As a self-identifying cat person, I tend to unintentionally gravitate toward video games featuring cats. Given this, it comes as no surprise that Cat Cafe Manager would capture my attention amongst the plethora of indie games shown during E3 2021. Guide Stash was able to go hands-on with a special E3 demo of Cat Cafe Manager. Continue reading for our first impressions of this adorable upcoming management simulator from Roost Games.
Building Your Meow-asis
Similar to Stardew Valley and other games in the management sim genre, Cat Cafe Manager starts out with you inheriting your late grandmother’s old cat café. You decide to move to the small town of Caterwaul Way to restart the business, which involves rebuilding the cat café from the ground up. Adopting local stray cats and furnishing your café are just the start. As your café expands, so will the needs of both your customers and your feline café residents. Keeping both cats and customers happy is the key to running successful business in Cat Cafe Manager.
In the E3 demo, various resources and items were already made available at the start that would otherwise take some time to unlock. Furniture items and decorations were readily available for setting up a basic café, complete with a simple kitchen and a small seating area. I chose Missy, a fluffy cat who enjoys lounging and massages. Despite being described as a diva, she seemed to be the least demanding of the three options. Once your cat café is up and running, you can begin serving customers and earning income.
The types of folks that come through your establishment will depend on a number of factors, including the types of cats living in the café, the items offered on your menu, and the cleanliness of your facilities. External factors like the weather or local events will influence the types of customers you get as well. Eventually, you will meet some local residents of Caterwaul Way who will become regulars in your cat café. As you befriend these regulars, you will learn more about their story and can even earn gifts for helping them resolve personal issues.
Throughout the game, players must lure and adopt local strays to come live in their cat café. Cats will have varying statistics that determine their behavior and needs. Different cats will attract different types of customers as well, depending on their attributes. If you wish to attract more Witches to your café, then you will want to look for black cats that have the Witch icon in their stats, for example.
You will eventually have the chance to hire more staff for your café as well. You will want to pick staff members that jive well with the needs of your café and those who frequent it to ensure the business runs like a well-oiled machine.
The Cat Cafe Manager E3 demo only lasted about 30 minutes total. The controls are easy to pick up and there are plenty of design options for constructing your perfect cat café. While I enjoyed running the café itself, it was the characters and story that intrigued me most in Cat Cafe Manager. I came away wanting to know more about the backstories of some of the Caterwaul locals and am looking forward to befriending my café regulars.
Overall, I enjoyed my brief time playing Cat Cafe Manager. The game crashed twice, which was both surprising and unfortunate for such a short demo. Nevertheless, the game has a lot of potential and hopefully the kinks will be ironed out by the time it launches next year.
Cat Cafe Manager will release simultaneously for PC and Nintendo Switch in Q2 of 2022. Check out the latest trailer below for a look at what’s to come.