Whilst I’m still playing plenty of Sorcery School, here are 2 puzzle games and an idle game I’ve put lots of time into this month!

#1: Office Cat

Now I work fully remotely, I need to get my office fix somehow! Luckily, the incremental game Office Cat can help out.


Office Cat reminds me heavily of the Kairosoft series, where it’s a relatively linear game, yet is somehow deeply satisfying.

In Office Cat, you are managing an office building with multiple companies inside, similar to a WeWork or other shared building. As might be expected, higher tier companies pay more, but also have higher requirements to sign a contract (e.g. seat count) or pay full rent (e.g. quality of items).

The gameplay loop is a standard “earn passive income, use it to purchase items that increase quality, increasing passive income”. However, unlike some games that have a very simple “upgrade bathroom from level 20 to 21”, every room has multiple items that can be upgraded, including shared rooms like bathroom, break room, or recreation room.

This has the great side effect of every purchase you make having a positive impact. For example, perhaps you have a low tier company in a high quality office room, surely upgrading that room further would be pointless? Well, there’s probably better things to upgrade, but you’ll still earn more from improving their plants! As such, you can never make an objectively wrong decision, merely a not-optimal one, drastically reducing any pressure.

So far, the game likely sounds pretty basic. It is, but the appeal comes in the polish and aesthetics on top! Every cat in your office (100+ later on) goes about its day, taking breaks, going to the bathroom, and overall giving a pretty convincing impression of the monotony of office life! The art style is very cute, and all items / characters / surrounding environments are modelled to a consistently high quality.

Earlier, I mentioned you can choose the companies that are renting your office, but didn’t mention the best bit: Every company is a cat-based pun on a real company, complete with logo! For example “Spawtify” (Spotify), “Mewber Eats” (UberEats), “Disclaw” (Discord). Amazing.

There are elements of the game that whilst enjoyable, clearly need more content added. For example, you have a cellphone that is used to contact a few people, but the selection seems somewhat random and the conversations unpredictable. You might get a thoughtful conversation with your character’s mother, you might get an odd interaction with an early company representative. There’s only a few conversations to choose from, and only a couple of conversations within each. Still, sometimes they give rewards, and can be interesting!

I put in… way too many hours to Office Cat whilst watching TV, and realistically that’s the best way to play it. Once the upgrades get more expensive there’s not as much active gameplay, so just having it open and interacting regularly is an easy way to play.


Unfortunately, the ability to pay drastically changes the speed of the game. There are optional adverts for many actions (changing company, refreshing companies offered, doubling quest rewards, skipping night), and the one-time $5 “Remove ads” purchase gives you all of them for free.

I made this purchase early on, and progress through the game was always at a speedy pace. The game is still in development, so it’s up to you if you progress quicker to the end-game with ad-free, or progress slower and enjoy the journey!

There is also the option to pay to increase gem rewards for levelling up, but this is far more expensive and seems far less useful.


  • The cats will shout a lot about not having the facilities in their office they require, but the penalty is only -20% rent! As such, always have the highest tier companies possible.
  • Upgrade your companies as soon as the icon appears, since it’s an instant boost to earnings and also begins progression to the next level.
  • Keep a company around until it hits max level, then replace it as soon as possible. You’ll get a cash bonus at max level, and I think having max level companies may contribute to unlocking new ones.
  • The “remove ads” payment is really a no-brainer if you can afford it. Once you have it, the game’s progression becomes significantly smoother, and there’s no future prompts.
  • Keep your maintenance cats levelled up. They don’t directly earn money, but reducing downtime of damaged offices does!
  • Watch your electricity usage carefully. If you hit 0, all offices will need repairing, and capacity upgrades are expensive! I always tried to keep 10 electricity spare to allow an occasional mistake.


Note: The game received a massive update (v1.0.7) shortly after this article, adding lots more end-game depth like cars and houses! As such, I’m back into the game again.

Whilst I massively enjoyed Office Cat, there’s a few changes I’d recommend the developer could make:

  • All the cats voice their feedback at the same time. Having an office full of cats suddenly shouting about a plant is very odd!
  • The “plant” mechanic is too reliant on the roulette wheel. I’ve completed the game yet never saw a plant despite claiming most roulette spins, so completely missed this feature. I do have 20 fertilizers though..?
  • Similarly, the roulette wheel is an awful deal. A spin costs 160 gems, which can be converted to 4-5 hours of earnings in the shop. However, almost half the potential rewards are under an hour of cash / XP! If you get lucky and get the gems or plants maybe it’s worth it, but my free spins were essentially worthless.
  • I’d like to be able to zoom out more and actually SEE an overview of every room in the office building at once.
  • The “car full of cash” mechanic is way too powerful at the end-game, and becomes the main source of income since it offers 5 minutes of income instantly. I’d like to see more random events, perhaps some with minigames or negative outcomes.


