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The Cat Lady follows Susan Ashworth, a lonely 40-year old on the verge of suicide. She has no family, no friends and no hope for a better future. One day she discovers that five strangers will come along and change everything...
Release Date: Dec 1, 2012
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$9.99

Reviews

“Amazing story that maturely delves into raw human emotion”
4.5/5 – Adventure Gamers

“The Cat Lady is the finest horror adventure I've ever played. In fact, it's one of the finest adventure games I've ever played, period.”
A+ – Just Adventure

“The Cat Lady is a refreshing, intelligent and intriguing game and one of the best I have played this year”
9/10 – Bloody Disgusting

About the Game

The Cat Lady follows Susan Ashworth, a lonely 40-year old on the verge of suicide. She has no family, no friends and no hope for a better future. One day she discovers that five strangers will come along and change everything...

By author Remigiusz Michalski (Harvester Games) this suspenseful psychological horror game features stylized artwork, a simple keyboard control method and English voice acting, plus a compelling, atmospheric 70 minute soundtrack by micAmic and featured artists Warmer, 5iah and Tears Of Mars.

The Cat Lady contains strong adult themes and is recommended only for players over 18.

PC System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: XP, Vista, 7
    • Memory: 500 MB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: XP, Vista, 7
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space

Linux System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Debian 7
    • Memory: 500 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Debian 7
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
89 of 100 people (89%) found this review helpful
1,570 products in account
37 reviews
12.2 hrs on record
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhTPQL3ZYWI&feature=youtu.be

While The Walking Dead may be the first game to roll of of players tongues when asking about dark point and click adventure games it's hardly the only title in the genre. Frankly, depending on what tickles your fancy, it may not even be the best choice for those looking for a gruesome, horror tinged experience. The Cat Lady is Harvester Game's entry into the genre boasting a distinct aesthetic and a narrative that handles heavy psychological themes and obsesses with some of the more morbid aspects of existence. With such a benign sounding title, The Cat Lady may come as a surprise to unassuming players but the question remains, is The Cat Lady the pinnacle of recent horror themed adventure games or should it be buried at the bottom of the litter box?

The Cat Lady opens with eponymous Susan Ashworth succumbing to her loneliness and the ghosts of her past by gorging herself on a last supper of sleeping pills. Instead of stepping into the black void that she assumed would be her end, Susan finds herself in Limbo where she encounters a mysterious old woman who offers her a chance at life and happiness. The phlegmatic Susan doesn't exactly jump at the woman's offer but reluctantly takes it upon herself to seek out people that the old lady refers to as parasites in exchange for happiness. In order to help Susan with her new burden, the lady renders Susan immortal before sending her back to the world of the living. Throughout the course of the game Susan encounters the aforementioned parasites who happen to be serial killers who employ some of the most perverse methods and rituals when taking the lives of others.

Themes of depression, suicide and hopelessness pervade The Cat Lady but thankfully Susan's sardonic tone keeps her from become too overbearing and irritating. Such subject matter could easily devolve into the whining melancholic drivel that characterizes a Hot Topic playlist. The focus on Susan's psyche and the focus on her road to depression makes The Cat Lady feel more like Silent Hill than the past several entries in Konami's acclaimed survival horror franchise. Like the critically extolled Silent Hill 2, the Parasites that Susan faces are often allegorical. Unfortunately, much of the voice acting can be flat, and in the case of the wife of one of the parasites that Susan must dispatch, it can be rather silly, disrupting the tone of the game. Some characters sound like their dialogue was recorded with a webcam and these inconsistencies can irritate. Despite the underwhelming vocal production the soundtrack is great. With a mix of industrial music, jazzy compositions, string arrangements and piano pieces it easily shifts the tone of the game from tense and unnerving to melancholy and lonely. Some tracks with lyrics interject in key moments and give this simple indie release an almost cinematic quality.

While The Cat Lady employs a unique aesthetic it isn't exactly cohesive or pretty. Characters are rendered like early 90's digitized graphics and move like marionettes. Backgrounds appear to be composed of still photos that are desaturated. Much of the game is monochrome with splashes of color which does a great job of communicating Susan's mental state. Some of the colorized elements are of some significance while others are just random highlights. Some areas are fully colored. With so many different varying elements and shifts in style the visuals are a bit of a mess but the imagery employed by The Cat Lady is effective, channeling a mix of slasher film gore, industrial props, grime and decay.

