The gameplay revolves around a very tall tower which you can customise with furniture and decorations and is where your collected cats live. You feed your cats, the cats will go off on a delivery for you and return with either supplies, furniture, items or more cats to live in your tower. Collecting cats and items awards stars, which act as experience points and increase your overall level. Levelling up unlocks more floors in the tower and subsequently, more cats, items and items you’re able to craft. When a delivery arrives, you play a roulette game with a varying percentage chance of getting a cat or not. If you don’t get a cat, you will instead receive crafting materials such as logs, cotton, rock and quartz. These can then be crafted into items like wood, metal, bronze, ribbon etc - which can then subsequently be used to build the furniture your cats ask for.
Coins are earned by playing mini-games, entering contests, voting on the other entries in the contest and are awarded for completing various in-game tasks. The two mini-games currently available are the aptly named Poppy Cats and Blocky Cats. Poppy Cats is a colour-matching game - you join together the coloured cat heads of the same colour to make larger heads and increase your score multiplier until you decide to pop them. Blocky Cats is similar to a free-form Tetris, in which you make either horizontal or vertical lines by fitting the coloured block shapes into a square grid. Points are awarded for making the lines and larger scores can be achieved by making multiple lines at once.
Upon reaching level 10, you are able to join a club - which consists of up to 30 players. These clubs are all player-run, named and managed and range from casual to heavily competitive. You can chat with members of your club and request resources from them. There’s also a social feed of sorts that displays the latest actions of you and the other players. “Liking” these awards you purple hearts, which can be used to open the club baskets - which contain club-exclusive cats and furniture, stacks of coins or crafting materials. There is also a number of open chat rooms you can use if desired to talk to other members - but frankly this is a feature I could do without. I mute the chat constantly as almost every day I see something borderline offensive or toxic showing up on the bottom of my screen and I don’t care to see it. Apparently members can be banned for using offensive language and expressing certain opinions but it doesn’t seem to stop them. People suck, what can I say, whether you’re on 4Chan or a cutesy mobile game about collecting cats…
Several times a month, you are able to take part in various themed events - all of which emphasise working together with the other members of your club in order to earn rewards. Simply by completing in-game tasks such as unlocking cats and items, scoring points in mini-games, crafting items and delivering baskets, you will earn points. These are added together over the course of the event and unlock event-specific cats and items, coins, gems, secret keys and crafting materials. You can earn solo rewards as well as combining your points with the other members of your club to earn club rewards - these have much higher point thresholds, but often offer prizes that can't be gotten elsewhere.
Like the majority of mobile games, there are opportunities to spend real-world money to buy in-game items and/or currency. It’s not necessary for gameplay, as usual, but will make the game significantly easier or reduce the amount of waiting time or grinding time needed to complete the in-game tasks. There is also the option to become a VIP - which is a monthly subscription, costing £8.99 in the UK - but rewards you daily with coins and gems, increases the chance of collecting cats, makes you unable to be kicked from clubs due to inactivity and gives you exclusive cats and furniture on a weekly basis. Also, if you cancel it at any time, you retain any items you collected whilst being a VIP, which is nice.
In addition to the main tower, there is also the “premium” tower - which houses the cats you earn through events or unlock by using “premium keys.” These are awarded through events, crafted or given as rewards for completing floors of your tower. You can either save them up to buy a specific cat or item or spin the roulette wheel to win something at random. Some of the cats here however can only be obtained by buying them with real-world money, many of which only show up at random intervals during “flash sales,” which usually offer something like a cat, a piece of furniture, money, gems and crafting materials from anything from £5 to £15 a time. I’m doing my best to ignore the temptation - though Shelly and I simply couldn’t resist forking out to become VIP members. Oooh, look at our blue badges!
Like Neko Atsume, Cat Game is somewhat of a hands-off game - as you advance in level, your cats’ deliveries go from taking 60 seconds to taking literally 10 hours to complete. Of course, there are other things you can be doing during this time, such as playing the mini-games, working on completing earlier rooms and crafting items - but you will find yourself sitting around waiting a lot of the time; whether that be for a cat to come back with a basket, the next stage of an event to begin or waiting for your sparkles to finish crafting in the shop.
I recommend Cat Game to anybody who likes cats, obviously - especially if they’re the obsessive sort of gaming completionist who likes to collect virtual trophies - except in this case, they’re cute themed cats! Like punk cats or cats who wear cakes for hats! It’s oddly addictive and a fun game to play when you need to kill some time - though it does require a constant internet connection, either WiFi or mobile data unfortunately. You can’t even play the mini-games when offline, which is a bit of a letdown. Though I do recommend if you’re a parent who lets your kids play with your tablet or phone - to disable in-game purchasing through the Play Store, for example - as there is literally adverts to buy the in-game stuff *constantly* - and if you’re an adult who lacks willpower like me - look at your real cats and think about how many bags of Dreamies you could buy with that £10.99!