The colours in Calico: Pawsome Edition pop more than a body-popping assembly marinated in pop music and served on a bed of popcorn. Pop, pop, pop. Is that word sounding weird now? Say it aloud ten more times, then forward this email to ten others. 

I can be reckless and take on weird titles to champion indie titles, though a lot less selfish than Scott Pilgrim and think of others. My kids will love this one from Whitethorn Games, so this is for them. A grit of the teeth, a few hundred words, then it’s done.

Egg firmly on my face: I enjoyed Calico: Pawsome Edition. I’m no tunnel-vision alpha who only has time for cod and Call of Duty – I like cute n’ cosy games, too. Do I have to play with and dress up like a cat? The last time this happened was in Senran Kagura: Peach Ball, and I’m still feeling queasy.

Calico: Pawsome Edition release date
Source: PR

Calico: Pawsome Edition PS5 Review – A Sim With Purrsonality

To pre-approve Calico: Pawsome Edition before my little girl starts asking why everyone has big boobs and starts and ends a sentence with, “Eh-heh – kimochi“, I played first. Obviously – I’m writing the review.

The early customisation was like catnip. Unable to create a decent avatar of myself draped in Speedos, I made a variation of my wife – a respectable one, mind, as this isn’t one of those games of ridiculous proportions. It was tempting to give her a handlebar moustache, however.

Dressed in a fabulous white t-shirt and shorts combo, an extravagantly dressed wizard/mayor pulls a first-person sim on me and says I’ve inherited a cat café. Unlike those games, Calico: Pawsome Edition is fun from the get-go without any cleaning duties and provides immediate access to decor and furniture customisations.

The mayor tells me I can place furniture and coax a cat into moving in with me. I pick up the feline at my feet and proceed to spin it around and point its anus at the camera just as my wife walks in. “That looks like me?!!”. Now isn’t the best time to ask if she meant the cat’s bottom.

Calico Pawsome Edition
Source: PR

Mew-sic To My Ears

The mayor says Calico: Pawsome Edition is magical, well, old magic, which translates as nice. Besides decorating my gaff, I should learn how to cook. Fingers crossed that it’s more intuitive than ASMR Food Experience. Shut the fridge: is this the best cooking concept or what?

According to the mayor, the eggs would be huge, but they didn’t say my lil’ wifey avatar would shrink, jump on spoon catapults, toss ingredients into a pot, and run on a hamster wheel to bake. It’s incredibly unhygienic, what with this being a cat café, but hand on heart, this is soooo much fun.

The cooking mini-games in Calico: Pawsome Edition are so inventive that it will take a bloody miracle to beat this. Give me bagel hula any day of the week. But we can’t stay here forever as it’s time to meet the locals. They’re a lovely bunch, so it’s best to get acquainted and fast-track: “Do you need anything?”.

Calico: Pawsome Edition fetch quests are simple enough: locate an animal, stock a recipe, and decorate the place with a theme that one of the locals likes. It’s a familiar territory. I didn’t mind this bit, although the technical flaws became apparent when I donned my explorative furry ears.

Calico: Pawsome Edition PS5 Review - It's alive!
It’s ok, it’s still alive. Source: Screen capture

Let’s Paws For A Moment

The Calico: Pawsome Edition PS5 version is riddled with invisible walls and steps that prompt an abrupt halt. Cat appendages would protrude from my neck, or I’d fuse with a packet of flour. Believe it or not, this didn’t ruin the gameplay, but it does burst the aesthetic bubble.

Yet there’s nothing a little magic can’t fix. Other than the clothing, recipes and decor, magic potions bring you back under the spell. Aside from affecting the day/night cycle in the game and changing the weather, the local alchemist can make up a concoction that megafies your animals. 

Without reading the label, I made my first calico huge, then wandered the open world, showcasing my guns while gorilla-pressing this colossal cat to the sky. Oh – you mean I can mount the animals and dash around the woods? Score!

The promise that my daughter and I would play when she finishes school and then see her delight is a selling point as a family experience, but cat cynics like me will enjoy it, too. Cute, cosy, coffee and cats, Calico: Pawsome Edition is marvellous. If only baking IRL was as brilliant as this.