If there’s one true thing about cat-lovers, it’s that we just can’t get enough of cute cat stuff. We may not be wearing ugly sweaters featuring big Persian cats in appliqued faux-fur or investing in a serious display of Franklin Mint Collector Plates, but you can bet that we’re hitting the heart over Love Meow’s Facebook posts or surreptitiously purchasing way more Pusheen plushies than one person rightfully needs.
When you give a cat-lover the opportunity to play a game featuring cats? Well, you’ve just invented human catnip, my friends. We’ll throw our money and our time at any game if there’s a cute enough or hilarious enough cat theme involved: I should know. I’m not just President of the “Give Me that Game That Says Cat on It” club; I’m also a member.
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Here are five of my favorite games for cat lovers.
Play it on: iOS or Android device.
Neko Atsume – or “cat collection” if you want to be all English about it – is a free Japanese mobile game that’s been out for a few years. It’s a very lowkey game that can insert a note of adorable serenity into your day. Simply decorate your garden with a variety of cat-related objects, from cat trees and cushions to cardboard houses or trains. Then check back later to see what cats your decorations have attracted. There are over 60 different cats that might visit, and you can take screenshots of them playing with the stuff you left out for them. Some cats are rare, and part of the fun is trying new furniture or toys and being surprised to find a new cat. New objects are purchased using the game’s currency system of fish left behind by the visiting kitties; you can purchase fish using real money, of course, but why would you? It’s an enjoyable and meditative exercise in itself to earn them from attracting all the cute cats to your space!
Play it on: Android device.
Crashy Cats is amazing for stress relief: it’s a free runner game for your mobile device where you play a cat trying to knock over as much crap as possible. That’s it: you’re given a setting – like a home – and then you rampage through, jumping, knocking over lamps, bowling over people, breaking valuables, and altogether gaining the appreciation for how much FUN Tiger Jack has when slinging everything off your bedside table one by one by one… Oh, I’m talking about myself again. Sorry! It also has that appealing 16-bit retro feel to the graphics that seem to channel extra adorableness! Just like with any free mobile game, you have to put up with some ads and you can unlock certain items faster with microtransactions. Still, when you just want to smash every last thing in the office because of a bad work day, doing it in Crashy Cats means you don’t have to find a new job or pay damages to Martha in Receiving.
Play it on: any flat surface.
I am a sucker for fast card games and Simon’s Cat, so Steve Jackson Games had me pounce the moment they announced this game. Gameplay is easy, but not necessarily simple: each turn, lay down a card that matches either the color or the number of the card previously played. If you can’t, you collect the cards in the played pile. Whoever has the most cards at the end of a round gets blamed for the mess in question – and, around cats, you know there’s always a mess in question. What’s not simple about that, right? Well, each of the 5 suits in the game has a different number of cards in them. So if you’ve got a mind for counting cards, you can trick other players into picking up the mess. Such deviousness paired with giggle-inducing illustrations make this game a must for me.
Play it on: any flat surface.
Anybody else love a brain teaser? If Sudoku or jumbles or cryptograms leave you cold because they lack a certain chat je ne sais pas… you should check out Cat Stax. You choose a puzzle card (they come in various difficulties, like “super easy” and “hiss at the card in rage”) then stack the number of cat pieces called for into the required shape. And these are actual three-dimensional cat-shaped pieces you have to stack! Great solo fun, or as a game of one-upmanship – preferably among friends, though! Keep the claws in.
Play it on: the computer.
Have you ever thought to yourself: “self, I wish I was a cat who could go on a great adventure in an adorably illustrated RPG”? Me, too! Luckily for us, the game is called Cat Quest, it’s an action-adventure role-playing game, and you can purchase it on Steam. The basic premise of Cat Quest is that your sister has been catnapped and you’re on an adventure to rescue her. You explore the open world of Felingard, customize your look and equipment, and enjoy as many cat puns as you like. (You’ll just have to disdainfully ignore the rest; you can’t turn the puns off or anything.) It’s a ton of fun, and you can spend some quality time with your cats while playing when your giant silver tabby named Daenerys shoves herself in between the keyboard and the monitor on your desk and goes to sleep.
These are but a few of the awesome games an intrepid cat lover can discover out there. Got a ton of money? Google “CryptoKitties.” Love browser games? Check out My Garbage Cat Wakes Me Up at 3 AM Every Day. Are you an oddball? Exploding Kittens could be your game! Whatever kind of game you like, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find that type of game in a cat theme out there somewhere. After all, plenty of game developers are cat lovers too.