Calico’s Promotional Art, by WhiteThornGames
First of all – to get this out of the way, this game is adorable. From the pink cherry blossoms all over the starting area to the vivid mushroom forest at the end of the game, each area that I explored as a magical, pink deer girl was enchanting and engaging. The NPCS are all darling, the pets are goofy and their animations and ragdolling models are funny, and the game lets you go at your own pace. If you don’t want to advance the story and would prefer to decorate your cat cafe – aptly named Calico, then you’re welcome to do just that.
However, no game is without its flaws. The endgame is a bit empty, and there’s only one loop of overworld music in the beginning area where you spend most of your time. These are, however, very minor nitpicks in the scheme of things. While I’d like more content after you’ve finished the main quest, I feel like it isn’t required in order to enjoy Calico. Using your handy dandy little notebook full of information about the NPCS and their likes and dislikes, along with their pronouns, their personalities, and their general aesthetic, you really get immersed easily inside of this game.
Overall, this game’s gameplay and aesthetic may not be the right slice of pie for everyone, but if you’d like a relaxing experience petting animals, designing your little cafe, and dolling up your magical girl, then this is the perfect game for you. I loved it so much I played it twice, and it was just as fun the second time as it was the first. Plus, there’s LGBTQ+ characters in this game, and as an LGBTQ+ woman myself, it was exciting to see that there’s a nonbinary NPC and a lesbian couple!
This game hit all of my sweet spots in what I look for in a video game, and it’s well worth the price on Steam, even if I played on my Switch. I’m not sure what the differences between PC and Switch gameplay are, but I imagine they’re not too difficult to get used to.
I would have to give this game a solid 8.5/10 rating, only because I encountered a few glitches on my first playthrough, and after a while, it gets a bit repetitive. However, it does its job in creating a cute, fun environment, and it’s cute, charming setting and adorable NPCS makes up for what little flaws it has.
You can check out Calico on Steam, or in the Nintendo Switch Store and have your own magical girl adventure in the lovely little world that Whitethorn Games has created.
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