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November 9, 2015 / carlispina

Collecting Cats With Neko Atsume

Neko Atsume LogoSince its debut a few months ago, Neko Atsume has been a very popular mobile game, gaining a large number of players and mentions on a wide range of online platforms. While this might not seem surprising since popular new mobile games debut all the time, the interesting part of the Neko Atsume story is that its popularity has been despite the fact that the app was entirely in Japanese. Many Japanese speakers played the game, but at least as many people who didn’t speak or read any Japanese at all have also taken to enjoying the game. The fact that the game is simple enough to play even without being able to read the instructions has spawned its own conversation and ACRLog post about what libraries can learn from this success.

But, despite (or perhaps because of) the success of the Japanese-language version of the app, it has now been translated into English as well, making it accessible to an even wider audience. Given the launch of this new English-language version, now is a great time to explore the app if you haven’t already.

Available for both iOS and Android devices, Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector gives you access to a yard and the ability to “buy” food and toys to attract a variety of cats to this yard. The currency of the game is fish, with grey and gold varieties buying different items for the cats. These items range from kitty chow to fancy climbing toys, including pretty much every type of food and toy that cats might like in between. As you buy items and move them around the garden space that serves as the backdrop for the game, different cats come to visit. You might catch them playing with the toys or simply lounging on cushions, but if you entice the right cats to come and enjoy your garden, they might also give you gifts. These gifts can include fish, which can in turn be used to purchase more items for your garden, as well as other “Mementos.” As you buy more specialized items,  you will begin to see a wider range of cats, including some that wear costumes or play with only specific items. Though the game has a few other features, including the option to take pictures of the cats in your garden and options to share information with your social networks, it really is quite simple, a key feature that made it popular with non-Japanese speakers even before it was translated. Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector is not a complicated game, but it is one that you can come back to throughout your day for a few minutes here and there. If you are a fan of cats, check this game out for your latest mobile game addiction.


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