While many more recent popular adventure games don't really have much in the gameplay department aside from dialogue choices and a few quicktime events, The Cat Lady contains traditional puzzles. These puzzles commendably balance logic and a sense of reward, meaning that not much time is spent guessing what combination of items will allow players to progress. Using cloths to unscrew hot light bulbs, finding a knife to losen a brick which is later used to smash a window and finding ways to coax hostile NPCs from important items are some of the ways in which your gray matter is tested. Also your actions and interactions with others can affect the outcome of the game. It's immensely satisfying in a way that Tell Tale's immensely popular games are not.

Despite its course edges, The Cat Lady is a tremendously engaging adventure game. It fills the hole left by Silent Hill when it comes to psychological horror and provides a glimpse of hat sever depression can look like. The narrative is engaging and slowly uncovering Susan's past is engrossing and the dark imagery is unnerving. It would take more than the flat, low production voice work and a cluster♥♥♥♥ of a visual style to make The Cat Lady unplayable because it gets the things that matter the most right. The puzzles are rewarding while not bogging down the experience with obtuse and inane gags that pretentiously preoccupy themselves with stumping players than making progression meaningful. Adventure game fans and horror game fans take note, The Cat Lady is a worthwhile experience that should be on your radar.
Posted: February 10th, 2014
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52 of 56 people (93%) found this review helpful
382 products in account
38 reviews
40.9 hrs on record
What a masterpiece of a game. Wow.

Art, original music, and writing are all superb. Graphics could have been more detailed, but the art style makes the graphical detail (resolution) not as important, and even more fitting in a way for the darker and granier feel to the game. Voice acting is some of the best I've heard in a game making all the characters believable and worthy of your investment in them. Especially the main female protagonist, who is very unique for the gaming world and isn't constrained by the typical gaming tropes.

The writing and character dialogue is by far the most mature and believable for any game I have played. You are getting adult level dialogue and script writing here with very few, if any instances of the kind of cheesy video game writing we have grown to expect from video game writers.

This story will present some very dark themes. Depression, suicide, murder, and any other dark thoughts you could have. It's not technically a horror game, but it is psychologically creepy enough to feel like it at times. Something that most of us who no longer feel any fear from the "horror" genre are more likely to find unnerving in parts due to it being much more about the emotional level of the characters and their mental state rather than just seeing a ton of gore. This game does have several strange and gorey scenes in it, but that isn't really what makes it great. The depth of the characters' thoughts and emotional upheaval is what makes it shine in the end.

The atmosphere of the game as well as all the set designs capture the mood of the story and the characters perfectly. The grainy sadness of the entire game keeps you in a perfect mood to enjoy the tale you are presented with.

For anyone that has experienced sadness, or depression on a deep level, this game will be relateable to you in many ways I'm sure. Living with the inability to properly address negative emotions that keep you in a state of sadness is perfectly presented here. Living with depression has never been shown better in a video game that I have played. You feel like you really know the main character, and you feel like the writer has a deep understanding of why she is the way she is.

There are well designed puzzles along the way that adventure fans expect. It is definitely possible to get a bit stuck and not be able to figure out a puzzle as some are a bit unorthodox, but if you look hard enough and think about all the interactible items in every stage eventually you can figure it out. Nothing too difficult, however.

This game deserves far more recognition than it gets. It is a truly great work of art, and it is quite apparent that the developer put a lot of deep thought into making this game. It absolutely had to have come from personal experience with the things presented. I don't think you could make a game like this unless you understand, or have studied many of these themes in depth.

10/10

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EDIT: All this below is for completionists/replays and Achievement hunters. NO SPOILERS are here other than very minor ones about early game decisions in the first few minutes.
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I completed all the Achievements in this game now so I can give a bit more description on how much choices you can make change the game.

If you want to make sure you get the "Best" ending you have to pay really close attention to what you do from the very first choice in th egame as any mistake will give you one of the normal endings instead. You should look at the achievements guide to be sure and follow the 'A Flower That Bends Towards the Sun' description to get you this ending.

HERE is the Guide to use:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=201219437

WARNING: the engine this game uses doesn't allow you to overwrite saves, and the save limit is 50. That may seem like a lot, but I DID hit it, so you may need to cut some of your saves and put them into another folder for later if you need more room. The save folder for this game is located in:

C:\Users\<yourPCName>\Saved Games\Cat Lady

As far as I can tell there are 5 endings, but there are many choices along the way that can change dialogue for the section that it is in. Ch. 2 for example has several different pieces of artwork based on the answers you give to questions asked of you. This section probably has the most alternative story element in it so saving here is worth doing to allow you a pk at as many as you can see. These aren't things that will impact the ending necessarily, but worthwhile for small little flashback scenes that are quite good. Achievement, or not. Th eCh. 1 decsion I wonder about for the ending as one side (perfect ending) does require it, but not sure if the other does.

