The Japanese Cat Game We Can't Stop Playing

At least 20 times a day, I check in on my virtual cats. I consistently have the impulse to do so, in fact. Neko Atsume, the Japanese cat game a bunch of us at Kotaku are addicted to, calls to me. It speaks to my soul, and I can't stop playing it.

You can see the game in action, with some background info from Chris Person and myself, in the video above.

It starts off slow. You have some kind of patio-backyard area that you can put cat food out on. Then some stray cats make their way over to your phone screen and bring you offerings of silver fish. You can spend said silver fish on things like baseballs and cat beds and scratchers. Do so and you'll find more stray cats keen on visiting your slowly-growing cat establishment. It feels a bit like Tamagotchi, without so many responsibilities and inevitable deaths from neglecting those responsibilities.

Eventually, you'll get some gold fish in exchange for the cats sticking around and playing with the things you bought them. Eventually, you use those gold fish to purchase fancier items that bring out... special cats. Cats that look like Anna Wintour, for instance:

The Japanese Cat Game We Can't Stop Playing

And others that I won't spoil. And eventually you score enough gold fish to actually expand outside of your limited view of the world out there on the patio. Here's Chris' pad:

The Japanese Cat Game We Can't Stop Playing

Those are some damn happy cats.

Neko Atsume is a little dumb. But it's also the game I've been most adamantly pushing forward in. A few quick bursts of attention throughout the day is sufficient enough to keep things going, a quality many iOS (or Android) games share. Finding myself bored or stressed out or sad? I pop into Neko Atsume and check to see if I've met any new cats in my rolodex of strays. If so? I take a picture of them, doing my best to find the angle where I can show off the adorable X marks that indicate their little cat butts. I refill their cat food, and check in on the shop to see if there's anything new I'd like to buy for them.

Neko Atsume is simply there, whenever I want it to be. I'll take a few screenshots when I meet a new cat or buy something new I've had my eye on. I'll post it on Twitter. My Twitter friends and Kotaku colleagues who are equally obsessed with the game will share in my excitement.

It's a little dumb, but we like it.

Links, courtesy of Chris' handiwork:

Here's the iTunes link and here's the Google Play link.


    BTW, According to iTunes, it is also in English, and is damn addictive.

    Last edited 01/05/15 12:14 pm

      Don't trust the language description on itunes. I've seen a couple Japanese and Chinese games slip under the radar claiing to be English language but which contain not even a scrap of the language. Utterly indecipherable.

    This makes things easier:

    - Cat: Is where you can see every cat that have visit in your backyard
    - Store: Where you buy goods/toys
    - Toys: Where you can see/place the goods or toys that you have bought
    - Camera: Where you can take pictures of cats (you can move to square/focus according to your liking!) or backyard
    - Fish: Where you can receive the fishes that cats gives you
    - Settings: Settings of sound/bgm
    - Treasure: Where you can view treasure that is given by the cats
    - Help: Explanation of how to play and the icons in the menu
    - Makeover: (Version 1.2.0 up!) where you can buy/change backyard
    - News
    - Communicate: Where you can send feedback/contact Nekoatsume

      Thank you! I downloaded it thinking it sounded fun only to see the whole game is in Japanese. I would think the article would mention that there is no option to change to English - from the title I assumed it was just a Japanese made, Japanese styled game.

    i know it says Japanese game in the article title of the article, but I also figured there would be an English option. Would have been a little less frustrating if that had been mentioned.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now