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...
User reviews: Very Positive (855 reviews)
Release Date: Dec 1, 2012

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Recommended By Curators

"A dark, twisted, and violent horror point and click. To say the story is crazy would be an understatement, yet it still manages an emotional connection."

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 This 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.

System Requirements

PC
Linux
    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
    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
127 of 137 people (93%) found this review helpful
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 21
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70 of 76 people (92%) found this review helpful
11.7 hrs on record
Every once in a while you come across a game that strikes a chord unlike most others. A game that touches something profoundly deep in you and perhaps parallels your own life in many ways. I haven't found a lot of these games. In fact they can be counted on one hand, but The Cat Lady is among those few.

What I am about to write will be a somewhat biased review of this magnificent work of art. Biased because the game touches upon emotions and experiences all too real and haunting to me personally. But I will try to maintain some objectivity towards the game from a more general gameplay perspective as well. So a quick warning to you, dear reader, I may get quite sentimental and soppy writing this.

The Cat Lady is a 2D story driven psuedo-psychological horror adventure puzzle rooted in borderline depression, chronic loneliness and suicide. It puts you in control of Susan Ashworth, a 30-something year old woman who has taken her own life to end her emotional suffering. But instead of death's cold embrace she so longs for, a twisted fate has her waking up in a windswept corn field in Limbo, where she is forced into a mysterious pact with the Queen of Maggots; Susan must return to life and kill five evil psychopaths before she herself is allowed to finally die. Until then, she is gifted with immortality - much to her distress - for that is the last thing a suicidee could have wished for.

The bleak noir graphics and bone-chilling eerie music will plunge you into a dark and foreboding atmosphere with grotesque and nauseating visuals at every corner. Much of the game is portrayed in a borderline black-and-white style, and there is an everpresent gloom shrouding nearly every aspect of the game. It is unnerving and bizarre from start to finish. The bulk of the gameplay is done through ”find X and use on Y” type puzzles, most of which aren't too difficult to figure out.

The controls are a bit clunky and odd, and the volume on voiced dialogue and effects suffer from poor balancing. Although there are a few game-altering choices along the way, most of the story is very liniar and easy to complete. The real staying power of the game is its dialogues, character development and the exciting way the story unfolds. It draws you in and makes you want to continue onwards. The game dazzles you with its intense atmosphere, engaging social interactions and excellent writing. It is never boring; an interactive and gripping tale of fear, angst and a fair share of violence and gore with even some humor and laughs in the mix.

What strikes me the deepest about The Cat Lady is the gradual development of Susan's struggle against her depressive life. As the story progresses, she grows and develops so profoundly. More and more you begin to realize that beneath the haunting artstyle and horror, this is not just a story about monsters and murder; it is a story about conquering fear and negativity, a tale about heartfelt friendship and love. It is inspiring. It is empowering. And it is so vivid and genuine. Even if you have not been through the dark recesses of suicide and depression yourself, Susan's journey will still be a tear-wrenching tale of victory and self-enlightenment.

The Cat Lady is a hauntingly beautiful game that can be very scary to play. Not just because of its creepy visuals, atmosphere and effects - but moreso due to its brutal and genuine delving into the sickness of a broken human psyche. It is real. It is profound. I almost could not get past the first two chapters of the game for these reasons. But I am ecstatic that I pressed past my angst and stuck with it, because Susan's story unfolds into just a mindblowingly amazing telling of loneliness and tragedy turned to life and strength, love and friendship. She becomes an angel of vengeance, sent to kill demons in human disguise, but ultimately conquers her own demons as well.

Thank you, Harvester Games. You are gaming angels in disguise <3
Posted: August 6
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49 of 56 people (88%) found this review helpful
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 8
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32 of 34 people (94%) found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
This is one sick twisted game. It's a noir adventure game, something that is pretty innovative I think-- At least I haven't played anything quite like this before. It is an interesting blend of genres and themes that makes for a novel and stimulating gaming experience that doesn't feel played out.

It really pushes the envelope with some twisted, demented scenes that are hard to not enjoy, and become immersed in... even if you aren't really a fan of adventure games, if you want something creepy, thrilling, and with good writing and immersion: then I think you will like this game.

The writing is amazing in my opinion... and voice acting is extremely solid for the most part -- it has some of the deepest, trippiest, creepiest stuff going on I have seen in a game. The noir art style works, even though the graphics are simple it just somehow fits well with the tone of the game. The truth is, all the pieces of the puzzle just work together perfectly to create an enjoyable experience.

It takes really good writing and solid acting to be able to create an immersive atmosphere in a simple side scrolling adventure game, but this game delivers and then some. I'll admit, the story gets a little ridiculous and/or confusing at moments but that is part of the atmopshere.

As far as the actual puzzle solving goes, its a pretty simple game. Theres really more of a focus on the story and just creating an eerie atmosphere then there is on solving puzzles... but there is some thinking to be done-- just the right amount for the tone of the game in my opinion.
Posted: September 28
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26 of 29 people (90%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
A rare creation, a unique study on human behavior that exposes instincts, fears, desires that most of us would not even care to admit to ourselves ;)
Posted: September 27
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333 of 382 people (87%) found this review helpful
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 4, 2013
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