At first glance, Kleptocats is adorable. The premise is simple enough: you pet cats and they bring you things. Soon, the items and coins start rolling in. Exotic food, cutesy plushies, and even pop culture memorabilia will start piling up on your shelves. As the name ‘Kleptocats’ implies, everything your new pals fetch for you is stolen, but you can’t help but forgive your furry friends because they’re so dang cute!
Then your cats start to bring home things such as snakes, brains, and bisected monster parts. Oh, and your fridge magnets spell out “HELP”. Wait, was the cat on your bed always sleeping next to a knife? But then again, you can’t be too mad, because your kleptomaniac kittens are still so dang cute!
(Okay, maybe you should be a little bit concerned. That’s quite a lot of snakes.)
Kleptocats, developed by HyperBeard Games LLC, offers a simple play experience that almost anyone can master. The controls are straightforward and consist entirely of tapping the screen. The main aim of the game is to keep your cats happy so they collect different items, which you do by tapping your cat to open a menu that allows you to provide treats, give them a bath, or pet them before sending them out into the world. I quickly grew attached to my first cat, Neal D., and refused to swap them out for any other cat for a good few days.
The game is also chock-full of references to pop culture. There are enough references to make the player chuckle and the game does not become overwhelming or bogged down in an attempt to appear relevant. There’s also an awful amount of absolutely terrible cat puns. It’s hiss-terically claw-ver.
You can use the in-game currency to unlock new rooms in order to unlock more cats, items, and minigames. The minigames vary from room to room, with the first room having a minigame where you tap to pop bubbles and collect coins and the second room’s minigame consisting of tapping food in order to feed a cat. You can also use the in-game currency to buy new cats and purchase accessories for your cats. These range from things such as colourful headbands to winter coats to cool sunglasses, although they also appear to serve no purpose aside from making your cats look absolutely purr-fect.
I had a slight problem when it came to acquiring the in-game currency: it started to feel like a chore. Although the minigames were fun at first, the novelty quickly wore off. Obtaining enough coins to trade for gems to buy new cats and new accessories takes an average of 20 trips. This number of trips doesn’t seem too bad until you consider the fact that each trip took approximately 20 minutes. Unless you’re willing to splash out real cash on the in-game currency, you’d better get used to slowly slogging your way through building up your item collection.
The wait times started to become a serious issue later in the game. I started to lose interest. I would receive a notification that my Kleptocat had returned and I would ignore it, unwilling to just check in for a few seconds only to pet the cat and send them on their way for another 20 minutes. Having said that, you are occasionally offered the chance to watch an advertisement to either receive 50 coins or immediately return your cat to you, which is a blessing.
THE CONCLUSION. CON-MEW-SION? CON-CLAWS-ION?
Despite its flaws, Kleptocats is genuinely fun to play. It never gets repetitive, despite its long wait times. It also manages to perfectly balance the game’s cutesy graphics and the darker undertones. Due to it not requiring your constant attention, it’s an ideal game for someone who doesn’t want to or who can’t be glued to their phone all the time. Just try to focus on the adorable cats while ignoring the snakes that are slowly manifesting in your home.
Ash would describe her most traumatic life experience as the Temple of Droplets in The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap and that's pretty much all that you need to know.