Home Reviews 3.5/5 Review A Building Full of Cats Review

A Building Full of Cats Review


If you reside anywhere in the Venn Diagram of ‘people who love cats’ and ‘people who like hidden object games’ then A Building Full of Cats is a no brainer. Not only are you getting a polished little puzzler for £2.49, but you are supporting a charity that encourages people to adopt cats rather than buy them. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

A Building Full of Cats is exactly what it claims to be. It’s six floors of flats, each one of them owned by fans of felines. We’re not entirely sure why we’ve been given the job of finding every cat that lives in these flats, but it’s the job we have nonetheless. Our impossible mission is to spot the cats, pet them, and tick them off on our ledger. It’s good work if you can get it. 

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This is A Building Full of Cats

Each floor of these flats is composed of two rooms, commonly a sitting room area and a bathroom. They’re monochromatic line drawings, and they can be explored with a cursor on the left analogue stick, or by shuffling the camera along with the right analogue stick. And each cat can be petted, lighting it up in the process, with a jab of the A button. 

There’s something instantly appealing about these line-drawn rooms. They’re kind of wonderful, painstakingly detailed and lots of fun to scan over. The lack of colour means you can pick out minute details, hunting for the telltale triangle ears or two eyes of a cat. It’s amazing how small a cat can be, yet still be spottable, poking out of the sides of a painting or vase. 

A total in the top-left of the screen helpfully ticks down as you find cats. There is a total for visible cats – those that aren’t hidden within something – and there’s a total for hidden cats, who will be obscured until you open a drawer, flick on a light, or generally interact with the environment to find them. Finally, there is Fofana, a cat who moves. Find him once and he will move to a new location, often a place you’ve already searched. Find him again and he will move for a final time. 

We have a complicated relationship with the hidden cats. The visible cats are largely fine, especially once you realise that they can be inanimate. Cats drawn on post-it notes or in a photo frame all count to the total, so you should pump the A button on everything that’s vaguely cat shaped. Fofana is fine, too. He’s got a unique style – reminiscent of the cats in the other Devcats game, Sudocats – so it’s easy enough to find him as he runs away. But the hidden cats are the ones that we both love and hate. 

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Another Building Full of Cats

Some hidden cats are in the most likely of places. Drawers are particularly likely. See a drawer and you will have the immediate impulse to open it. And inside will be a dusty moggy for you to tap on (helpfully a different colour and a different total, so you can be sure of whether your remaining cats are hidden). 

But the hidden cats are also in unlikely places, and therein lies the rub. It’s perfectly possible to feel like you’ve completed a level, only to understand that there are a few hidden cats to find. This likely means the beginning of a  process of tapping A on every last item in the flat, in the hope that a cat will emerge from it. A nuclear bunker in the basement is particularly egregious, as there are rows of pots, and cats could be in any one of them. So, you’re methodically tapping and sweeping every last drawn item, and that’s dubious fun. 

A very partial hint system doesn’t help matters. You can tap X to get a hint on the puzzle, but it’s not altogether helpful. You can only use it once per flat, but it doesn’t make that limitation particularly clear. Your best bet is to save it until you have only one cat left, or risk being even more frustrated. It also doesn’t work when the cat is hidden. The hint system only works on visible cats, and that sucks. We’re not sure why it’s been coded this way, as it wouldn’t have taken much to circle the curtain or cushion that’s hiding the cat. 

But these are minor caveats to what is an adorable and precise little hidden object game. We were big fans of how each room is a completely different setup. We’d love to meet the owners of the flats, as they’d be a diverse bunch of characters. We’ve already mentioned the nuclear bunker, which also has its fair share of Fallout references and memorabilia. But there’s a very glamorous, wealthy flat; a bohemian flat full of mandalas and windchimes; and a gamer’s flat with PC rig and Mario figures. 

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Guess what? Hidden cats!

Plus the cats are far more fun to find than chaps in black glasses and red and white bobble-hats. They stick their bums out as they crawl under cabinets, or bask in the light of a ceiling lamp. While some of them aren’t much bigger than a few pixels, others have clear characters, while others still reference movies or memes. You’re not only finding the cats: you’re enjoying their poses. 

Being £2.49, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that A Building Full of Cats is short. We completed it twice in a couple of hours (achievements weren’t registering for us on the first pass, but the second playthrough solved the problem). While there are some lovely secrets, including cats hidden in the game menus and a couple of unexpected levels, it’s not going to be long before the entertainment’s over, and there’s no benefit in replaying. All you can do is delete your save in the hope that, in a year or two’s time, you’ll have forgotten where the cats are. Then you can enjoy it all over again. 

A Building Full of Cats is a great use of your cash. That money goes to promoting animal adoption over purchasing them, so you can feel warm and fuzzy about improving the world… before enjoying the double-benefit of some hidden object gaming. What’s here might not be revelatory, but it’s an adorable way to pass the hours.

TXH Score
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a-building-full-of-cats-review<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Simple and effective line art</li> <li>Well-made hidden objecting</li> <li>Fun references and cute poses</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Hints aren’t particularly functional</li> <li>Hidden cats can be a pain</li> <li>Over rather quickly</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Purchased by TXH</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One (review), PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 31 May 2023 | £2.49</li> </ul>
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