Cat Cafe Manager is sweet and simple, but could possibly have more to it than meets the eye – Preview

A purfect management sim for cat fans everywhere.

Image via Roost Games/Freedom Games

There are so many beloved management sims whether it be something more kid-friendly like Animal Crossing, more in-depth like Stardew Valley, or unique like Spiritfarer. Cat Cafe Manager is the dream management game for cat people. 

Cat Cafe Manager trims the fat on what can make management sims feel cumbersome. You don’t have to wait long on food cooking and interacting with customers or cats is quick and painless. For the twenty or so minutes that I got to play with the game, there was a very smooth flow. You begin building your cafe by choosing your first cat. Customers take a liking to a specific kind of cat, while cats happen to have a specialty towards specific customers. After a customer has their meal a cat will come up and give them a cuddle if they’re compatible. Then the customer will leave happier than originally planned. 

As your cafe progresses you will come across different strays. As you continue building their trust with you by giving them food, you will be able to adopt them with each cat having special traits. Eventually, local townsfolk will dine at your cafe where you can converse and develop friendships that will lead to storylines. Customers will even include those who run the other shops in town, where you will be able to purchase things like recipes, furniture, and ingredients. 

You will also come across a cat shrine, which will allow you to level up different skill trees strengthening your cat care. As your cafe grows and you attract enough customers, you will level up which increases your stats and more or less helps you do a certain action quicker like cooking or cleaning. 

I know it all sounds straightforward, but Cat Cafe Manager seems to be a “what you see is what you get” type of experience and that isn’t particularly a bad thing. I didn’t get to play it for very long, but as someone who isn’t too keen on management sims, I feel like it respects your time and doesn’t make you wait on anything. There is always something going on that will help grow your cafe or adopt some more cats. It is a basic enough concept, but it does everything it sets out to do well. In the full release, I’m curious to learn however how deep the relationships with the townspeople will be in the long term. Whether or not their stories will have a level of depth that will make me care about them and this town has yet to be seen, but that is what will be needed to make Cat Cafe Manager stand out in its genre.

Cat Cafe Manager releases on Nintendo Switch and PC on April 14.