that can either help or delay your progress. Along the way, your titular kitty makes friends both large and small in a quest to regain the strength needed to climb back up to its apartment.

Exploring a Cozy Neighborhood as a Feline Protagonist

The “Big City” in the title actually refers to a relatively small group of interconnected streets with more of a neighborhood feel than that of a metropolis. For the proportional size of a cat, there’s a decent amount of space to cover, with cat-repellent standing water forcing you toward certain puzzle-lined areas, but this is not the four-footed equivalent of a massive open world. Instead, Little Kitty, Big City encourages you to find your way up and over buildings and obstacles rather than simply walking down the sidewalk.

Enjoying a Charming and Simple Gameplay Experience

The main campaign is all about regaining enough strength to make the climb home by eating fish. The first of four is simply given to you as part of the story, but others require some feline sneakiness to obtain, like stealing one from a fisherman’s catch. Going in a straight line to these objectives, something cats are not exactly well known for, can get you to the credits in just an hour or two max, but the meat (or dry food equivalent) of this adventure is in its side quests.

That is the entire campaign in a nutshell: find fish, do side quests, collect some cute hats as you go, and scratch it all off of your kitty agenda. It is hard to consider that light structure a flaw since Little Kitty, Big City does not aspire to be anything greater than a cozy game where you guide a cat around town to do things a cat might do.

Embracing Simplicity in Little Kitty, Big City

All this could make Little Kitty, Big City seem over-simplistic, but I came to believe its simplicity is actually its strength. There was no part where I was at a loss of what to do, nothing to disturb the good vibes of being a little cat in a world full of new discoveries. There was no danger around any corner or combat I needed to stay ready for – it is entirely about making friends with other animals who have big personalities while celebrating a fun-filled neighborhood alongside them.

Grating Challenges Amidst Whimsical Exploration

Where it can grate on my patience, unfortunately, is in the actual act of reaching these goals. Climbing up various buildings through a patchwork path of air conditioners, pipes, and vents can occasionally feel outright frustrating due to imprecise jumping and camera controls. Jumps do not always travel accurately to where the landing interface indicates you’ll go, sometimes leaving you halfway between one pipe and another with no choice but to jump off the wall like a spring.

The cute cartoon aesthetic at least holds up over the course of the entire campaign. The animations were clearly created by someone who has spent a lot of time watching actual cats, and are realistic enough to make me instinctively whisper “big stretch” under my breath at least once.