“Cat Cafe Manager” is an indie cafe management game developed by Roost Games, released on April 14 to Windows computers and the Nintendo Switch. In the game, you travel to the village Caterwaul Way to rebuild your grandmother’s cat cafe.
The gameplay feels pretty casual and doesn’t get as stressful as other management games. Most of the focus lies in decorating your cafe, building relationships with regular customers, adopting stray cats into the cafe, and eventually adopt out to the Caterwaul community.
The game has a cute art style and is one of the best aspects of “Cat Cafe Manager.” The regular customers are designed well, and the cats are adorable. The other customers are pretty similar looking, wearing the same outfits with different hair and skin colors.
There are seven different types of customers that can visit your cafe. Each type of customer will pay with a specific type of material, which can be used to purchase new furniture, recipes, or things for your cats. If you are low on a particular material, you can set the cafe to advertise for the customers who will pay in that material.
This can make “Cat Cafe Manager” feel a bit grindy at times, as you are waiting to get enough materials to purchase new things to improve your cafe or get the ingredients for a new recipe.
While it has repetitive aspects, “Cat Cafe Manager” doesn’t get overwhelming and remains pretty relaxing, unlike some other management games.
You can also hire more staff to help run your cafe; however, there are still tasks only the player can complete, such as tending to the cats, cleaning up messes, or fixing broken appliances.
Once you build up more staff, the game becomes more hands-off and could benefit from a button allowing time to speed up.
Some aspects of “Cat Cafe Manager” don’t function as one would expect. Some of the user interface (UI) and menuing are very clunky and hard to figure out. For example, when placing items or building out your cafe, you have to right-click the mouse instead of pressing the escape key to exit out of whatever thing, flooring, or wall you were on.
This isn’t explained and isn’t a traditional UI, which leads to some confusion while playing. “Cat Cafe Manager” could also benefit from being a point-and-click game on PC, rather than needing to use the keyboard to move around.
Some menus can also be challenging to read due to the font having letters too close together. There are also a few spots with typos.
Additionally, some players have noted in Steam reviews that they are encountering frequent crashes or other bugs impacting the gameplay. Customers will also come in and order things that aren’t currently on your menu or that you are unable to make.
“Cat Cafe Manager” is a cute game, but as it stands, it could use some UI improvements and general bug fixes before being worth buying at the full price. “Cat Cafe Manager” is on sale for $15.99 as a special launch deal until April 21. Once the sale ends, it will retail for $19.99.
If you are interested in picking it up, be sure to grab it on sale or wait until the developers roll out some bug fixes.