Sunday, July 17, 2016

Hypo-allergenic Cats

Things have been a mite stressful in Sparkland this summer.  What with Bubbe's passing, the major and ongoing changes to my workplace, and my medical adventures, I've been feeling somewhat overwhelmed.

How am I coping?  Not badly, I think.  I've got a new addiction to lean on.  Not to worry: it's not cigarettes or heroin.  I'm a little late to the party, but, for the first time in my life, I'm soothing myself with video games.

It started with Candy Crush, the matching game, as a tool to help me get through sclerotherapy procedures.  It's a potent distraction.  I was surprised by how much I enjoyed playing.  I've gotten all the way to level 96.  The only thing that doesn't quite seem right to me is that, in the game, chocolate is my enemy.  I am willing to suspend disbelief when it comes to gathering candy to help a crash-landed alien or a sad unicorn, but don't ask me to believe that chocolate is a malign force.  That I cannot do.

A friend introduced me to Triple Town, a different type of matching game, in which you build a village from the grass all the way up to giant mansions, while being attacked by cute but angry bears. That one's pretty good too.  It got me through my most recent appointment very effectively.

My favourite, though, is Neko Atsume, a "cat collecting game".  It's not a typical game, in the sense that it doesn't require sustained attention.  You start with a yard, stock it with cat toys and comfy places to nap, and then check the app every 15 minutes or more (usually more) to see which cats have shown up.  As long as you keep the food bowl filled, you'll be assured of kitty visitors.  This is what my yard looks like right now:

The long-term goal is to meet all the different cats in the game and snap photos of them for your collection.  Some are rare.  Some need to be attracted by special accessories, which you purchase with fish that the cats leave for you once they are done enjoying their treats.  For example, that cowboy hat.  Some cats have worn it, but it hides their entire head and looks very silly.  However, "Willie the Kid" has visited, and that hat fits him perfectly.  Sadly, I didn't manage to see him; I only know he was there because he left me some fish.  All I can do is leave the hat out and keep my fingers crossed that he'll come back again.

This game is great because it's a simple, reliable source of delightful surprises.  I can check it in between the endless series of annoyances at work, and it always makes me feel better.  It's also free, although you can make in-app purchases if you aren't patient enough to wait days to accumulate the fish you need to buy that giant-cat-condo-scratching-post, or whatever it is in the shop that you're excited about.  A dollar and change will buy you a whack-load of fish.  I'm thinking of buying some because the makers of this game deserve a reward for being awesome.

Are you a phone gamer?  What's your favourite game?


lotta joy said...

I've been totally addicted to match three games for about two years. I play some from facebook (which is my ONLY reason to go there) and one I downloaded years ago is my "go to". I hate it when I've used up my "energy" by losing three times and have to wait for the lives to reload, but GUMMY DROP has kept me active while sitting on my butt.

Ginny said...

Well since you read my last blog post I've been playing Pokemon GO. Sounds like I'd like this cat name though.

Ginny said...


LL Cool Joe said...

Nope I don't play video games at all. Sorry! But I'm glad you are having fun with them and it's easing the stress a bit!

wigsf3 said...

I'm always looking for a cute and simple cellphone game. The Simpsons game was funny but too buggy. When all of my progress was mysteriously deleted, I got pissed off and quit the game.
I tried Hay Day, a farming game with lots of cute animals but I got bored of it after a while.
As a person who has a cat and has had cats for years, cats aren't cute. I'll probably pass on the attracting cats to my yard game. Hits too close to home.

Lynn said...

I only play Words with Friends on my phone. I've resisted Candy Crush Saga, because I'm afraid I'll want to play it all the time (like some of my friends do.) The cat game is intriguing, but I think I'll resist (reluctantly.) Sounds fun!

I keep this one old laptop computer at home only for playing Mah Jong and Hearts while I'm watching TV. I love Mah Jong the most.

Snowbrush said...

I've never played any game but the original Pak Man.

Vanessa T said...

I'm so glad you found something that helps keep your mind off your procedures! Yay for distractions, right? :)

I would only suggest that your cat attraction game needs cat traps in it. You know, cardboard boxes. Cats can't resist. :D

Me, I can't seem to live without 7 Little Words. Only the daily game is free so I just have the one game per day, but I live for those few minutes, lol!

Color Flood and Color Fill tide me over while I'm waiting. ;)

Abby said...

That cat game looks so cute! I'd better not start... But I'm glad it's giving you some balance.

I play Words With Friends (with strangers).

G. B. Miller said...

No phone/Facebook games for me. My speed is Hearts on my current computer and Spider Solitaire on my old one.

Father Nature's Corner

Jenny Woolf said...

That sounds like a good game, with the cats. I became really addicted to an old version of Bejeweled, but then the company took it off their website and you can't buy it as an app. I'm really stodgy since I don't like my favourite games to change so I haven't gone on to the new version. Suspect I have more time now :)

And it is so good that you've found a way of feeling less stressed.

Emma Gorst said...

Farmville 2 has a smartphone version and it's pretty fun. I played Clash of Clans a lot for a while. It has a "farming" aspect to it (you build a castle and accumulate gold and elixir) and I know people who play it who don't do any battles. I play these games when I'm pretty stressed; when I'm not so stressed I have the energy and time to do real life farming (gardening!) and matching (sewing!). So I played them a lot last year.