Documentary games are a genre that I haven’t particularly explored but now that I played The Cat and the Coup at Indiecade, I regret not checking them out earlier. You play as the cat of Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran. He was, as you may recall, overthrown by the CIA in a coup during the summer of 1953. On the cusp of his deathbed, the cat brings Mossadegh through a series of memorable events of his life by interacting with the beautifully styled Persian backdrops.
As the guide, Mossadegh interacts with each scene as it is recreated for him but you also influence his movement by moving the cat around, knocking objects off shelves, scattering his papers, and jumping on his lap and scratching him. The Persian styled backdrops are interwoven into a puzzle based style of gameplay. Players will engage thoughtfully with the environment since the game doesn’t immediately reveal the story for you but rather you unravel it. Once you’ve put together the sequence of events, then the game goes in chronological order and reveals the full story of Mossadegh’s life.
There is plenty of symbolism in The Cat and the Coup that we won’t ruin for you but its a beautifully crafted game with a lovely soundtrack. It could certainly end up as an interactive educational tool for people interested in learning more about the historical nature of the currently ongoing Iran-United States conflict. There’s currently no release date set nor any announced platforms for The Cat and the Coup but you can follow up the game on Peter Brinson’s website for further updates.