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Calico is crowdfunding a world of magical cat cafes

Yes, you can pet the dogs too

In Calico, a magical girl can use magic (duh) to grow an ordinary cat to the size of a horse so she can ride it while another, smaller wobbly physics cat rides on her head. There's also something about managing a magical village's cat cafe, but that seems secondary to what I just said about cat-stacks. Developed by CatBean Games and over halfway funded after one day on Kickstarter, I'm pretty sure this game is precision engineered to appeal to my softer side. I've been following its development for a while, and it looks like a daft, fluffy gem. See the Kickstarter trailer below.

On top of looking adorable, most things in Calico's world are physics-driven, including the cats, dogs, raccoons and all the other animals that you can pet and play with. Cats flop around bonelessly on the ground as they sun themselves, and wiggle adorably when you decide to wear them as hats. The cafe management side of the game looks to emphasise feel-good antics over number-crunching, so you'll get to manually decorate the cakes you sell, and collect tons of toys for the cats to amuse themselves with. Other animals are welcome, though - they mention placing dog beds for your canine pals.

Above all, Calico looks like a big, soft, fluffy sandbox full of animals to meet and pet, like a lower-impact, cuddly Animal Crossing. Considering how rapidly the game has been funded so far, it would seem that there's an audience hungry for that. The game's magical aspect looks to be building on it - the More-To-Pet potion as one example, letting you turn any animal into a rideable, extra-cuddly giant for a while. They've also shown off magic brooms to ride, and I'm sure they'll have a few more creative ideas by launch. Or you can just switch to spectator mode in your cafe and watch the cats frolic.

After just one day on Kickstarter, Calico is already $19,541 (£14,873) funded, with a goal of $29,995 (£22,830). If all goes well, the game will launch in April next year, and $13 (£10, roughly) gets you a copy of the game when it's done. You can see more of the game on its official page, and the developer's GIF-laden twitter feed. Even the glitches are cute.

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Dominic Tarason