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Cat Pipes Review

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Grab a cup of tea, perhaps a treat or two and set aside an hour for Cat Pipes. You’ll come away all the better for it, having taken in a relaxing little puzzler that, whilst a bit rough around the edges, just about gets away with it. Mostly thanks to a low asking price. 

Cat Pipes is a cozy, minimalistic puzzler in which you have to rotate a number of pipe tiles in order to feed your little feline friends. Do that, creating pathways for that food across some 45 levels and you’ll have completed everything on offer in Cat Pipes, before stepping away, probably to forget all about it from there on out. 

Cat Pipes review 1
There’s nothing tricky about Cat Pipes

There’s no doubt that Cat Pipes feels a bit rough – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get your claws into this one. From the main menu screen you can switch off the sound effects or music, and you can head on in to ‘Play’ the game, working through 45 stages of pipe twisting. There’s also a ‘Tutorial’ available from that menu. But, my god, does it fail to tell you anything – literally anything – about the game, the mechanics, the controls or anything of the like. I’d go as far to say that it feels broken, but if you sit there and click through the elements a few times – particularly after you’ve played Cat Pipes – you may just about understand what it is trying to convey. A tutorial should set you up nicely for what is to come though, and this fails to do that on multiple levels.  

Thankfully you won’t really need to worry too much about the intricacies of Cat Pipes because this is about as simple a puzzler as you’re likely to get. Left to take a ‘red’ source tile, your job is to populate the rest of the screen with that colour, creating pipe pathways in order to feed numerous cats, scattered across the land. A simple hit of the A button will twist a tile, counter-clockwise until it sits in the orientation you desire. Connect it up to the tile next to it, and continue that trend – that’s about all there is to Cat Pipes. 

Starting off relatively simply, rarely does this one go anywhere near mind-melting levels. The closest we got to even having to restart a level was that of Stage 17, with a screen full of tiles and pipes leading to various routes. It’s about the only level we spent more than a few minutes on too, powering through the rest like there was no tomorrow. Even those that add in little portals fail to ever become complex; in fact, they feel easier as gaps mean that multiple routes are condensed down. 

Cat Pipes review 2
Just a relaxing pipe puzzler

We enjoyed it though. The calming visuals can be switched through a number of hues if required, whilst the relaxing soundtrack bubbles away in the background. It is all laid out nicely enough too, and whilst occasionally some of the backgrounds seem to merge a bit too much with the puzzles themselves, obscuring key tiles, for the most part, it’s all okay. 

‘Okay’ is the key word here, because whilst it all functions as it should – aside from that tutorial – there’s hardly a thing that could go wrong with it. There’s not an ounce of fat on what has been created by Tribus Games and Afil Games, leaving you to kick back with that tea and those treats, as you move from one stage to the next, ticking off levels, listening in on the ping of the Xbox achievements as they flood in. 

Strangely though, it probably wasn’t until around that 17th stage in which I actually began to understand the whats and whys of Cat Pipes. Of course, that tutorial may have covered those bases if it was better equipped, but in a bit of a quirk, it’s pretty tricky to ever see those little cats that need feeding. Perhaps it is another issue with setup, but many of the stages feel like you’re just moving pipes towards blank spaces, the cats hiding away, probably sleeping. We’d have killed for those little felines to be more prominent.  

Cat Pipes review 3
Absolutely fine for an evening of play

Aside from that, Cat Pipes is a neat little puzzler that will allow you the chance to while away an hour or so, an evening perhaps if you get stuck on the odd puzzle. But that’s about all you are going to get from it. Is that enough to warrant a £4.19 asking price? Quite probably, and it’ll no doubt be cheaper than those treats you are stuffing in your face as you play… 

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • A cozy little puzzler
  • Doesn’t do much wrong…
Cons:
  • …But then, it doesn’t do much really
  • Tutorial is a waste of time
  • Cats could be more prominent
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Afil Games
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PC
  • Release date and price - 23 May 2024 | £4.19
Neil Watton
Neil Wattonhttps://www.thexboxhub.com/
An Xbox gamer since 2002, I bought the big black box just to play Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee. I have since loved every second of the 360's life and am now just as obsessed with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S - mostly with the brilliant indie scene that has come to the fore. Gamertag is neil363, feel free to add me to your list.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>A cozy little puzzler</li> <li>Doesn’t do much wrong…</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>…But then, it doesn’t do much really</li> <li>Tutorial is a waste of time</li> <li>Cats could be more prominent</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Afil Games</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PC <li>Release date and price - 23 May 2024 | £4.19</li> </ul>Cat Pipes Review
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