All screenshots are from version 1.0.6:

Conversation Upgrading Map Office

#2: Close Cities

Close Cities is a very laid back logic / puzzle game focused on fitting enough “cities” onto a map without touching.


This is one of my favourite genres of puzzle games: a simple concept, built well and presented simply yet with plenty of polish.

In each level of Close Cities, you are presented with roads through a space, each of which needs a specific number of cities on. A city is a specific number of populated tiles, not touching any other populated tiles. Sounds easy, but finding enough space to fit all the cities in forms the basis of the challenge!

Each collection of 10-15 levels has a different colour scheme and theme (e.g. nationality), adding a bit of visual flourish to what would otherwise be quite a repetitive appearance. Similarly, the number of tiles required to make a city occasionally changes, providing essential gameplay variation.

The game seems to have around 150 puzzles included, organised into 10 packs. These packs are completely free, and unlocked by completing previous packs. As such, I suspect I’ll work through them all eventually.

As is common with this sort of game, if you enjoy the core mechanic: you’ll love Close Cities. If you can’t get your head around it, or want more fast-paced gameplay: you won’t!

Usually I’d complain the game doesn’t have much depth, but in this case I genuinely feel gimmicks like cosmetics, power-ups, or an overall level would detract from the deeply satisfying logical puzzle solving. Once you strip away the aesthetics, the concept is so simple that I’m sure this is based on some sort of traditional puzzle, but I’ve certainly never seen it before.


There’s a forced 5-10 second advert after each level, and I believe additional (very optional) hints can be added via adverts too. Whilst usually I find forced ads a deal-breaker, in this case I don’t mind because…

All ads can be removed for £2.59 ($3)! This kind of one-time payment to, as the game says, “Unlock full game”, is exactly the kind of monetisation I appreciate and will absolutely be purchasing it.


  • Start with the hardest road first. For example, if a small loop requires 3 cities, fitting those in should be done first.
  • When completing cities, make sure you pack them as densely as possible. If you leave a gap tile and then need an extra tile on the other side of the level you’ll regret it!
  • There’s a bug with the ambient noise


All screenshots are from version 1.0.5:

Level select How to play Example level

#3: Knotwords

Knotwords is a word game with a very simple premise: Use the letters provided in the permitted spaces to make valid words. And don’t make… (k)not words. Awful pun.


There isn’t that much to review with Knotwords. If you like the core puzzle concept, you’ll like the game. If you don’t, you won’t. So, what’s the core concept?

The game board is split into sections of 2-4 tiles, each with the appropriate number of letters that can be placed there. The goal is to place all the letters, with all horizontal and vertical letters forming valid words.

For example, in the “Level complete” screenshot below, the 3 tiles in the bottom left must be the D, G, and I. Since words typically don’t end in DG or GD, you know I goes in the middle. Using similar deduction for other sections, somewhat similarly to sudoku, you can logically figure out where every letter goes.

The game does a good job of nudging you in the correct direction, by only highlighting unused letters, and indicating invalid words or reused letters. Thankfully there’s no flashing indicators or adverts on the screen, just the game board and the ability to get a crossword-style hint or two if you need it.

This is the entire game, with 2 new puzzles every day and a pack of 50 every month. Want access to thousands more puzzles, or customise the UI / view stats? Pay up!


I typically love the “game is free with ads / limitations, one time payment for full game” model, and I initially thought Knotwords fit this. Unfortunately, it’s actually $5 per year for the full game, or $13 for a lifetime license.

This type of model is hard to find positives in. I would never pay the $13, but I would pay $5 for a year… but what happens when that year runs out? If I’m still playing, I have to pay again, if I’ve uninstalled it I probably forgot to cancel and have to notice and refund.

It’s a real shame, and this kind of monetisation model disincentivises me to pay any money whatsoever. What if I end up loving it, and have to keep paying every year!? Due to this, I ended up sticking to the free game.


  • It’s a logic word game, so the ability to creatively think of words will obviously help!
  • The puzzle books puzzles have a hint, e.g. “Uncommon words”. Keep this in mind to narrow down your options.
  • Getting started on the board can be the hardest part, so just put down any valid word to get the process started.


All screenshots are from version 1.0.51:

In game Level complete Locked features