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Virtual cat collecting with Neko Atsume game

Photo Courtesy of flickr.com

Marie Mosca

Opinion Editor

Over the past few months, I have been getting all of my friends into an App for IOS and Android devices that allow you to be a virtual cat lady. Neko Atsume was created by a developer called Hit-Point on October 20, 2014, and has been blowing up the digital market. The title translates to “Kitty Collector” in English. The game essentially gives you a setting in which to place food and toys to lure cats to your yard or patio space. In return for the food and fun times, the cats leave you fish that you can then use to buy more food and cooler toys or even remodel your backyard to something a little more fancy.
There are many cats in the game that a player can collect that each come with their own personality, power level and other stats. You keep track of them by taking pictures of them and putting them into your cat album. Some of my personal favorite cats happen to be Ginger, Spud, Princess and the super fat cat Tubbs. You can, of course, go in and change the names of the cats to your liking at any time, but I prefer to keep them the default names. Tubbs can and will eat entire bowls of food at a time and just lay there until you refill it for next time. He is considered one of the rare cats of the game. I have not in fact unlocked them all as of yet, but I am close to unlocking all of the remodels for the backyard.
What I like about the game is that it is not super demanding. You fill the bowls with food, move toys around and snap pictures when you get the time. At no point have I ever gotten any alerts saying I needed to fill the bowls or that my cats were unhappy, the game just picks up where you left off right when you load it. It is always a nice surprise when a cat gives you a little present called a memento. They aren’t super nice or anything, but it is a way of showing their love and appreciation I guess. Things I have gotten in the past include but are not limited to: a hairbrush, a shiny acorn, a wet matchbox, a raffle ticket, small mittens, a bird feather, and many more. They are usually junk that the cats think are cool.
I happen to be allergic to cats, so having virtual ones is nice because I get all of the cuteness without all the itching and sneezing. It is also good that they do not get sick or die if I forget to check on them like a Tamagatchi or Neopet. Overall, it is a very enjoyable game that I have been able to start small conversations about with friends every once in a while to see what new rare cats they have gotten or how they have their yards setup. It is a nice little distraction that does not require a ton of time and does not have in app purchases. There are even stores in japan selling plush versions of the cats in the game because it has become that popular worldwide. If you get a chance it is absolutely worth the download.