Meow Lab

PC

Sometimes simple and cute is what I’m after. Actually, most of the time simple and cute is what I’m after. Both in terms of games and personal status. Meow Lab fits that bill too – a puzzle game in which your goal is clear and achievable, all presented with sweet cartoon graphics and prowling kittens.

Quite why all puzzle games don’t have kittens mewling about near the bottom of the screen I don’t know. Hopefully this is the first step toward putting that right. In this, you have a screen of tiles, and various chip-like components to arrange such that all the prongs poking out their sides match up. Look, I’m tired, words are hard: just look at the pictures.

Some can be picked up and put anywhere. Others only slide along a single row or column. Others still can rotate. Then there are various combinations of those, and other twists added as you go along. Each puzzle has a single solution, and it’s about methodically identifying routes and carefully slotting everything together.

There’s nothing here that you’ve not seen before. Apart from, arguably, cute little Cthulhus in jars, TARDIS decorations, and the aforementioned – and very welcome – kittens. They’re just there, trotting back and forth, licking their paws, and eating the food that’s dispensed when you correctly solve a puzzle.

Honestly I’m not entirely sure if I’m a kitten, and I’m solving these puzzles for food? Or if I’m a scientist who’s motivated myself to solve these challenges else my pet cats will starve? I don’t want to think about it too hard. I just want to sit back, solve little puzzles, and be pleased that there are kitties to watch.

Importantly, Meow Lab is well put together. The only complaint I have is that you can only rotate pieces clockwise – I’d far prefer that they rotate anticlockwise with a right-click, to save lots of needlessly clicks and turns. Otherwise this is a solid delivery of a neat idea, plus feline positivity.

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