I bet, at some point in everyone’s life, they have a pet that isn’t a true, flesh and blood pet. For some, it was their imaginary dog. For others, their pet rock. When I was younger, I remember stressing a bit over how to keep one of these things alive without my teachers catching me:
From there, the Petz franchise fed into my love of learning about various dog and cat breeds, until I moved past virtual pets and on through adolescence and adulthood, where I thought I was done with virtual pets… that was until Neko Atsume was released in English.
Neko Atsume is an app-based game in which you build an environment to attract cats and get to see how they enjoy it. After laying out some food, toys, and accessories, such as scratching posts and bedding, various cats will visit your yard or home, enjoying the “goodies” you’ve shared with them. You have a “Catbook”, much like Facebook for felines, where you can keep photos of the cats who come to visit you while getting to know their personalities and preferences. Here are a few of the cats that visited me today:
— Life with Arie (@lifewitharie) November 6, 2015
The game’s directions are simple and easy to follow, and you can play at your own pace, though there are some tips around the web on how to make the most of Neko Atsume, from attracting some of the rarer cats to just when to refill your tasty bits bowl. The game is approachable for most ages, as children can grasp it’s easy directions and layout, and adults can find a nice reprieve from a long day caring for a few kittens with yarn balls and sashimi.
For me, Neko Atsume has become a great zen moment starter, as after a long meeting or stressful call, I might check in on the game just to see which cats have visited my turf. If I can’t be home with Arie, Fulton, and my actual cats, I can at least take five minutes to look at adorable illustrations and reset before continuing on with my day.
Apparently, I’m not the only one who’s loving this game. Countless of others, adults and younger, have shared their cat finds on Twitter, and Google even saw fit to recreate the game IRL for 11 hours:
What kind of “virtual” pets have you had over the years? Have you tried playing Neko Atsume, or do you think you want to give it a try?
Tamagochi image via Wikimedia.