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Game Review: Neko Atsume (Mobile)

Game Review: Neko Atsume (Mobile)
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Game Name: Neko Atsume
Platforms: iOS/Android
Publisher(s): Hit-Point Co., Ltd.
Developer(s): Hit-Point Co., Ltd.
Release Date: October 2014 (re-released April 2017)
ESRB Rating: 4+

Have you ever wished you could have an endless amount of cats to love and care for? Look no further!

Neko Atsume is a super cute cat game for mobile devices (both iOS and Android), that comes from the high culture phenomenon in Japan (games, merchandise and even a live stream show featuring real cats), and is now being injected full force into the English market.

Neko Atsume literally means “Cat Collection” in Japanese, and though it may seem like a sleeper game that is on the level of entertainment of a NeoPet or Tamagotchi… this game is seriously addictive!

The objective of Neko Atsume is to entice a variety of cats to come and visit your home/garden by using assorted items such as toys, beds and bowls of food. That’s it! Like in real life, cats will come and go as they please and leave their mark in your heart, either through using up an item or leaving behind a reward for you (and no it won’t be a dead mouse).

When a cat has visited your home, their presence will be recorded in your cat journal, which will also include some unique facts about each cat including age and favorite items and unique personality.

Many cats in the game are common and will routinely come back for more, but there are others that will only pay a visit if you set out a specific item or serve some of the pricier food. An example is King Xerxes IX who prefers the luxurious Zanzibar Cushion (20 gold fish) and sushi (5 gold fish per plate) or Ms. Fortune who only wants a Cardboard Box, but doesn’t like to visit when other certain cats are in the area.

There are currently 59 cats in the game and 21 are considered rare cats due to their needs for unique interaction to attract, and their pun names (Like Lady Meow Meow after Lady Gaga or Billy the Kitten after Billy the Kid).

‘Fish’ is the in game currency used to buy food and toys (such as a rubber ball, a hamburger pillow or Ritzy Bitz), with the better quality items costing more (a play train or an advanced scratching post). Once a cat has spent a certain amount of time in your home, you will be rewarded with fish (usually silver fish) and other random items before they slink away. Silver fish are common currency, but gold fish are more rare and should be spent with care.

Gold fish is needed to unlock the higher value items, but as in most mobile game, you can purchase more gold fish with real money via in app purchasing. But as this is an easy going game, there is no pressure to do so and you can actually unlock everything in due time. Each 500 silver fish can be traded for 10 gold fish – not the best exchange rate but at least it will help.

Your defaulted home in the game is a garden, but eventually with enough gold fish you can move your cat catching fun to an artsy apartment, bath house or even a wild west themed saloon porch.

The relaxed approach of the game gives a off-brain pleasure to the player and creates a feeling of complete zen. The game completely functions in its own world when the app is closed so you don’t need to constantly be watching for cats to come and go. Sometimes you will be surprised when you check on your home and find some new feline friends, and sometimes you will just find empty food bowls to restock and a bunch of fish rewards littered about. But every time a new cat visits it will be logged in your journal, so you need to be constantly checking it to see what happened while you were away.
There is no end game and cats will continue to come as long as the player puts food out for them.

While this game may not be one that will keep you super-glued to the screen, it is one that has its appeal to a collector gamer style. Besides who cannot resist the urge to try and attract the uber rare cats even just once to have a right to brag…. especially Peaches…not considered rare….but the hardest cat to find.

 

I don’t have a pet cat (yet) and so this is a fun way to get my feline fix. I guarantee this game will have your attention even for the few minutes at a time, because cats are cute….and who doesn’t have time to spoil a cat??

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