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Xbox Game Pass cat sim Little Kitty, Big City is impurrfectly great

Though it’s a couple hairbrush strokes off of a perfect coat, Little Kitty, Big City is a delightful sandbox adventure on Xbox Game Pass.

Xbox Game Pass Little Kitty Big City: a cat wearing a frog hat holding a sword in its mouth

Game of the Year nyandidate Little Kitty, Big City finally dropped on Xbox Game Pass last week, and despite a few stray hairs holding it back from winning best-in-show on the cat game front, I had an absolutely lovely time with Double Dagger’s debut over the weekend.

It’s been the best part of two years since BlueTwelve Studios offered up its bundle of orange cat energy in the form of Stray – one of 2022’s best games. Since then, I’ve been desperately hoping for a follow-up to no avail. Fortunately, Double Dagger’s more than taken up the mantle, and despite opting for a black cat this time, Little Kitty, Big City’s nine-lived protagonist has somehow out-oranged its (very) distant cousin, making for one of the best Xbox Game Pass games I’ve played so far this year.

Little Kitty, Big City begins with its star taking a tumble out of its ivory tower (apartment window) down into the undercity (metropolitan Japan) below – it’s giving Flushed Away. Now facing a long climb back to the top – and not nearly enough stamina to do so – el gato must hunt down the fish required to juice them up like a furry, feline Popeye.

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Of course, our biscuit-kneading buddy can’t get their Omega 3 hit alone, and throughout my journey through the open-world game, I encountered all sorts of animals, including a capitalistic crow and a multiverse-surfing tanuki that could’ve given Einstein a run for his money. Though their exposition can get a little much at times, the game’s light and breezy humor carries through wonderfully. In return for helping my newfound friends, and committing various acts of theft around the neighborhood, I was rewarded with the required gill-bearing vertebrates to complete my Getting Over It-esque journey.

While the Bennett Foddy comparison may strike fear into you, don’t worry – Little Kitty, Big City is, after all, a cozy experience that won’t have you seeing red every few minutes. Between terrorizing the locals and scratching off to-do list items, it takes way more of its gameplay cues from the equally chaotic and just as enjoyable Untitled Goose Game.

That being said, the game’s platforming did have me hurl up a hairball or two at times. I’m not proud to admit our klutzy kitty went one-on-one with gravity here and there after they clipped off a piece of railing, or didn’t quite catch the terrain the way they should’ve. I also had to restart my game a couple of times after getting impaled on potted plants – the most dastardly obstacles I encountered outside of puddles (can’t step in those) and dogs (I reckon the cat could give them the one-two Mayweather, but a bone will do I guess).

Xbox Game Pass Little Kitty Big City: a cute black cat wearing a crab hat

Fortunately, Little Kitty, Big City’s furball foibles aren’t enough to detract from the cat’s nine lives (luckily, there’s no fall damage) or my overall enjoyment (whether that’s because my love for cats transcends journalistic integrity or otherwise). There are also lots of hats to collect, which let’s be real is the most important part of any animal-based game. In exhibit A (the featured image for this article), you can see that not only have I studied the blade, but I have also transformed into a terrifyingly-cute chimeral cat-frog.

It’s for this reason (alongside everything else that I’ve written in this article) that, if you’re ever in the market for a chill lil catformer – I mean, platformer – to wile away the hours with, delve into the list of Xbox Game Pass games and download Little Kitty, Big City. Double Dagger’s done a fabulous job for the most part, and it’s no wonder why it’s already sold 100,000 copies in its first 48 hours on storefronts.

If you’re still looking for more Game Pass goodness to get stuck in with, then check out the other new Game Pass games that have arrived with Little Kitty, Big City this month. For more of the latest cat-based propaganda from yours truly, give our Google News feed a follow.