Cat Painter is a new mobile game about a cat that desperately wants to make their way in the world of fine art. This year, the app was in the Top 3 finalists of Google’s Indie Game Fest. Last Tuesday, August 7th, Cat Painter received a full English translation. Since then, English-speaking audiences have suddenly found themselves enraptured by this adorable game.
You play as the cat – the “Meowstro.” You have a tragic backstory. Much of the art world has looked down on you for some time, but your mentor, a fancy tuxedo cat, might have found your next big break. With their instruction, you review the pieces your “appurrentices” bring to you, gaining inspiration. When you gain enough inspiration, you can draw your own piece.
Underneath all the story, Cat Painter is an unconventional take on long-distance “pictionary.” When you draw your own art, you’re given a small canvas, one pen size and color, and a theme. With limited tools at your disposal, drawing more complicated themes (“high school,” “equilateral”) can be a fun challenge. Likewise, the art brought to you by the “appurrentices” are the drawings of other players, based on their own themes. When you view them, you’re given a letter bank to help you guess what they might be.
That being said, Cat Painter’s system relies heavily on its userbase, so the game is only as good as its players. The good news is, most players love it! Despite the difficulty of some prompts, they do the best they can, and it’s fun to guess what they’ve drawn.
Occassionally, though, you’ll find a picture that isn’t relevant to its answer whatsoever. The game has also created a system to deal with this. Once you’ve correctly guessed the answer, you can choose to “like” or “love” the picture – both of which give the artist points – to say “not bad,” or “nyah….” The latter option removes points, so the artist won’t receive as many rewards for their image.
All in all, Cat Painter is an enjoyable, casual game that can be played in short bursts. There are no lootboxes or dark patterns, but in-game purchases can be used to get premium currency or specific upgrades. However, none of these purchases are necessary to play.
If you want to try Cat Painter yourself, check it out on the Google Play store or the App store. Waken Inc.’s website is available in Japanese, here.