Cat lover? Or Cat Lover - that is the question. At least it is for Purrfect Date, a cat dating simulator! If you ever wondered if you should try dating a cat or not, then this is absolutely the way to find out. Run out of fish in the sea? Perhaps you should have been looking for cats instead.
Indie developer Bae Team is the party responsible for this title, as well as publisher Bossa Studios who happen to be responsible for I Am Bread and Surgeon Simulator. Though don’t worry, this game won’t frustrate the hell out of you, I promise. Reminiscent of such dating game classics as Hatoful Boyfriend, that fantastic bird dating simulator that may have been a gateway drug of sorts for dating simulators to go as far as they want to go, which is why we can now date aliens, cat girls, dinosaurs, and now cats.
Purrfect Date opens on your character, a young scientist heading to your new job which just happens to be on a peanut-shaped island. You will be Professor Pawpur’s new apprentice - but don’t worry, he’s human. You are on the island to research the cats, with your job duties seeming to mainly be capturing and tracking them using your… Cat-A-Log tool. Did I mention the puns? Think of the movie “Super Troopers” and their meow game times ten. Any cat pun that could be made will be made, and then some. There is a part of the island you’re not allowed on as it’s strictly forbidden. Full of apparently dangerous cats, Professor Pawpur advises you to never stray into that area. So of course you do, and things just go downhill from there. After being seemingly attacked by the cats in the forbidden area, you wake to find that you are now apparently cursed. And you can talk to and understand the cats now! So it’s not all bad!
I’m not going to tell you what the curse is or what it entails as I don’t want to ruin the surprise for anyone else. Though I will say that it was an adorable twist that I quite liked, and it serves as a wonderful tool to give the game a slight level of urgency as, because of the curse, you’re kind of on a timer to find a cure. Though it doesn’t seem that you can cure yourself on the first attempt, as you are limited to how many times you can do certain task such as: rest, romance, research, or recon. You can only romance five times, while research and recon are three times each. You can probably rest as much as you want, though, which may be useful as you might find more things to recon or research when doing resting activities.
All in all, Purrfect Date is quite a piece of work. It takes a lot to make me uncomfortable, and this game made me quite delightfully uncomfortable. I chose to date McMurphy first, an Irish rogue who is listed in the wiki (don’t look surprised, everything has a wiki now) as being a six year old cross-breed with green eyes. I’ve always had a weakness for green eyes… I just never expected them to belong to a cat. Murph is absolutely adorable, playful and fun, and spending time with him means you get to drink a lot and play around - innocently. Don’t worry, this isn’t Huniepop. Though there is a fair amount of nudity - the cats don’t wear clothes. Scandalous! Joking aside, I honestly wasn’t sure this game would work when I first heard of it, but I was pleasantly surprised.
As I said before, the delightfully uncomfortable thing. Seriously, it is weird to think that you’re ‘romancing’ a cat. That was something I wasn’t ever quite able to get past until the ending of the first chapter, giggling my way through the entire situation. Videogames can make us do some ridiculous things, and Purrfect Date absolutely did that in the best way. I was uncomfortable but not in a way that ever made me think I didn’t want to play. I haven’t felt this goofy playing a game since playing the overly adorable Viva Piñata. While that wasn’t a dating simulator, it was made for children and I couldn’t have been more addicted to a child’s game. That’s the kind of feel I get from Purrfect Date. It’s just good clean fun with occasional slightly dark humor.
The art is quite cute, giving the characters an endearing feel. You kind of find yourself falling in love with all of them as they’re just simply precious, even if some of the cats are kind of grumpy. Each cat has its own personality, and you can sort of call this game progressive as you can date male or female cats. My friend decided to date Snooty Booty when she tried the game, an eleven year old female sphynx cat with striking blue eyes, and she found it just as goofily endearing as I did dating McMurphy. We both had a lot more fun dating cats than we thought we would.
Where there are pluses, there are also minuses to the game. There could be some better explaining on how to cure yourself, as it does seem you have to play several chapters to do so if it’s even possible. I guess I’ll just have to play through the whole thing to figure that out. Darn the luck. The game does also only have one graphics setting, purrfect of course, though it did seem to take more to run properly than I expected as it ran kind of slow for me, though it did run just fine for my friend. I did check and my computer does meet the minimum requirements for the game. If I haven’t had trouble with games such as Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator, or playing card games and mahjong in my downtime, this shouldn’t have been as much of a struggle as it was for me.
Purrfect Date is a great visual novel/dating simulator that will pull you in. There are apparently eighteen different endings and about ten hours of gameplay, according to the Steam page. There is quite a lot to keep a person busy, trying to get all of the endings and date all the cats. Can’t leave anyone out, after all, and for $9.99 or £7.19, it’s worth it. Meow if you’ll excuse me, I have more cats to date! But keep your paws off Murph, I saw him first!
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
The purrfect game for cat lovers with adorable art and several different endings. If you've ever wanted to date cats, here you go! Game does only have one graphics setting, though, and on a PC that met minimum system requirements it did struggle.