EDIT #2: I have played with the Ch. 1 decision taking the side that doesn't get the perfect ending all the way through to the en, and I can confirm that taking this choice does not change teh ending other than making it impossible to get theerfect nding. All the normal endings will basically the same if you take the choice that gives you the other Achievement for Ch. 1.
Posted: June 21st, 2014
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33 of 37 people (89%) found this review helpful
281 products in account
15 reviews
10.0 hrs on record
The Cat Lady doesn't make the best first impression. It's a low-res adventure game, made in AGS, it's almost entirely B&W and the animations are really strange. In fact, the whole graphical style is an acquired taste. It took me some time to get accustomed to it, at least.

So what is it about? You're a lonely, very depressed woman, called Susan Ashworth, and on one especially difficult day, you decided to end it all and swallow a bunch of sleeping pills. But you don't end up in heaven. Instead, you're sent back with the mission to rid the world of "parasites", bad people that delight in the pain of others. The game is divided into 7 chapters. The narrative consists in part of Susan dealing with the parasites, but it also tells of recovery from depression, finding new meanings in things and the importance of social relationships.

But The Cat Lady is not just an emotional trip. It's also a boldly horrific one, mixing "realistic" horrors (serial killers and such) and surreally gruesome scenes. It's more disturbing than frightening so it probably won't keep you up at night, shivering with the lights on, but the creepy imagery will stay with you.

As far as mechanisms are concerned, the most particular feature is that the game is played entirely with the keyboard. It works, but it takes some time to get used to. Items of interest are highlighted when you pass them by, so no pixel hunting is ever necessary. The puzzles are logical and I never really stayed stuck or needed a walkthrough, but they're still real puzzles: it's more of an "actual" game than, say, recent TellTale efforts. Speaking of which, there are many occasions where choices have to be made, but aside from two of them in the end, and another in the middle of the game, I don't think any of them had any impact on the story, not even shallowly. They're mostly there to fill a bit of background in the way you choose.

The first half of the game is reasonably good, but I found the narrative achieved its best rhythm in the second half, with less endless ramblings (or maybe I got more interested into the characters and I was less bothered by slow passages). The puzzles in the second half are definitely better too. So if after a couple of hours, you're still hesitant to continue, I'd advise against quitting the game.

I have to mention the music which is stunning, both the few songs that punctuate important moments and the instrumental pieces. There were some relatively frequent audio glitches, something I've seen mentioned in other reviews, so it's not just me. The voice acting was competently handled, with a few odd exceptions that thankfully don't concern the main characters.

Overall, The Cat Lady offers a very good story supported by nice adventure mechanisms. If you can get past its look (which is OK but takes time getting used to) and the few moments it drags for too long, you'll be rewarded with a memorable experience, one with a satisfying ending..
Posted: June 8th, 2014
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32 of 37 people (86%) found this review helpful
101 products in account
2 reviews
14.1 hrs on record
Have you ever been through depression, had suicidal thoughts? then this game is for you~

This game is a hidden gem indeed.

I see myself in Mrs. A, seriously whoever went through those tough times this game brings back memories, not really the bad ones but I guess you can say the good ish ones, if you're currently depressed or feel weak don't play it or maybe do? it could help~ it's beautiful, emotional and heart warming.

