Daymare Cat, Gameological review

Where The Sidewalk Ends.

Daymare Cat aims to pique your curiosity with Shel Silverstein style.

“Never explain what you do,” said Shel Silverstein, likely the coolest bald poet of all time. “It speaks for itself. You only muddle it by talking about it.” Mateusz Skutul clearly took Silverstein’s maxim to heart when he created Daymare Cat. This black-and-taupe storybook of a game says very little to the player out loud beyond simple directions. Instead, it lets its strange world speak for itself.

As a young lady with a billowy dress and long ragged hair—as if she were pulled straight from a Neil Gaiman fan’s notebook—you’re trying to open a Persian-style door in a wind-blown, silent city. There’s no one else in town, and it isn’t clear how to open the door since there’s no keyhole, just a series of five pipes above it. As you wander through the city, jumping over bottomless pits, you’ll spot objects that are clearly tools to help move you closer to opening that door. Reaching them is a matter of inspecting the lovely, detailed architecture surrounding you. Details that seem like nothing but stylistic flourishes in the setting are often new paths, and discovering each one is delectable because there’s always something unique waiting on the other side. Through exploration and discovery, it soon becomes clear how that big, fancy door opens.

Daymare Cat’s success is how it tweaks curiosity then rewards indulging that curiosity with strange visions and song. More importantly, as Silverstein advised, it never explains what it does.

By Anthony John Agnello • July 1, 2013