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Cat Quest 2 Stands Out as the Cat’s Meow

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Cat Quest II

EGX Rezzed was filled with bright and brilliant playable demos, but the latest project by The Gentlebros really stood out as the cat’s meow.

Cat Quest 2 is a sequel to the original Cat Quest which debuted in 2017. The first title was met with critical acclaim among fans, receiving positive reviews. Cat Quest would arrive on console later the same year and has since won several awards.

The biggest and most pronounced change for the sequel are the inclusions of dogs and co-operative gameplay. The added co-operation is the real bread and butter of the game, as the combat and game mechanics work purrfectly when a pair is playing. The game can also be played entirely in single player, as well as co-operative with the option to switch between the two characters.

The EGX demo proved that working as a team is the best way of dealing with enemies. For example, a small spiked enemy will use a charged attack when provoked, which allows for one character to run in and bait the enemy to attack while the other moves in to land a blow. Timed dodging and parrying seem to be the best approach, as running in ham-handed will result in a swift K.O. Should the character receive a lot of damage during battle, players can rest up and recharge at several glowing stones by taking a quick nap. Playing as part of a team is not always as simple as it seems, however, with several traps designed to not damage the first player, but rather the one slacking behind.

Several other improvements have been implemented since the previous title, including new enemies and a complete overhaul to the inventory menus. One interesting feature is that the loot found throughout the levels is shared among the players, meaning if a particularly swanky new armour piece is found in a treasure chest, only one person will be able to equip it at a time.

Fans of the previous game will be pleased to hear that the gorgeously designed map is returning, as well as the treacherous treasure-filled dungeons. The design of the world is one of the game’s stand out features; players wander across an actual map complete with location names and, during combat, battle lines that prevent the characters from leaving a certain area. Another returning aspect that some may be thrilled about is the pawful pun-filled script, which often brings a quick smirk to the player’s face.

The helpful Navi-like sprite, Kirry, guides players along the vibrant and whimsical landscape and provides helpful hints throughout. Another returning character is Kit Cat who acts as the game’s upgrade and armour specialist. Players can visit Kit Cat to level up their gear via coins. The mage guild also makes a comeback and acts as the means to level up a character’s magical abilities. Other new characters include the villainous Lionar and Wolfen who have usurped the thrones of the two playable characters. Not much is known about the motives of the villains, but in-game clues suggest a Sheriff of Nottingham-esque villainy with sudden tax increases.

Cat Quest 2 is looking to be a must-have for RPG fans searching for a fun and fanciful adventure. The game will be arriving on Android, iOS, PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One in 2019. Stay tuned for more Cat Quest news and other EGX coverage by following our FacebookTwitter, and YouTube. Meanwhile, join the discussion on our community Discord server.

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Co-op Gaming Shines at EGX Rezzed With We Were Here Together, Phogs!, and Cake Bash

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Co-op gaming

Over the years, jolly co-op gaming has been in decline, especially from AAA developers. Several recent games have been standouts, such as A Way Out, Strange Brigade, and the Far Cry series, though the latest pioneers of co-op gaming will likely come from the indie community.

While exploring EGX Rezzed, the atmosphere was filled with a sense of mutual enjoyment as gamers came together to play a plethora of team-building games. Among these games were some of my personal highlights including We Were Here Together, Cake Bash, and Phogs!

We Were Here Together

We Were Here Together is the latest co-op adventure puzzle game by independent studio Total Mayhem Games.

The title continues on from two previously released projects, We Were Here and We Were Here Too, with the former available on Steam for free. Set amidst a frozen landscape, the first two games centred on exploring a mysterious castle while solving puzzles as part of a two-person team. Players were separated throughout the playthrough until the final moments, which featured a touching scene where the puzzling pals would eventually meet to conquer the remaining conundrums.

We Were Here Together immediately shakes things up by starting the game with both players working together in the same environment. The EGX demo starts off outside of the castle grounds in an expedition outpost where two explorers suddenly receive a distress call from somewhere in the frozen wastes. Players must work together to decipher an incoming transmission and correctly pinpoint the distress beacon.

The location itself is the answer to a series of puzzles, requiring both people to work together. A great example of teamwork is one player adjusting an outside satellite while the other stays inside to alter the radio’s frequency until a voice can be heard. This is where the creative ingenuity from the developers comes into play as solutions are different for each playthrough. The puzzles themselves remain the same, but, by using the same example as before, the voice may only be heard on a different frequency. Similar situations where the outcome changes include changing co-ordinates and figuring out which key may fit a particular door.

