Mushroom Cats 2

PC, family friendly

I think it’s safe to say that if Mushroom Cats 2 didn’t cost less than a pound, there’s a chance I’d not have picked it out. But I’d have been really sad about that, because as short and as silly as this is, it’s also incredibly charming. This is a game about giving hats to cats. Cats that live on elaborate mushrooms. And yes, it’s the sequel to Mushroom Cats.

The original is a five minute throwaway freebie, in which you click on some barely hidden red hats, and then click on the enormously cute cats. Once every cat wears a hat, it’s over. This sequel takes that idea and… does it a bit more. But for slightly longer. And with some better hat hiding. And aliens in top hats.

This is the work of Russian indie dev, Anatoliy Loginovskikh, and I love his art style. It’s reminiscent of the glory days of Flash cartoons, and he has a whole bunch of incredibly cute cheap games available on Steam, including the forthcoming Geese Vs Cthulhu and Mister Burnhouse (which looks amazing) and the previously released Call Of Fries. (There’s also a the incongruously horrible-looking Horror Girl Puzzle, which really doesn’t fit in at all!) Mushroom Cats 2 is clearly created to be something that’s purely and simply lovely, and it deserves to be heralded for that.

It helps that the animation and music is great too. Here there are five separate mushroomish levels in which to apply hats to cats, although it’s unquestionably a little disappointing that they get dramatically shorter in length as they unlock. The first is by far the biggest, with about fifteen minutes of fun, the fifth lasting about 30 seconds. And yet I find it hard to argue when the Sun is SO flipping happy with me.

Oh, and it only cost 71p. That helps too. This would be great for kids comfortable with using a mouse (and indeed would work far better on a tablet, but sadly seems only to be on PC). It’s never difficult, but often grin-inducing. The cats are lovely, and giving them hats makes them happy! So much so that every single hatted cat gains you an achievement almost all with the exact same words: “The cat is happy!” I made the cats happy!

This is very daft, and enormously cute, and unabashedly happy. Which makes it hard to complain. You’re putting hats on cats, for goodness sake!

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