I'll spare you my cat puns and tell you straight up: The life sim where you play as a cat is back. There's gardening, foraging, decorating, wooing your cat mate, and quite a lot of feline combat, actually. Cattails: Wildwood Story is planning to launch later in 2023 but it has a demo available right now on Steam.
I played the first Cattails game, which was just called Cattails and released in 2017, years back and was surprised that there's actually a big territory control and combat aspect to it alongside all the usual cozy activities of similar life sims. That's returned for the sequel, which sends your cat colony to claim a new home where you'll put down roots but also fight against other cat factions around the map.
The new demo for Cattails: Wildwood Story lets you play through the first season of the game, which is just 10 days, shorter than the 28 day seasons most farm sims angle for. You'll start by designing your custom cat with a ridiculous level of detail, choosing your cat clan's official name and designation (clan, kingdom, syndicate, etc) and your own title (captain, king, foreman, director, etc) which is a level of administrative specificity I suppose I should have expected from cats.
Rather than running around to meet a huge cast of cat characters off the bat, I'm asked to build a temple to our cat spirit—and I guess I should be grateful that a lion doesn't mind being the god of my feral domestic shorthairs—and then begin collecting offerings to entice new cats to my clan (the Timberland Syndicate, if you were curious).
I spent my first season hunting squirrels and other critters in the forest and beginning to stake a claim on other grid squares of the map by fighting against other AI cat clans hanging out there. There's a minor survival element as well—keeping your hunger meter full—and also some special cat combat skills like a knockback roar.
What I enjoyed about the original Cattails was that it didn't mind being a bit goofy. It's a pixel art cat game with detailed cat portraits and cat romance with an entire territory control and management element strapped on. That's definitely still true in what I've played in the demo for Wildwood Story with its Fus-Ro-Dah-like cat shout, lovingly rendered cat pals, and extreme character creation details.
Cattails: Wildwood Story is participating in the big Steam Next Fest demo event this month but has gone ahead and made its own demo available starting today.