Home Games Review: The Cat Lady (2012)

Review: The Cat Lady (2012)

by Brian Tan

Hello friends! So before my big move to Seattle, I had finished this game called The Cat Lady. The game follows the protagonist, Susan Ashworth, who after killing herself is resurrected back from the dead by “The Queen of Maggots”. However, this is not what she wanted – she wanted to be dead. She is forced back to life with immortality and the only way for her to die again is if she can rid of five psychopaths known as “parasites” in the game.

She wakes up in a hospital and goes through a series of events which reveal how miserable this woman was and why she killed herself. The “parasites” throughout the game is extremely terrifying. They are psychotic to the point where they would have no problem killing another human being just for the pure joy of it.

The first parasite is Susan’s own psychiatrist who kills her after deeming her as “incurable” and thus she was too mentally ill to fix, ironically enough. The second is the pest control man who was called to take care of some cats that accompany Susan from time to time. Initially, he kidnaps her to have her eaten for dinner but after his jealous wife poured bleach all over her face to disfigure her looks, he throws her a revolver to have her kill herself. The next parasite is obviously the overly possessive wife. The fourth one is a random guy that came into her room and started attacking her and her friend, Mitzi. The last one is an online troll by the name of “The Eye of Adam” who lures people into committing suicide.

The game is incredible for loads of reasons. The story, for one, is phenomenal. It starts off dark and works its way backward to show you how dark it really is. These “parasites” that Susan encounters are scary as hell. It was as though I was watching a version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre when the pest control man came into the scene and kidnapped poor Susan. As much as she is mentally ill herself, she encounters people that are way worse than her. The animation is also very stunning. You can sense the dreariness with every scene of the game. It’s very artistic and makes very good use of color and style. The gameplay is very interesting as well. It kind of reminds me of the game style of Life is Strange. A lot of the gameplay is decision-based. Depending on the decision that you make in the game, it affects the outcome later on. Another part of the gameplay is puzzle solving – such as using clues you find along your journey to progress to the next part of the game.

Overall, I really liked The Cat Lady. Mainly because of the storyline and art. It is hard to find video games that depict mental illness but this game really captures what a person with chronic depression feels. As you play the game, you start to see the world through the lens of Susan. The only real gripe I have with the game is that the third parasite does not have any background at all. He is just a madman that randomly entered Susan’s apartment room and started attacking her. But after doing a little of research, I have found that the reason for this is because of the lack of memory that was set on this game. It was more so a technical issue more than anything. I am going to give The Cat Lady a rating of 8.5/10.

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