Hidden Object games are popular, easy, and relaxing. Within the genre, there’s a really specific sub-genre that I’ve recently found myself enjoying maybe a little too much — hidden cat games. And I think I’ve found the best one out there, especially for those who grew up gaming. 

An Arcade Full of Cats

Image via DevCats

An Arcade Full of Cats is a free-to-play game developed by DevCats that revolves around a suspiciously ‘Back to the Future’ looking pair of cats called Fofiño and Leo. In order to make the world a better place for cats (and humans), they go back in time to inject more cats into our most beloved arcade games. There is no combat, no time restrictions and nothing more taxing than… Finding cats. I know, it sounds bizarre at best, but it’s more than that. 

While hunting down these adorable little feline friends, you’re thrown into a pit of nostalgia that’s filled with references to video games and movies over the last thirty years – from Mario’s question mark block to iconic Zelda imagery to movie posters with incredible cat-related puns (Expurrminator, anyone?). I was both reminded of how old I actually am and left yearning for the simpler times of video gaming. 

There are five levels in the base game, one based every five years between 1980 and 2000. The arcade location is the same, but the decor slightly changes with each jump forward in time, with the pieces from the previous level relegated to storage behind the arcade machines. The arcade machines themselves change to reflect those which could be found in arcades around the world at the time, with popular games receiving a cat-themed pun name. 

Screenshot by Destructoid

Once you’ve completed the base game, you can download the DLC and find cats in a variety of time periods from the 1800s right back to prehistoric times. The DLC cost me £1.35 and that money goes straight towards helping Cats, according to the developers.

Now while I do love Cats, I love nostalgia just that little bit more. There’s nothing like remembering a simpler time when I’d take the money I earned doing chores and run straight to the arcade. I spent far longer looking for all the references in each image than I did actually finding Cats. Of course the nostalgia was lessened when it came to historic time periods because while the game has reminded me that I am getting old, I’m not that old. 

How it works

Image via DevCats

In every level, there are a select number of cats to find and a smaller number of “hidden cats” to find. Of course, you could argue that all of the cats are hidden, but the hidden cats are located in places where you can’t see them at first glance – in bags, under hats, in trash cans, and in one instance, inside an arcade machine itself. There is even one notable hidden ‘Mario’ cat which requires an old-school cheat code to find. 

There’s also a secondary level within each main level which you can access when you find the hidden coin on the main screen of said level. I know that’s a mouthful but bear with me. 

Screenshot by Destructoid

The secondary puzzle isn’t any more challenging than the first, but it does offer a nice chance to look for something other than cats when you start seeing cats every time you blink. My favorite secondary puzzle is Purr-purr-boy, during which you need to help a Paperboy find his papers. Turns out he’s a terrible shot, which is reminiscent of my own attempts to complete the old game this one is based on. 

While there is a certain level of challenge to the game, it’s not particularly difficult and that means you can actually relax while playing – something which we all need from time to time now that we’ve grown up and no longer spend our weekends wasting our allowance on arcade machines. 

Other similar games

Image via DevCats

I’ll admit that I went down a bit of a wormhole after playing An Arcade full of Cats and it turns out that there are a surprising number of hidden cat games out there. Like I said, I went down a wormhole and I’ve played all of the ones currently on offer, with upcoming additions to the list going straight on my Steam wishlist. You could say that curiosity got the better of me, but thankfully I am not a Cat.

From DevCats, the developers behind An Arcade Full of Cats, the other titles on offer are:

  • A Castle Full of Cats
  • A Building Full of Cats

There are two other titles being added to their repertoire in the next few months, as well:

  • A Park Full of Cats
  • A Tower Full of Cats

Are they all, arguably, the same thing? Yes. However, each game has its own theme and story, which proves to keep them interesting. For instance, A Castle Full of Cats has a Horror theme, which appealed to the Horror nerd in me while featuring recreations of popular cat memes. 

If you love cats, or you love Hidden Object games, you’ll love this one. If you love both Cats and Hidden Object games, you’re in for a treat. Considering it’s free to play, An Arcade Full of Cats offers a surprising amount of feel-good for nothing and I think it is the purr-fect way to unwind after a long day.

Paula Vaynshteyn

Paula has been gaming since she can remember and is now juggling family life with virtual adventuring. She is a long-time FFXIV nut with a passion for helping others in the game. If she’s not writing or traversing the realms of Eorzea, she’s either asleep or traveling between the UK and the US to see her fiancé, whom she met in Zadnor.

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