Katie Review – A Friendship Built on LossMay 11, 2018
Katie is a narrative based game created by Lonely Frontier Studio centered around the eponymous ‘Katie’, a resident of a tiny secluded town gated off from the rest of the world. It’s a ‘walking simulator’ in the most positive use of the term, using the interactive medium to really drive home the personal feeling that the game has.
The gameplay consists of talking to Katie and the other residents to learn more about their stories and the nature of the town itself. While many other games in the genre – Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture comes to mind – have you piece together a mystery by investigating inanimate objects, Katie focuses on face-to-face interaction. This, alongside the nature of the game’s subject matter, gives it a very intimate feeling.
As you begin talking to the town’s citizens, you’ll discover that they all have their own problems, and they’re surprisingly open about them.
Uhh, hello to you to?
The residents all have some interesting things to say, but for the most part will only repeat the one phrase. Some characters get more lines later on, but extended conversation is pretty much limited to Katie herself.
This doesn’t mean it isn’t worth speaking to each one, however. The dialogue provides extra context for the games story, and I found some of the character’s thoughts quite relatable.
Some of them are very relatable
The story unfolds over the course of the week, with themes of loss, depression, and relationships, with a fair amount of humor sprinkled in. This type of game isn’t for everyone, but if you’re like me, it will leave a lasting impression on you. If not, it’s worth playing just to hear the credits song (which I can’t seem to find online, unfortunately).
Katie has it’s issues, too. My first thoughts were that the walking felt a bit too ‘floaty’, and it’s a little unpolished (There were a few times where I would accidentally talk to someone through a wall, or even through another person). I didn’t experience any major issues though, and I can forgive a lack of polish for a game made by a single person.
What it lacks, Katie makes up for in narrative and aesthetic. From the first conversation I was interested in learning Katie’s story, and despite the lo-fi art style, it’s able to create some beautiful scenery.
Katie is available now on steam at a price of £2.09 (£1.67 at time of writing), and is about 90 minutes in length. I think it’s worth picking up for any fan of the genre, and I’m looking forward to Lonely Frontier‘s next project.