Neko Atsume: English Edition

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When I heard that a popular Japanese game about cats was being released in English, I immediately downloaded it. A game about collecting kitties is basically an embodiment of my childhood fantasies (especially having grown up with a mother allergic to cats).

As for the game itself? It has good points and less exciting points. The goal of the game is simple: buy and arrange food, toys, and furniture to attract cats. Collect them in a cat album. Be rewarded with fish that you can then use to buy more food, toys, and furniture . . . and attract MORE cats.

The Pros

The graphics are cute and colourful, and the mementos that the cats give you are endearing and weird (from small mittens to cicada skin). There’s decent variety in terms of the food types, toys, and furniture you can buy, and working your way up to the point where you can buy a room expansion can be addictive. The cats also sometimes show up in funny costumes or odd positions, which can be entertaining.

The Cons

I feel like I want more features like the mementos to feel like I’m getting something out of my relationship with the cats, adorable pixels that they are. It would be nice if, when you clicked on a cat, you could do more than just see its statslike maybe pet it or have it react in some way.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 fish

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Overall, the game is a fun and somewhat engaging time waster, but to maintain my attention the way I’d like it to, it would need something to make it more interactive and personal. I’ve been playing for a few months, but ever since I got the room expansion and the main items I wanted, the appeal has waned somewhat, and I usually only feed the cats every couple of days when I’m bored waiting for the subway. That said, maybe that’s all the game needs to be there for.

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Sushi Cat’s Delicious Adventures

Hey, Geeks.

Do you love cats? Sushi? Computer games? Adorable animation? Chances are that you like at least one of these things; Sushi Cat and its three sequels from Armor Games will indulge your desire for all four. The game features a round, blue, sushi-loving cat who can only succeed in his quests for love and happiness by gaining weight. He does this by eating as much sushi as possible through a series of pinball games. Most of the sushi simply count toward achieving a full belly, but some pieces provide special abilities or other bonuses, such as an extra turn for the level or soy sauce bombs that allow you to collect all the sushi within the explosion’s reach.

Sushi Cat

Sushi Cat

Despite the game’s simplicity (the game requires only the ability to click your mouse strategically), I’ve played it on and off for a year now and still enjoy the experience. While I enjoy some hacking and slashing and shooting, sometimes it’s nice to let a game just make you happy. There’s plenty of opportunity for improvement in the game, as there is a certain amount of strategy involved and a lot of sushi to eat, but it’s easy enough to play if you are just looking for a relaxing way to pass the time.

Up until recently, I thought there were only three Sushi Cats: Sushi Cat, Sushi Cat 2, and Sushi Cat: The Honeymoon. Then I discovered Sushi Cat 2: The Great Purrade, which is less polished in terms of graphics and mechanics than the other games but almost makes up for it with added weirdness (the Nyan cat sushi gulp, for example). There’s no need to play the games in order, as they all function perfectly well as stand-alones, but I would recommend playing The Great Purrade after one of the others, as it doesn’t show the beloved furball at his best. The most sophisticated versions would probably be Sushi Cat 2 and Sushi Cat: The Honeymoon.

Sushi Cat's pirate costume

Sushi Cat’s pirate costume

The game isn’t perfect. Glitches related to excessive feline chubbiness can result in an endlessly-bouncing cat on some levels (in which case restarting the level is the only solution), and regardless of your pinball skills, the unpredictability of Sushi Cat’s bouncing often makes collecting ALL the sushi nigh-on impossible (a problem for the obsessive-compulsive among us, myself included). That said, the game makes up for these flaws with a delicious premise and bizarrely cute costumes for your character if you eat enough golden sushi. The game also isn’t trying to push a lot of barriers—Sushi Cat’s wife is pink, and arguments could be made about cultural appropriation (particularly with some of Sushi Cat’s costumes, cute as they are). The makers of the game seem to have only positive intentions, however, and there is something to be said for such a food-positive and plump-positive game. Fatness is Sushi Cat’s superpower.

Sushi Cat is appropriate for all ages and arguably fun for all ages as well. Those who like their games to always include blood and guts may find Sushi Cat’s mostly pastel palette and relentless cuteness boring, but others may find themselves fixated on getting that last piece of sushi in the corner behind a Japanese lantern or bicycle wheel. All four games consistently receive high ratings from players, and I still smile back at the Sushi-meter when its sad, hungry face perks up upon achieving a full belly.

Four rotund kitties out of 5.

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2048 meowdifications (we apologise for the pun, but not really)

Hello, Geeks.

While I’m sure some of you roll your eyes and groan by now at the thought of 2048, we know our audience well enough to know that those who truly love the game are still obsessively moving tiles. For those who can’t give it up but want something fresh, and for anyone who is more a cat person than a numbers person, I present 2048’s cat editions. My favourite is the Waffles the Cat edition, which rewards you with new, adorable images of Waffles. There are, however, also 2048: LOL Cats and 2048 Cats (there are probably others as well, given that this is the internet).

2048: LOL Cat Edition

2048: LOL Cat Edition

I personally find the .gifs in 2048: LOL Cats distracting, but the endless loop of the hapless breaded tabby is admittedly entertaining.

2048 Cats Edition

2048 Cats Edition

The numbers on the cat images in 2048: Cats may help you keep track, but they also take away from the challenge of an image-based version of the game. The .gifs are somewhat less distracting, though (and, in my opinion, cuter).

2048: Waffles the Cat Edition

2048: Waffles the Cat Edition

The Waffles edition has a coherent, almost narrative flow to its cat images, presenting (static) images of Waffles at different stages (and in different costumes). The flow and cuteness of this edition keep me coming back to play again . . . and again . . . and again, though the original 2048 game lost me after two tries.

But don’t let me tell you which version to play. Check out these cat-themed versions for yourself and let us know what you thought in the comments.

Have a meowvelous day (sorry, not sorry),
Sarah, your resident cat fanatic