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Video Game / Cattails

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Become a cat!

Cattails is a sprite-based simulation game that was released on December 1st, 2017, where you play as a cat. You fight for territory, hunt, and act as a feral cat. The game is available digitally on PC and Nintendo Switch. A sequel called Cattails: Wildwood Story was released on October 20, 2023.

Despite its name, Cattails has nothing to do with plants. The name is actually a pun on "Cat Tales" and, as this suggests, you play as a cat and make your own story.

Cattails provides examples of:

  • Ambiguous Gender: None of the cats in the game are referred to with any kind of gendered pronoun. Some cats have gendered names, like Missy and Arthur, but it doesn't go any further than that. This comes in handy when trying to have kits, since you can have them with any marriable cat regardless of how masculine or feminine they seem.
  • And Your Reward Is Parenthood: If you take a mate, you can have up to four kittens, with the amount depending on how many gifts you've given your mate. They become hunting partners for you when they grow up.
  • Babies Ever After: After you get married, if you have a nursery built, your partner will ask if you ever want to have kittens. If you say yes, then after a semi-randomnote  amount of time, you will have a litter of one to four kittens. You can name each one and choose a unique fur color for them, which you can obtain for yourself by getting them to max affection. Also, unlike Stardew Valley, your children will eventually grow into adults which you can take out with you to hunt and forage.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Despite the name, Mystic Colony is situated in a very un-mystical swamp. The most astounding thing out there is the Weepingroot, a massive weeping willow.
  • Cloudcuckooland: Mystic Colony. Their guard can read the future to tell you the weather, their doctor wears a plague doctor mask, their leader believes that ancient dragonflies created the land and fireflies contain the souls of fallen cats, and one cat has horns. In a meta sense, almost every cat in this colony was made by Kickstarter backers.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Mystic Colony cats apparently apply Snake Lily plant matter to their claws, which gives them poison damage during fights. Nothing stops you from doing this, regardless of what Colony you belong to.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you die, you can always be revived by your colony's doctor at the cost of your current inventory. Kittens who run out of health will just go back to your den to recover.
  • Death Mountain: Minus most of the death (unless you get caught in an unfortunate border skirmish), Mountain Domain is located in an impressive plateau at the base of a waterfall. Most of its surrounding locations include bare rock outcropping and sparse forest, although it also neighbors a cemetery. It's also the only colony that doesn't actually have the word "colony" in its name.
  • Discount Card: If you date a cat that sells something, you pay half the price.
  • Dungeon Shop: There is a mole merchant at floors 25, 50, and 75 of each mine.
  • Early Game Hell: Even dipping your toe in the river is usually fatal if you haven't leveled up your swimming.
  • Expressive Mask: Krampy's plague doctor mask eye holes and beak line change depending on their mood.
  • Friendly Enemy: Gain the trust of another colony and their border patrol becomes this, even if they're already fighting other cats from your colony. They will defend themselves should you swipe at them, however.
  • Ghibli Hills: Forest Colony's location is in a forest that borders the sea, and has a fantastical location called The Fairywood which features giant mushrooms and a colorful pink and blue pathway.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The number of kittens you have is based on how many loved gifts you give your partner, which is never explained in-game.
    • The existence of the Island Mine. It's off the map and involves braving the ocean to get to, which can be very troublesome if you haven't been upgrading your swimming abilities. The only hints that you get to it is that the Moles of the other mines mention it once you reach level 100 of their mines, and Savannah mentions a 'distant land' in the ocean in her Winter festival dialogue.
    • You'll most likely have to look up where to find all the Power Paws in the game. While many are found easily enough - clawing at an object that has a paw marking on it - some require specific actions, like walking on all four pawprints in the Sacred Temple, circling the Weepingroot, and following the entire Walking Trail without stepping off the path.
  • Life Simulation Game: Cattails is a game about feral cats. You play and survive as a cat.
  • Married Animals: The player cat can propose to and marry another cat by bringing a ring to them.
  • Marry Them All: Averted. If the player tries to do this, all but the first NPC will decline, either saying that they aren't the one for them, or simply ask who the flower/ring is for.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: The player cat can't attack or sneak while swimming, but NPC cats aren't subject to those restrictions.
  • Oxygen Meter: A meter appears above your cat's head in water, and when it runs out, you begin taking damage from drowning. As you increase your Swimming skill, this meter depletes more and more slowly until you reach level 10 and can swim indefinitely.
  • Panthera Awesome: The Forest Guardian ends up being a ghostly blue mountain lion.
  • Stray Animal Story: The player is an abandoned cat. The tutorial shows your cat as a kitten in a pet store being picked out by a little girl, but after an indeterminate amount of time, the girl's mother becomes angry at the two playing in the house, loads both of them into the car, and drops the cat off at the side of the road.
  • Xenofiction: You play as a normal, minimally-anthropomorphic cat.