Review: My Little Kitties

Cats are awesome animals. Beloved by the internet and pet owners alike, an adorable little kitty is worth its weight in gold. After just hearing the name, some may believe My Little Kitties is some form of Nintendogs knock-off. Not in the least. Instead, this visual novel comes with quite the odd premise. In this world, the souls of cats have mysterious properties that allow them to transform from cat into human. Once a human, they have all the abilities that humans have – speaking, walking and the like. They don’t even have cat ears like might be expected as the souls are 100% human in their transformation. No reason for this ability is ever given, nor is there much of a backstory of the cats these characters were beforehand. Perhaps it just would detract from the rest of the tale.

My Little Kitties has an unusual setup but rarely utilizes it. Instead, we’re brought straight into a slice of life story between protagonist Haru, his cat-turned-human “daughters,” Nuri and Sora, and oddball friend Yura. Obviously the two aren’t his real children, but that doesn’t stop them from referring to Haru as their dad. It also appears as though this high school senior has no life aside from living with his bakeneko so that’s incredibly convenient. The entire visual novel takes place within the confines of their home and the antics that everyone gets up to. One of the most rambunctious characters of all, however, might just be Yura. Despite being an adult, she is quite fond of Haru and his bakeneko (in fact, to an unhealthy, illegal degree). This unwanted relationship is played off as a joke and includes a fair bit of sexual innuendo despite the all ages tag on this title.

All this innuendo from Yura and even Nuri and Sona might lead you to believe you’re missing out on some 18+ edition but no such version exists. It’s a bit of a weird mix to have such a sweet concept of a single dad caring for his two adopted daughters turned into something lewder than personally feels like a good idea. In any case, the story itself is simplistic enough and full of silly moments – and a tad bit of drama for good measure. My Little Kitties generally focuses on the everyday life of this unique family. We get to watch Haru struggle to please Sora and Nuri, decide how to handle conflicts between them, and reconcile the fact that these two children were at some point cats. There are even a few minigames to uncover such as the “airplane ride.” This one turns playtime of carrying a child over your head into a click-fest.

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Aside from these little diversions, there are also a good deal of choices to be made while playing through My Little Kitties. The choices you make may determine whether a child is happy or angry with you, or even trigger a bad ending. The problem with the bad endings is that they seem to come out of nowhere. For example, waking up the wrong child first is grounds for… murder by said child? Who even knows? In any case, these bad ends are really weird and seem like they would have been better left out of the game. As such, players should save at every dialogue choice because you never know which one leads down the path to ruin. Fortunately there are more than enough free save spots to accommodate them all.

My Little Kitties does feature some adorable artwork. All characters, as well as actual cats, are well drawn and make this seem better than some indie visual novel on Steam. The voice acting for all characters (minus the protagonist himself) also adds to the feeling of quality. However, then there’s the GUI which is that of a mobile game.It should be no surprise that the reason for this is that the game is a mobile port! It’s not usually a problem except in minigames where players are expected to tap rapidly. Another slight issue is that the GUI wishes players to swipe to pull up menu options instead of click a button. Those who actually have a touch screen PC will find it useful while playing.

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There are multiple issues with the GUI unfortunately. They also go beyond the personal opinion of whether or not mobile design decisions are attractive or hideous. One problem is the fact that occasionally dialog (when set to auto) does not stop when the menu is pulled up. This led to some frantic closing of the menu for me, and likely has tripped up others as well. Then there is the fact that sometimes text does not fit into the text box on screen. On more than one occasion the text string is too large, leading to lines which are completely unreadable. The text shows once you pull up the past dialogue, but is a definite annoyance.

The largest flaw of My Little Kitties is with regards to the writing itself. Even if every other aspect of the visual and technical design were spot on, it’s just not that interesting. The innuendo undercurrent is displeasing given the underage and daughter nature of two of the three main characters. It would be acceptable to some degree in an 18+ eroge because at least there people know exactly what they’re getting into. For this one, some may expect a purely heart-warming and friendly release rather than what they actually receive. The translation, while mostly free of typos and grammar issues, feels too literal. Each character has her own stereotypical personality but beyond that never get to grow.

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Closing Comments:

My Little Kitties is a two to four hour visual novel which might appeal to people looking for a brief view into the life of a high-school aged father, but it is somehow not nearly as cute as the name implies. With more work done to iron out the bugs and more time devoted to improving the script, maybe it would be worth recommending to a wider audience. As is, if people really want to enjoy life as the father/master of catgirls then they should invest in the Nekopara series instead. That game goes fully into adult content but at least there people go into the game expecting it. Not only that, it provides a far livelier cast who you might actually care at all about.

Summary
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My Little Kitties
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