Calico | Nintendo Switch Review.

Tuesday, 19 October 2021


Publisher: Whitethorn Digital, Maple Whispering
Developer: Peachy Keen Games
Nintendo Switch Review

Cat lady post commencing (sorry) it's taken me ages to write this most due to some glitches I faced in game that made it difficult to want to continue playing it but the other month I sat down and immersed myself in a cat world of wonders and witches. On the outside Calico looks like a Pastel cat paradise that draws you in and is full of fun and adventure but the reality is a lot different from that. The basis for the game is very simple, you have moved to a supportive village where you have decided to get the cat café running again. I spent a little while on creating my character to reflect my kind of personality, unfortunately there wasn't much choice in terms of clothes which made it obvious there would be in game clothes purchasing. 


One of the biggest appeals within the game for players might just have to be the character customisation at the start, you can tweak the body type and a lot more, the developers implemented a very detailed way for players to toggle their characters, the game doesn't worry about gender nor force you to be one type which is a fantastic feature especially to those who don't identify as male or female. I wish there were more options for hairstyles though, it seemed to be a bit lacking in that department as are clothes but you won't get more until you start getting money. Once I got past creating my character I was met by the mayor who filed me on what I needed to do and who to speak to etc. Immediately at this point i was met with glitches the game was unplayable for me so I left it for a little while. When I came back there were still issues after the developers added patches but it was a lot more playable than before and I was able to complete any quests that come my way. 

I found a lot of joy in coming across new types of animals and stealing them for my cat café, at one point it was so over run with the 10 I had in there that I ended up letting a lot of them go free or travel with me, the developers made them all interactive so they wonder where they want and do as they want unless you decided otherwise. In the menu you will see that there is a list of animals you have found or come across, each time you find a new one you can use this list to direct them to your café, to follow you or free roam. I wanted to find them all before completing tasks but came to realise that when I did find some they weren't added to my list until I completed a certain quest involving them, so once I found them again and completed the quest they showed up in my list.


Being able to turn my café and upstairs room into my own little paradise made it feel like my own personal space, with the furniture I collected and bought I turned it into my own little pastel heaven but whilst doing this it felt like a chore and I would get frustrated that the placement of items weren't going as planned and would often abandon them and come back later when I could be bothered to fix the issue. I had plenty of time to do other stuff so I wasn't in any rush to make my café/home look perfect especially when residents would only care about whether or not I had an item from a certain collection inside of it such as a spooky item or certain food which would then entice them to come and have a gander.

The vast open world you could explore had me searching every inch of the game either on foot or riding the animal of your choice (you can make them bigger with a potion), parts were cut off until I completed certain quests which looked simple on the outside but the game isn't very open to explaining what you must do it just gives you a general idea, sometimes I was given the task to find a certain animal and they wouldn't be where they were supposed to be for me to find them due to the game glitching. I felt more stressed playing Calico than I ever thought I would but playing for the second time I was determined to get through it and give it a fair chance.


My star shaped map was obviously a great tool to find residents I needed to speak to but I had to remember how they looked in order to know what character they were on the map as it's not very clear at showing names or an index, the star map is split into six different locations that are bigger than they actually look, your character is located in the heart village which is the center of the map where most of the other residents reside too, everyone is welcoming and they try to work together to keep their world a happy one.

There is a lot to collect within Calico, I was surprised with just how much stuff they included such as furniture, clothes, toys, potions, animals, recipes and lots more, these elements will keep players busy even after finishing quests just so that they can complete their collections. For me I was most excited about collecting potions and furniture, there is a potion to turn yourself into a cat now as someone who loves cats why wouldn't I want to try that? As you can tell there is a lot of elements within this game for players and keep them busy, my favourite elements would have to be baking, making animal friends, the music (it was so calming I could have listened to it all day) and flying around on a broom. 


A lot of players had different experiences when playing Calico for me it was both positive and negative, from the trailer the game looked like a relaxing paradise but I was stressed more than anything. I think it could still do with some patches even after the ones it's already had, it's a beautiful game, I wish I had a better experience with no bugs then perhaps I would have enjoyed playing a lot more in this whimsical world, one upside is that they added a screenshot mode which wasn't there when I first played.