Neko Atsume (review by Tanner R.)

Did you know there’s an easy way to attract cats to your yard? Just leave out a couple bowls of cat food on your porch and a couple of fun toys, and hopefully, cats will come. Of course, they don’t always come immediately, and cats can be very shy, so if you sit outside and wait for them, they probably won’t come. Attracting cats takes time and patience. Of course, not everyone can attract cats in real life, be it because of pets you may have or because of allergies, however, there’s a game that emulates this simple concept that serves as the next best thing.

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Neko Atsume, or “Kitty Collector” in English, is a game that’s available on iOS and Android that revolves around attracting cats to your virtual yard. Now, while it doesn’t sound exciting on paper, there’s a simple charm to leaving out food for cats to eat so they can come to your yard. There’s no story to the game at all, and the tutorial is minimal, but the simplicity of the game is refreshing and it’s not a game you have to put intense time and effort into. You can just close it and come back to it whenever you feel like it.

 

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Gameplay is incredibly simple. You leave out some food and some toys, and then you close out the app and wait. That’s it. You can just open the app again later whenever you have time. You don’t have to take care of the cats or be responsible for them. You don’t breed them, groom them, or anything. You just leave food and toys and then wait. While it seems boring, the game is great as a time killer or as something therapeutic due to the lack of actual tasks or thought of responsibility, as well as the cheerful, relaxed atmosphere. The game is very popular with older teens and adults for this reason alone, as most adults have jobs that cause them stress and other such ailments, and the game offers a calming, peaceful experience. When you come back, there might be a cat or two in your yard, and the more toys you have, the more cats will come. Depending on the food given to them, rare cats may even show up.

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Of course, buying the food and toys isn’t free, and the game knows this, so when the cats leave, they leave behind the game’s currency: fish. Yes. Fish. You’d think you’d be feeding that to the cats, or that the cats would be eating the fish, but, shockingly, this isn’t the case. With the fish, you can buy food and toys. There are special goldfish that can buy special toys and food to attract rare cats. Hilariously, you can use the fish to buy sashimi for the cats to eat. You’re essentially buying fish with fish. How this works, one can only wonder.

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This game is recommended for cat lovers, people who are interested in attracting cats but cannot, people with anxiety disorders, and people who don’t have that much free time. Any age group can play this and the game is free on the app store. Overall, Neko Atsume is a wonderful game that you can put as much or as little time into as you please.

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