Roughly one-third of the game will be set in a shared environment while latter parts will take place back inside the castle in a traditional, separated format. Two paths are laid out later for the players to choose between, providing avenues for replayability. The changing solutions also add to the replay value as it prevents veteran gamers from going back and telling their new partner the answers.

The moments where players are physically apart highlight one of the unique features of the game: the radios. Both characters are equipped with walkie-talkies so players can communicate with each other. Radios are a brilliant immersion tool as the mechanic works exactly as a two-way radio should, with the wielder having to hold down a button to speak and release to hear the other. The radio mechanic is optional, though, as players can simply use a third-party chat. However, the added difficulty and roleplaying add an extra element to an already rather tricky title.

We Were Here Together is a fun shared experience that proves a challenge for even the most seasoned puzzle solvers. The release date and price of the project are unknown at present, but the game will be available on Steam.

Cake Bash

During EGX Rezzed 2019, the Coatsink team had a glorious display full of plush animals, colourful scenery, and even a rather large and comfortable dog bed.

I was lucky enough to go hands-on with Phogs! and play a few rounds of Cake Bash with PR and Events Manager Jack Sanderson. Both games proved to be a real treat to participants, with Cake Bash serving a much-needed helping of raucous fun in a series of mini-games.

Not unlike many beloved party games—such as Mario PartyCake Bash is an up-to-four-player competitive game featuring several rounds of friendship-ending challenges. The design of the title instantly stands out with an adorable and vivid visual style that brings a certain charm to the characters and settings.

Before each round, players choose a character from a selection of delicious desserts as their combatant. During the demo, only two game modes were available, the first of which required players to gather falling pieces of fruit and throw them inside a giant meringue. A single point is awarded for successfully tossing a piece of fruit into the bowl. However, a rare golden fruit, worth ten points, will appear every so often. Competitors must be wary of descending fiery boulders that can briefly daze any dessert. These boulders can also be picked up and lobbed at rivals. Not only can enemies launch these rocks at one another, but they can also punch and beat each other to force someone to drop their fruit.

The second mode available was a race to gather the most jellies to become the tastiest treat. Player avatars run around an arena, gathering multi-coloured jelly beans to cover their chosen dessert, and the sweet with the most treats at the end wins. While the first game mode mainly had the individual focusing on their own points, this round directly pits people against each other as limited jellies can be found, and players can steal them by whacking opponents.

While the game looks stunning, gamers will have to wait until 2020 to get their hands on Cake Bash. The late release has allowed for an increase in scope and additional modes for players to sink their teeth into.

Phogs!

The other title playable at the event was an equally adorable project called Phogs! The game can be played solo or with a friend, as the player controls one or both halves of a two-headed dog. The two heads can be moved independently and are able to stretch, bark, and bite.

Phogs! is set in a dream-like environment where the ground is made up of soft duvet sets and pillows, while the skies are filled with tranquil clouds gently floating in the distance. The level designs are built in a way that eases the player into the various mechanics, offering something new or demonstrating different ways to solve puzzles. Early enigmas would require both sides of the dog to work in unison to pull an object or levers simultaneously. Later levels would add a glowing orb that can be used to remove dark shadowy walls or illuminate pathways to walk across. Even the orbs are based around the idea of working as a team as one side of the dog bites onto the light ball with the other opening their mouth to act as a torch.

The charming personality of the game really shines in the various character designs and their functions within the levels. One of the final missions of the demo featured a sleeping giant that dreamed of bridges in floating thought bubbles. Players could then use the camera perspective to align the dream bridge with a section of a missing platform to cross. Other cutesy critters include wailing alarm clocks that can disturb the giants, preventing them from dreaming up a way to progress. The clocks can be led to nearby beds where they will quickly start to drift off and stop ringing.

Despite the levels being fairly linear, additional tasks can be completed to gain collectable dog biscuits. These tasks often require the dog to present characters with a particular item, for example, bringing a storybook to an owl.

The whole experience with Coatsink was a delight, both games offering a mix of controller-clenching competition and jolly cooperation. Like Cake Bash, Phogs! will also be arriving in 2020 on PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One.


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