Top Critic Average
Developers: Peachy Keen Games, Matias Schmied
Publishers: Whitethorn Digital, Maple Whispering Limited
Genres: Adventure, Simulation, RPG
The worst thing I can say about Calico is that it's undeveloped. While the entire experience can be described as relaxing, running the cat café isn't all that interesting and most of the tasks you'll complete for island residents boil down to the same two or three objective types. Anytime you're doing something other than those two activities, it's rather aimless. While its basic premise doesn't have a strong enough foundation to carry the experience, Calico manages to luck out in that its undeveloped nature and general wonkiness add to its charm rather than subtract from it. The "cute factor" does a lot of heavy lifting, and I could almost argue a lot of the design elements here "think outside the box," but I worry I'd be giving too much credit to a game that's just not entirely well-made.
Calico is a wonderfully weird and whimsical game. With a few tweaks to the rendering of the game, a few glitch fixes, and the ability to customise the controls, it would be an ideal island to visit for a few hours at a time. If only I could get my Animal Crossing island to have the same atmosphere…
Such was my time with Calico. The troubles I had were as unobtrusive and gentle as my enjoyment. You’re so laid back, that something like floaty controls or vanishing walls is barely an inconvenience. Conversely, the soft pastel skin of this game is difficult to get a grip on. Players looking for a more involved life sim will come up short, but if comfy gaming is your aim, you’ve struck gold. Calico is a brief, blissful vacation in a world of gentle magic and cute companions. If you’re looking to just relax for a little while, Calico will be exactly your speed.
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Calico - Launch Trailer