Welcome to Susan Arendt's latest column on Pocket Gamer. In 2018 we've recruited the best writers and most experienced gamers in the industry and asked them to inspire us. Today Susan takes a look at Cat Condo, a game which she's become a little bit obsessed with...
Fam, I am sorry. I am so, so sorry for what I'm about to do to you. You know I love you. You know I love mobile games. You know I love to connect you with mobile games that you will enjoy. Please forgive me for what I must do.
Go get Cat Condo.
Cat Condo is not a game, really. It's more a cat hoarding simulator. You start with a modest cat tree, upon which a cat carrier appears every few seconds until the tree is full. Opening the carriers reveals cats, which you can combine in pairs to make a new, better cat. Two white cats make a grey kitten, two grey kittens make a Sneaky Cat, and so on up to ragdolls and Siamese and beyond.
You earn coins for every cat on your cat tree, with the more evolved cats earning you better rates than the common kitties. You can then spend those coins to simply buy cats for fusing, rather than going through the chore of matching them all the way from tiny kitten up to whatever level you're currently developing.
That's all there is to it. You can either tap cat carriers to make them appear, or just wait and eventually they'll drop in automatically until all open spots on your cat tree are full.
Cat Condo is free to download, but oh, it is so very clever in the way it tempts you into spending money. For a couple of bucks, you can get a better carrier, which starts you one level up along the cat development line. Upgrade it again, and you're further up the evolutionary line… and so on.
You don't have to do that, of course, so long as you don't mind an extra layer or two of fusing cats together. Cat Condo is also extremely generous with the in-game currency; I'm currently sitting on just shy of three billion, so buying a few extra Scottish Folds to speed things up is really no big deal, despite their $1million+ price tags.
You've undoubtedly started to wonder why I'm not just talking about Cat Condo, but also apologizing for it. Because you will become obsessed with it. I know this because I am obsessed with it. Every time I pick up my phone - to text, or check Twitter, or whatever - I see the icon and I simply have to open up all those cat carriers.
I need to know what the next level of cat evolution is. I have two more pages of cats to unlock. WHAT ARE THEY? WHAT COULD THEY BE? I NEED TO KNOW. My cat tree keeps expanding to accommodate all these new kittos, some of whom I keep unfused just because I think they're adorable. My Bombay cat sits at the apex of the cat condo, looking with disapproval upon all she surveys. Can't get much more true to life than that.
There are mobile games that require your attention, those you burn through in a few days, and those you just keep around as comfort food. Cat Condo is very much in that last category. It sits there, doing its thing, quietly waiting for the next time you pop your head in and look at all the adorable kitties.
And they are very cute, drawn to be clearly recognizable as their respective breeds while also being full of personality. The Japanese Bobtail looks like she's just seen a lizard, while the British Shorthair is clearly in search of a sunbeam.
Cat Condo is utterly undemanding, and ready to provide you with ready access to cute cats. You will completely forget about it until you pick up your phone, which you undoubtedly do several times a day, and each time you open it, you will be greeted with more cats. (If only all of life was like that.)
The cats do not need to be fed or have their litter boxes cleaned. They exist solely to fuel your desire to acquire more cats. And there are so many more cats to be had.
Many.Read more of Susan Arendt's columns on Pocket Gamer, and pick up Cat Condo on the App Store and Google Play. If you're looking for more columns, then check out Harry Slater and Jon Jordan, who are always on-hand with sharp, tasty opinions too.