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Want to play with cats as a magical girl in charge of a cat cafe? Calico’s got you covered

It’s a cat game so you have to like it.

According to its website, “Whitehorn Digital is a low-stress indie game publisher focusing on approachable, digestible, wholesome games.” That’s the tag for Whitehorn Digital, the publisher handling the upcoming title, Calico, which recently funded on Kickstarter.

A friend of mine is one of the developers, but I hadn’t yet seen her work, so I was delighted to find out Calico was at the PAX West Indie Minibooth. I got hands-on with it and here are some highlights:

  • You play as a magical girl in charge of a cat cafe
  • There are cats. There are SO MANY CATS. There is just a joyful abundance of cats
  • There is also a red panda!!!
  • You can pick up and carry the red panda
  • You can forget about everything you’re supposed to be doing right now so you can spend time with this adorable red panda, fulfilling a lifelong dream of playing with a red panda, even though this is a digital red panda and not a living, breathing furry creature. It’s nothing and trips to Australia to do this for real are actually really expensive and—
  • You can get distracted writing bullet point lists about this game, thinking about red pandas
  • You can play with cats with toys like laser pointers and string
  • You can make and sell pastries in a zero-stress environment
  • There’s no fighting
  • You can use magic to make any cat gigantic and thus rideable
  • You can explore the cozy, open world to your heart’s content with no time or conflict pressure

I think there are going to be people who will look at Calico and think, “but what am I supposed to do here? What’s my goal?” and that’s fine, but more importantly there will be people who’ll find Calico’s low-stress, wholesome, inclusive environment to be a breath of fresh air.

Calico is coming in Summer 2020 to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, and Mac.

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Jake is a writer and game designer in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He loves action, exploration, building, filling bars, and turning numbers into bigger numbers. Someday he'll release a video game.

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