I just purchased Calico and began playing it over the weekend. Calico is a cute anime style Cat cafe game. The gameplay is simple and relaxing. You collect cute animals and run errands for towns folk while baking cute treats to sell in your cafe. You can also buy and unlock new recipes, new furniture, and new outfits.
What I love most about this game is how inclusive it truly is. You can be fat, slim, short, tall, black white, or green, or yellow, red, pink, whatever. You can have long hair, short hair, curly hair, straight hair, bangs, no bangs, side bangs, etc. I mean my character looks almost exactly like me in real life. And within game, the NPCs are various body/skintone types too.
And there are bisexual and homosexual NPCs and it’s very inclusive. Although I am white and straight myself, I am big on seeing inclusivity in games like this. It’s a refreshing change. And some of those little chubby NPCs and dark skinned NPCs are so damn cute!
The animals and food you make are all cute too. You shrink and throw ingredients into a bowl following a recipe chart. The food is sold in your cafe.
Different NPCs prefer different types of food, different animal companions, and different styles of furniture.
It’s not just about cats either; there’s other animals too! Birds, dogs, rabbits, and more.
There are day and night cycles. You can save your game by sleeping in your room.
There’s not much storyline yet (but I’m not very far into the game yet). However, the characters are very cute and full of personality, both their looks, and also in how they speak.
The music is also very cute and soothing.
Graphics are simple, but the amount of customization and inclusion in this game get high marks.
Here are my final scores for the game:
Overall: 80/100 80% B- “Very Good Game For Girls”
Geeky: 3/5 – Gameplay is very simple and relaxed – customization is high, but graphics are simplistic. Also seems to be lacking much structured story. There are numerous things to collect which adds to replay value.
Sweetie: 5/5 – Cute, charming game, with cute animals, and tons of diversity and inclusion.
Gameplay: 7/10 – Although collecting and crafting. cooking, designing. decorating and dressing up / customizing is fun, it does seem to lack definition and depth in the gameplay. It is very free-roaming and relaxed – which can be fun, but does get boring fast – similar in many ways to Animal Crossing or Cooking Mama or similar dressup mobile games.
Graphics: 7/10 – Great for diversity and inclusion. Able to customize a character to look like anyone or anything. Great for body positivity. The animals and everything are cute. But the graphics are very simplistic and not very detailed, so about 7 is as high as I can go here.
Story: 3/10 – This is probably the weakest point of the game – there really isn’t much story here.
Characters: 10/10 – As mentioned numerous times, you can customize the heck out of your main character. The NPCs you meet will have various body sizes, skin tones, and sexual preferences. I love how inclusive this game is for everyone. The characters are cute, both human and animals alike.
Customization: 10/10 – I added this category for this review because it’s so much the heart of the game. From creating your character to dressup and decorating the cafe – the possibilities are endless.
Music: 5/10 – Cute but not overly memorable.
Voice Acting – N/A – everyone is boop bleep bloop like animal crossing and many others.
Replayability: 10/10 – From collecting, to cooking, questing, crafting, the leisurely pace of this game will have you playing in small spurts over and over to unlock all of the content in the game.
Diversity: 10/10 – A very uniquely diverse game – not just of race – but body / plus size positivity, and sexual preferences too. I’ve never seen a game quite this diverse and inclusive before.
Personal Enjoyment – 10/10 Although it scored quite low in some areas – my personal enjoyment of the game, is inexplicable. We all like different things, and I really love Calico. I’ve padded the score a little with some unique categories in this review, because the game is very unique and unlike anything else really on the market today.
Overall: 80/100 80% B- “Very Good Game For Girls”
2 thoughts on “Calico – Cute Cat Cafe Game With Tons Of Customization & Inclusivity”
I wouldn’t throw around the word ‘inclusive’ so much on a game that entirely excludes boys from the customization options. Like, unless those options exist and you didn’t show them? Are there even male NPCs? If not, how can homosexual relationships be ‘inclusive’ in that setting? Or how is bi feasible or relevant? There’s uh… no actual CHOICE there?
Also, you mentioned the dress up a lot but every screenshot is your character in the most generic default I-started-the-game-in-this-and-might-as-well-be-naked outfit…
I would try constructively criticizing by saying  show actual dress up alongside the character creation screenies and  specify gender availability and significance of contrasted diversity in the game a li’l better.
The screenshots were taken when I first started playing the game before I had other outfits.
I do think you can make male characters. You can change your body type to where it’s got no bust and there’s plenty of short hair styles. The NPCs range from feminine to butch looking characters.
Plus inclusivity is more than gender and sexuality – especially in the age of BLM and AAPI
For me personally as a straight white woman, I’m just happy to see some fat girls, because no anime style game I’ve ever played – and honey, I’ve been playing them for almost 40 years – has ever let me create a fat bitch before. 🙂 So kudos to the developers for that.
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