Review: Neko Atsume

Like cats? Want to collect a bunch of them without being the creepy cat lady down the street with the outrageous food bills?

20160124_142628Neko Atsume is a cat collecting game. The simplistic mechanics make it incredibly easy to pick up. You just set out food and a toy, turn off the app, and come back later to find cats playing, sleeping, or lounging around your yard. The cats will leave you gifts of fishes because they enjoy your yard so much, and you use the fishes to buy more goodies.

2016-01-24 22.26.42There are several specialty cats, like Chairman Meow who only likes helmet shaped bowls, or Ramses the Great that only likes pyramids. The more cats you collect the more fishes you can get.

2016-01-24 22.27.04Neko Atsume is a free to play game, and occasionally they do update it with more goodies to buy and more cats. The ads are unobtrusive, and in game purchases are limited to little gold fishes which you use to buy some of the pricier items, but they also let you purchase gold fish with regular fish so it is possible to gather all of the cats without ever paying for anything, it just takes a little longer.

Neko Atsume seems to make its money in merchandise, rather than through the game itself. You can purchase your own stuffed kitty, figures, t-shirts and more with the adorable cats on it. The Neko Mart in Japan sells nothing but Neko related merchandise, and lots of it. But if you live in the US you can always purchase your favorite cats online. Check the wiki for a full list of available items.

 

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Pay to Watch Ads

UPDATE: Humble Bundle did get back to me after a while and said this was a glitch. The wrong file got uploaded. However, the general sentiment of paying for games with adverts in them still holds true.

 

There’s is an understanding with a lot of us who enjoy games on our phone. We get free to play games, and the creator earns money by showing us a few advertisements. A banner, maybe a short video, or even an option to watch a few extra videos for coins. We get that, it’s the price to pay for free.

So when I purchase a game with money I expect that game to be free of advertisement, right? No. Not according to the latest games included in the Humble Bundle Mobile edition.

I’ve purchased most of my mobile games through Humble Bundle. It’s a great cause, some of the purchase price goes to charity, and I get games I enjoy. I now own several hundred games because of this site, many of which are mobile. I’ve downloaded and played most of the games from the mobile purchases at least once, and never had a problem with advertisements…until this one.

This month’s titles are from a Bandai Namco Pack and includes:

namcoCrush the Castle (free), Pac-Man Kart Rally (free), Flight Control ($0.99), Puzzle Quest 2 (free), Pac-Man Championship ($3.99), Ridge Racer Slipstream (free), Bird Zapper (only available on iTunes), Mahjong Butterfly (free), Galaga Special Edition (free), and Pac-Man CE DX ($4.99).

After looking up all the prices on Google Play I was more disappointed with Humble Bundle. This months collection is filled with games that are available for free. If I am paying for access to these games shouldn’t I get something special with them, like the removal of advertisements?

I love Pac-man, and Galaga, and I have played and enjoyed Puzzle Quest 2 so I thought this would be a good pack to get. Also Mahjong is always fun, and this version lets you collect butterflies. But is the pack of games worth the $5. You are only “paying” for three games, their total amount being $8, and you still get the advertisements from the other free to play games. It’s misleading.

Galaga was the worst offender. I downloaded and started to play this game, and within a minute of play a big advertisement stopped my game and made me watch a loud, obnoxious advertisement before I got to move on.

The Butterfly Mahjong wasn’t as annoying. I played it for a good twenty minutes before I saw an advertisement. Again, it was a video that I could not skip or get out of, though they gave me a mute button. A slight improvement.

It pains me to say this, because I really love the Humble Bundle platform and what it stands for, but this months Android bundle, and Namco in general, was a huge disappointment. I think it should have been advertised that half the games were free to play and still had advertisements in them.