Cat in The Box is a short RPG Maker horror game that grabbed my attention where I found myself fully invested. I have seen other RPG Maker horror games on YouTube and I must say, I'm very glad that this is the first one that I fully invested myself into.
Pros and Cons
-A creepy story set in an eerie mansion
-Fun gameplay that will make you explore all corners of the mansion
-The classic feel of horror that RPG Maker games have
-Limited number of saves
-Not able to take screenshots in-game (all screenshots are from the web)
-Achievements do not work
The story starts out with a character named Girl (you can name her) who is investigating this mansion that used to house an apparent doomsday cult just a month prior. The girl decided to investigate the place for her YouTube channel but upon entering, she is attacked by a killer. After this near-death experience, she decided that it was a good time to leave but as soon as she went to the front door, she finds that the original entrance leads to another place entirely.
Luckily for her, she has gained some help from a mysterious stranger, however, at the same time, her nightmares are now trying to kill her. With more things going on and the increased chances of death, it becomes an unforgettable night.
Cat in The Box is a rather short game, but the story is interesting enough for it to be worth playing. The mansion that you are in is quite eerie, as it has objects placed in unusual places such as angel statues sitting in areas that are very odd, making the atmosphere very creepy. Sometimes they may even move! This really intensifies the creepy factor.
Cat in The Box will have you explore the mansion to find keys and other objects to access the different parts of it. This will require you to go through one area to the next in order to locate everything that you need.
Sometimes you will have to run from enemies, and you will be prompted into a chase sequence. You can’t defend yourself when enemies are attacking you, so your only option is to run from them and hide. If you fail to do so, you will have to reset from your previous save, and trust me, if your last save was 30 minutes ago, it will not be a good feeling.
You can also acquire notes and letters that are throughout the manner which will give you some background on the people who lived there. It adds some depth to the story behind the whole place and it’s something that I really liked.
The game is even scary on occasions and there were some places that felt pretty unsettling to walk around in. It doesn't have horror elements all the time as some horror games do, but the horror that is present is executed very well.
However, Cat in The Box has an issue with its gameplay, the limited amount of saves you can have throughout. The developer uses this limitation to force you to keep a steady pace. You will need tape recorders to save which are scattered throughout the mansion, you do start with two, but you will need to find more.
The good thing is that Cat in The Box is not a long game. It takes about three hours to beat, maybe two and a half depending on how fast you are. The main issue lies in the fact that you can’t save whenever you want to, which will put pressure on your gameplay. I say this because there will be moments where you can die and you will have to reset your last save, which I mentioned previously in the review.
Graphics and Performance
The graphics are very nice, typical for an RPG maker game but that’s not a bad thing. It fits the game and I really liked it overall. I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, with 16 GB of RAM. The game can run on any computer without issues, so you don’t need a powerful PC to run it.
I should note that for some reason I could not take screenshots of the game on Steam. Every time I hit F12, the game would reset, and I would have to reload from my previous save.
Another thing I should note is that some achievements did not work. I got a few of the game’s endings specifically for the achievements, but they did not activate as they were supposed to. Hopefully, a small patch will be coming from the developer to fix this issue.
Cat in The Box is something of an underrated game, possible because it was made in RPG maker. I recommend anyone who is looking for a horror game to try this one out, despite the game being short overall. With the price of 7.99, I can recommend it at full price as the content provided is well worth it.