Hidden Cats in London Review
Nukearts Studio specialises in hiding cats across beautiful cities. Whether it’s Hidden Cats in New York or Hidden Cats in Paris, you’ve got these cute felines doing typical kitty things: stretching, napping, looking out windows, and more. They’re simply living their best lives while you try to find them. Now it’s time for them to kick back in a new iconic setting with Hidden Cats in London. Although the game was originally released on PC, it’s now made its way over to PlayStation, so with my controller in hand, I curled up on my couch, ready to search.
Cats in London is your typical point-and-click hidden object game. Nukearts has translated the mouse and keyboard controls well to console, allowing you to navigate the map with your right thumbstick and move a cursor with the left. Then, you’ll press “X” whenever you find a cat. You can also zoom in and out with the triggers, which you’ll be doing often, as these levels are rather detailed and busy.
The game comes with two main modes: Normal and Advanced. While Normal sends you searching for 100 cats with three hints to help, Advanced is a bit more challenging, hence the name. In it, there are 150 regular cats, bonus meow-tastic felines, and eccentric city folk to find. Both were delightful and cosy to play, especially with a cup of coffee on a rainy day. As someone who loved Where’s Wally books growing up, these types of games never fail to make me nostalgic as I pour over the nooks and crannies of the artwork. In either mode, some cats are rather elusive while others are right out in the open, but whenever I found myself stumped, I always had enough hints to point me in the right direction. The Advanced mode generously gives you more tips for every character you find on its list of specific city inhabitants, but the catch is that you can only use those hints to spot regular cats. You can’t use them on the city folk themselves or the special bonus cats.
There are also five additional smaller levels that take place in London’s interiors: The Book Shop, Pub, Tube Station, Music Studio, and the Palace Room. These are unlocked by finding the aforementioned bonus cats while playing through the Advanced difficulty. I couldn’t help but be reminded of another lovely game, A Building Full of Cats, as I made my way through these quaint and cosy spaces. The Book Shop was my favourite of them all with its design, and it was so cute how the little kitties poked their heads out from stacks of books and hid between shelves.
I also loved how lively the main level in London felt, just through small touches in the design. The moving boats, vehicles passing by, the train speeding away, and the rising bridge are excellent touches amidst the static backdrops. Even the adorable cats look active at a standstill, as several are drawn mid-stretch, peaking out of a bush, or walking along a street. It also feels so whimsical when the environment changes from black-and-white to vivid colours once you’ve found all the cats in the area. Not to mention the fun fireworks that appear after fully completing the level. Additionally, soothing coffee shop-like music fills the background, so you’re sure to be relaxed as you play.
That said, there are a couple of areas Hidden Cats in London could improve upon. The option to zoom in and out is great, but when you’re playing on a console, it doesn’t feel like you can zoom in enough. With the television likely further away than your monitor, you might be squinting like I was to find the smaller kitties hiding about, so being able to zoom in closer would be a good quality-of-life update. Searching for cats can also get difficult in bonus levels, as they're much smaller by design, so much so that I couldn’t find them without using hints. When they were finally revealed, I realised I couldn’t see them because they actually didn’t look like cats. Instead, they were a little too camouflaged into the environment that they became indistinguishable.
All in all, Hidden Cats in London is a great bite-sized pickup if you’re looking for a cosy, relaxing hidden object game. With adorable kitties, detailed levels, and chill music, you’re sure to have a meow-some time!
Hidden Cats in London (Reviewed on PlayStation 5)
Excellent. Look out for this one.
Hidden Cats in London is a wholesome experience teeming with feline friends. If you’re looking for a cosy, relaxing hidden object game, this is sure to delight.