Explore Colorful Islands as a Cat in this Free Game

'ᗢ' is a game where you play as a cat. And cats are pretty great, imho.

Feb 1 2017, 4:00pm

So I originally wrote this whole piece about how much we seem to love islands, right? About how much we fantasize about them. About that seductive idea of surviving and eking out a life on a harsh little blue and gold paradise. About the fact that most of us would never be able to pull it off in reality, while in fantasy we're free to lap it up.

That's not an inaccurate way to approach ᗢ, but it's not enough to get to the heart of it either. So I want to talk about cats instead.

Cats have this uncanny ability to get around. One minute they're there, the next they've meandered out of sight towards some objective or another. Sometimes what they're after is obvious—a toy, a pest, a snack, a ray of light or mote of dust—but sometimes it's not. Sometimes they just go, and whatever compelled them to do so is beyond anyone else's understanding. This is maybe where you could plug in some sassy sweatshirt slogan ("It's a cat's world, we just live in it!") but that elusiveness, that seemingly fickle nature, makes cats a very good candidate for exploring this kind of fantasy without getting too bogged down in practicality.

All images courtesy of sentvyr and takorii

And that's the heart of ᗢ. The islands are a peaceful backdrop, but you don't need to worry about hunger or thirst, warmth or shelter, predators or prey. Assume the cat eats when it wishes and sleeps when it will. Assume it knows where the water is, and you're just not peeking at it in a moment where its thirst needs to be quenched. All you need to worry about in ᗢ is moving. Exploring. Squeezing a small body through small spaces. Finding the things that interest you—that compel you—and pursuing them, leaving one corner of the sunny, pastel-colored atoll behind for the next.

Roam and relax in ᗢ for free (or pay what you want) through itch.io on both Mac and Windows.