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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Neko Atsume’s kitty collection app is a new kind of cat call

    Screenshot of Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector, an app that allows you to collect and take care of virtual kittens.

    There have been plenty of addictive time-wasting apps through our generation’s school years: Temple Run, Ruzzle, Candy Crush Saga and the recent Kardashian games are all great ways to forget about real responsibilities. Recently, new challenger to the throne of time wasting has come to campus.

    If you have not yet heard of Neko Atsume, do not be embarrassed. Embrace it. It’s THE cat game. Neko Atsume has fully arrived at UA and as a neglectful, but nonetheless fond, kitty collector might say after not checking on their yard for a few days, “better late than never.”

    Neko Atsume started off as a Japanese app; the name directly translates to Cat Collection in English. Luckily, some developer caught on to the industrial nature of that name and changed it to Kitty Collector. 

    The game blew up in America around the holidays, after it was available in English for a couple of months. Previously it was being downloaded worldwide in its Japanese format.

    Creator Yutaka Takasaki never expected such an uninvolved game to become so popular. He must not have known how connected many young people are to kittens, especially virtual ones that don’t require cleaning up or cause allergies.

    Communication senior Jamie Fiero, a lover of all animals and fiend for fun apps, confesses she’s obsessed with the game.

    “I’ve been playing the cat game for about a month and a half. It started out as … therapeutic because it was fun to check in and to see what cute little cat came into my yard.,” Fiero said. “But then I got obsessed with it and now I can’t imagine my life without the pursuit of cats. I’ve gotten all the cats and almost all the mementos.” 

    Fiero is not alone in her admiration for the app. 

    “I like the game because it’s like having a bunch of real cats, [but] you don’t really involve yourself. They sit there and entertain themselves and you just have to provide these toys and feed them,” said Tucson resident Donnie Edmonds. 

    Certain rare cats require specific types of food and toys to be enticed to visit users’ yards. Shopping for kitties involves the exchange of in-game currency: fish of the silver and gold varieties. Unsurprisingly, gold fish can be purchased with real money. Neko Atsume does not require any purchases, just patience.

    “Anyone who hates Tubbs is dead to me,” said student Sasha Kassab. She enjoys the online community of Neko Atsume appreciators.

    Rare cats, like Tubbs, have names that describe them: Tubbs is the biggest kitty who who eats a whole bowl of food in one visit without sharing. Others have pun-laden pop culture names such as Guy Furry, Joe DiMeowgio and Lady Meow-Meow. Owners can even rename their kittens to solidify a personal bond.

    Ian O’Heir, a computer science senior,  doesn’t find the kitty collector too simple. To him, the app is the perfect mixture of cute graphics, budgeting and interior decoration. 

    Upon first downloading, Neko Atsume may seem silly, but after the first kitty plays with its new ball, all doubts of insignificance will melt away. 

    Don’t believe it? All you have to do is download Neko Atsume to find out for yourself why these felines are so fetch.

    Follow Gretchyn Kaylor on Twitter

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