Cat Quest 3 Preview – A purrfectly piratical adventure

Cat Quest 3 header artwork

Do you like games littered with cat puns? Are you paw-sitively tickled by even a whisker of floof-related humour? And do action RPGs have you bapping your controller’s buttons with glee? Then the Cat Quest games are absolutely for you, and Cat Quest 3 will probably have you headbutting people’s ankles in joy.

The adventure begins with a tiny kitten with a strange birthmark surviving a battle at sea in the Purribean archipelago, the Pi-rat attack sinking the ship and our baby hero floating away in a little wicker basket, only to be discovered by the spirit of a cat, Cap’n Spirry, who decides to foster the child through to adulthood. Thankfully, since we’re talking about cats here, that probably only takes a few weeks before the feisty feline is old enough to set forth and seek his destiny and hunt down the mythical Northern Star.

As with previous games, this is a fast and fluid action RPG that’s easy to dip into and start battling through. It feels like you’re adventuring across a 90s RPG overworld, but instead of random encounters cutting away to battle, you can run up to and start swiping at enemies meandering on the world map. Of course you can also arrive at various locations and head inside, whether it’s a tavern for a chat with Mama Milka the bartender and to pick up bounties, or a Pi-rat infested tower, a small cave or some other style of dungeon which promises treasure at the end – these are either explored in the familiar isometric view, or switch to a side-scrolling 2D camera.

This piratical twist is the root of how Cat Quest 3 differs from the first two. Starting off on a small island, you’ll have to battle a few of the Pi-rats, building up to a first encounter with the oversized Mr. Clean. With Mr. Clean’s ground-pounding attack, you’ll need to dodge roll out of the way, or swap to and blast away with a blunderbuss from distance to defeat him.

Naturally, as you defeat enemies and open up chests in dungeons, you’ll snap up loot that will enhance your kitty cat attacks. Better swords, different guns that can be faster firing and/or more damaging, hats, bandanas and other headgear, spells to learn and trinkets to wear. This gear can imbue you with new abilities, whether it’s unleashing a fireball or giving you a dodge-attack that lets you dive up close to an enemy and immediately start swiping, instead of sauntering up and potentially taking damage yourself.

All the Pi-rats defeated on that opening island, you’ll be able to snatch control of the ship just off the island’s jetty and take to the high seas for yourself – you can always hop out of your ship when you get to land, but finding a jetty or harbour will let you summon it to appear right beside you. The world feels nice and open to you at this very early stage – there’s something about having a boat and lots of open water that does that – though your goal and direction to head in your quest is nicely signposted in the world with star towers.

Sailing the seas of the Purribean, you’ll run into innumerable Pi-rat ships and have to do battle. Just like the on-land combat, it’s light and accessible with a good bit of auto-aim in the general direction you’re facing and intuitive controls as you try to get to the flanks of your enemies – cannon towers on islands pose a somewhat different challenge to figure out.

If all of that sounds pawsitively delightful to you, then there’s a demo on Steam for Cat Quest 3, and obviously the first two games, which are currently steeply discounted on PC. The full game will launch on 8th August – International Cat Day – across all major consoles, smartphones and PC.

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