Little Kitty, Big City Review – Feline Looking for Home

Little Kitty, Big City Review

Little Kitty, Big City is not a Soulslike or action RPG, where you arm a furry feline to the hilt with a growing arsenal of weapons. Although, that’s kind of a cool idea. And it’s not a grueling roguelike, where you only have nine lives, after which, game over and back to the start. Again, cool idea. No, Little Kitty, Big City is a gentle and appealing puzzle platformer. It starts and ends with the premise that cats are delightful, appealing creatures and you’re a monster if you don’t love them.

Homeward Bound

A black cat is taking a nap in the sun. When its luxurious stretch gets out of control, the cat slides from its cozy spot and finds itself at street level, several floors from home. For the next three or so hours, your task is to help the kitty find its way home. That’s the entire narrative if you want to call it that. The titular Little Kitty will never be in any real danger, get hurt, traumatized, and certainly not die.

The Big City isn’t exactly huge, either, more like a comfy inner-city neighborhood. It’s filled with all sorts of ledges, fences, walls, and windows just begging to be investigated. The local animals — dogs, cats, birds, chameleons, just to name a few — are amiable. They often have tasks to perform. It doesn’t take long for the neighborhood to become an enticing playground of opportunity.

Ultimately, the main quest is to get home. Secondarily, the kitty has to eat in order to make more powerful, acrobatic jumps. Finding fish to eat sets off a chain of engaging side quests, like finding 25 shiny objects for a clever crow. None of the quests are frustrating or arduous, but many of them do require some thought and careful observation.

Just Relax Already

Little Kitty, Big City has a gentle sense of humor that most often plays with the foibles of its human and animal characters. For example, there’s a chameleon who thinks its mastery of disguise is much better than it actually is. The cat mayor is annoyed by jelly jars. Little Kitty, Big City isn’t laugh-out-loud funny. But its clever, kind-hearted wit is appealing to all ages.

Any game with a cat protagonist is only as good as the way it reproduces feline movement and behavior. Little Kitty, Big City nails it. The game’s art is stylized and purposefully lacking in detail, but the cat animations are perfect and believable. This game was obviously made by folks who adore cats and other animals. The music easily syncs with the good-natured vibe of the images. It’s a bit jazz-inflected and fills in the space left by voiced dialogue.

A game entirely lacking in drama would be a snore. While the cat is in no mortal danger, there are hazards, inconveniences, and puzzles to add a bit of tension and struggle. I know folks who hate games, movies, or stories where animals are in real harm’s way. They should enjoy Little Kitty, Big City. If anything, the cat purposely trips humans right and left.

Even Cats Trip Now and Then

I only had a few and relatively minor quibbles about Little Kitty, Big City. The first concerns the game’s camera. It had a hard time in small spaces, which there are many of in the game. This meant moving and jumping precisely could be momentarily frustrating. The second issue is the lack of a map. Certainly, the kitty’s world isn’t huge but it would have been great to be reminded of where home actually was and where important “NPCs” were located.

Little Kitty, Big City is one of those rare games that appeal to all ages without dumbing anything down. It’s a short and relaxing romp that will make you appreciate your feline companions that much more. If you love cats you’ll enjoy this game. If you don’t, maybe Little Kitty, Big City will melt your monstrous heart.

***Xbox Series X code provided by the publisher for review***

The Good

  • Lifelike cat animations and behavior
  • Family friendly
  • Interesting exploration
  • Doesn’t outstay its content

The Bad

  • Balky camera
  • No map
  • Climbing and jumping can be finicky