can I hug Mrs. A and Mitzi now?
Posted: March 19th, 2014
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24 of 26 people (92%) found this review helpful
1,000 products in account
62 reviews
7.7 hrs on record
Now this is what i would call a game aimed at and for adults,and i say that because this story deals with some very heavy and serious issues (suicide,serial killers and all sorts of other things that are really aimed at adults and not for the ears and eyes of the younger generation).
Now i must admit i havent played as much as i would have like'd to yet (due to many other games getting in the way) but this has been one of the best adult experiences i have had with a game in a long time,excellent story (will not say to much as that would only spoil your enjoyment of what is a very well written and played out story)-the graphics really do suit this sort of game-and the soundtrack and spoken dialouge are all top notch.
Now you start the game and you die straight away,this is a problem in most games but not here as its all part and parcel of the storline,you then meet the "QUEEN OF MAGGOTS" and she then preceeds to send you back to the world of the living with a purpose,and says you must stop the 5 parasites before you are allowed past the pearly gates for peace and eternal rest.
So of you go back to the real world and thats when it gets more interesting,i wont say to much as you need to discover this for yourself but believe me thats the best way forward so no spoilers.Just to say that SUSAN then becomes one tough lady to kill,and i do mean TOUGH (some scenes are quite harrowing and i havent forgot some of them yet,thats why i said earlier in the review that this is not a game for children).
I hope that this game does well as to be honest i would like to see more games of this ilk that are actually aimed at adults released on STEAM or in any other medium for that matter,as there arent enough and we as aldults should have this choice as i for one will play many more games of its like if they were just out there.
So in closing if you like a good adult story that deals with grown up and mature issues and are looking for something with a more adult flavour then look no further than the CAT LADY.
Posted: July 8th, 2014
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323 of 369 people (88%) found this review helpful
324 products in account
10 reviews
2.0 hrs on record
The Cat Lady!
The Cat Lady is a game following our protagonist Susan: A depressed suicidal middle-aged woman that decided to end her life. She swallows a whole lot of pills and here is where the journey really begins, when you wake up in a dreamlike field to the protagonists confusion. The main story, if you look outside of characters and their interactions and how they end up, is not the most logical or devoid of plotholes, but I wouldn't focus completely on where you are and why due to the surreal nature of the game. Instead the focus should be on the characters, and really think of them as people, mainly Susan and Mitzi. Perhaps this interaction between cynicism and optimism - the existential crisis - isn't relatable to everybody, but it doesn't have to be, it's a game filled with greatly written dialogues and amazing visuals, interesting story elements with profound symbolism at every corner.

“Bleak, uncertain, beautiful”
This is a game where the visuals really mean something, where the artstyle, while bleak and macabre, is still incredibly powerful with salient bright-red blood and shocking aesthetics. The photorealistic nature of the game makes the visuals really speaks to you, it impacts you in a way not many games do. It makes every moment tense and terrifying especially considering how well the visuals are paired with the music. It creates phenomenally thick atmosphere of eery beauty. The characters move in an uncanny and rigid way which really adds to the overall uneasy “feel” of the game. It's a game where you can find the ugly beautiful, or just find it ugly. Although “ugly” would be totally suitable considering the circumstances.

Music, oh wow-wee!
The music in this game goes from heavy distorted riffs with beautiful and powerful vocals to the minimalistic, somber piano pieces. The music is used perfectly in this game. When the piano kicks in during some of the monologues or some of the more laid-back dialogues you are just sat there awe-struck, amazed at how much you are drawn in. The music is overall very fitting and wonderful, matching each moment more or less brilliantly.

Uh oh, characters!
The characters in this game are remarkably fleshed-out. Especially the main character and her relations. The way they talk to each other, they way they seem like they have some real connection on a personal level. How they argue about some of our protagonists more cynical ways of seeing the world, of how she look at other people, it felt very believable, it was written amazingly. From the “parasites”(the main plot impetus) we get some quite cool performances with some of the voice acting really convincing the player of how twisted, cruel and weird they are. How despite not being able to die we have reason to fear these people solely because of what they might do to us while we're still alive. I could write for hours on the relationship between Mitzi and Susan, but I wouldn't want to give much of it away out from its context.


Conclusiveness!
This is one of my favorite games, although that means nothing, it's really a game that I could insert myself in to, to feel like it was talking to me. It was a personal experience for me, which it may not be for everybody. Probably not for most people. But I think most people can enjoy the quirky/creepy characters, the insane visuals and the great music. That most people can enjoy the story which holds up fine just as an adventure. You can view this game from different perspectives and still thoroughly enjoy it for its different characteristics. I played this game almost a year ago and it's still fresh in my memory, it's truly one of the best experiences I've had in gaming. Personal or not. It's a game that is grown up. It's a game, among many others, that shows that this industry have something to it as well. That this is a valid art form. The thing we spend our time on, the things we think about, is also important, this is more than a time sink, our interests have merit. Our tastes can supersede visceral bloodshed. This game is perhaps not best suited for most gamers, but I long for a day where games like this has a bigger place in our medium, where profoundness trumps “fun” for a bigger portion of gamers. I only have one thing to say now, thanks, for everything.
Posted: December 4th, 2013
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Awards

Winner "Best Story" - Adventure Gamers 2012
Winner "Innovation" - Adventure Treff 2012
Winner "Best Game World" - Adventure Treff 2012
Winner "Surprise" - Adventure Treff 2012
Winner "Indie-Adventure" - Adventure Treff 2012