My apartment doesn't allow pets, which has made things a bit lonely for me as a cat lover. Fortunately, a popular and addicting Japanese smart phone game, "Neko-Atsume" has allowed me to channel my inner crazy cat lady while keeping my apartment free of fur.

Neko-Atsume is a bit of a slow-burn at first, but once you get moving with it you'll be checking in on the app at all times of the day. You start out with house and backyard as sort of a homebase for your cats (this is upgradeable to different model bases, such as a modern artsy studio or Japanese style tatami house). As you lure cats into your humble abode with plates of food (which can vary from kibble to high grade sashimi!), they bring you silver fish currency as a gift.

You can use these silver fish to buy simple cat toys and bedding for the cats to use. Once they take a liking to your setup, they will sometimes give you a gold fish currency which you can use to buy higher quality items to attract special rare cats! These rare cats sport fancier character-based designs, and one of the goals of the game is to collect them (think of them as ultra-rare Pokemon) and the gifts unique to their personality they bring you after multiple visits.


Source: 風&鈴

Below is what it looks like when a cat eventually gives you a present. The particular cat featured in this photo is none other than the dreaded "Manzoku-san" (Mr. Satisfaction, or perhaps "Glutton" would work better!), a cat who acts somewhat as a troll and is usually only attracted to food (that you usually put out for other cats...). His gift is katsuo-bushi (dried bonito or fish flakes). Each cat gives you their own special gift!

What makes the game so appealing is how low-pressure it is. It's something you can just check in on and handle a few tasks without feeling tied down to it. So if you like the idea of collecting some distinctly cute cats on the go, check out Neko-Atsume and build your own feline fortress!

The game is free to play, but you can make in-game purchases to help yourself if you feel so inclined. Check it out on iTunes or Android


By - grape Japan editorial staff.