I’m a cat lover, for those who haven’t noticed. If you hadn’t, then I’m not sharing enough awesome cat videos these days, which I already know I’m not. Cat videos are why the internet exists, after all. Well, that and anime. Preferably anime about cats.
Somebody should really make an anime about cat videos.
Anyway, when I happened across Kittens Game, I immediately checked it out. I mean, why wouldn’t I? It’s a game, about kittens, right?
Yeah… not exactly.
Kittens game is a civilization and resource management game from bloodrizer, and is both incredibly simple, and deceptively difficult. It does not offer occasional cat videos, which is kind of a mark against it, but it does offer enough other neat stuff that I’ll let it slide.
The objective of the game is to take your single kitten hunter gather, and build a vast, sprawling installer civilization capable of sacrificing unicorns to dark gods from before the beginning of time.
No, really. That’s the objective of the game.
What? I didn’t make it. I mean, yeah, it sounds like something I’d come up with, but this time, I really didn’t.
Kinda sad about that, but what can ya do? Besides sacrifice unicorns to gather their precious tears in a bid to open the gateway to the ancient leviathans and learn their horrid secrets?
The game begins with you, playing a kitten, as you scrounge for catnip, the primary resource of the game. When you’ve got some, you can turn it into a catnip field, which automatically produces more. You can then convert the catnip into wood, which lets you build things like libraries, to improve your science, and huts, to attract other kittens to join your new village.
The more kittens you have, the more you can assign to various tasks, such as cutting wood, mining ore, or scientific pursuits.
Get it? Purrsuits.
Right. Okay then.
All of this let’s you advance technologically, gaining access to things like smelters, magnetos for power, and eventually space flight, which lets you explore the other planets in your star system, and travel to others, as well. You can even colonize far away planets.
All of which requires you to do several things first. You have to produce enough catnip to feed your crowing civilization, which is where the first aspect of the resource management comes in. Later, you have to refine raw materials into more complex ones in order to build newer, better structures. Having wood isn’t enough. You need beams, and scaffolds.
Minerals become steel, which you mix with titanium to make alloys, and so on. The whole game is like that. It’s a constant collection and combining of various base goods into more complex ones, growing, and advancing in technology to become capable of doing even more stuff.
Then there’s the other side of the game. The spiritual side. As everyone knows, kittens are very spiritual beings, and need to have their souls nourished as much as their minds.
Everybody did know that, right?
Of course you did.
As you advance in technology, you also advance in religion. Temples and Cathedrals build faith, which you can convert into various boosts that help the rest of your civilization. Eventually, you can progress far enough theologically, that you can begin to unravel the secrets of the elder beings, which then combines with your technological advancement in interesting ways.
Mind you, there’ s a lot of unicorn sacrificing that has to happen. Not that they didn’t have it coming. Uppity horny assholes. Not like they were using their tears for anything. You may as well put them to good use.
As I said at the start, Kittens Game is incredibly simple, so much so it doesn’t require even a tutorial to get, since everything is pretty self explanatory from the start. It’s also incredibly difficult, and insanely complex. The depth of the game play is really staggering, and the deeper into it you get, the more complex it becomes.
It’s also an incremental style game. When you have a high enough population, you can restart with Paragon points, that unlock a ton of other boosts and game play options. It’s pretty much a downward spiral into kitten on unicorn violence after that, a madness you can’t let go of as you seek the favor of the leviathans that dwell in the dark places beyond our understanding.
What’s genuinely inspired about the game, though, is that it accomplishes all of this without the use of fancy graphics. It’s just the simple screen you’ve seen shown here in this post, all through the whole game. No muss, no fuss, no clutter. Yet, incredibly addictive game play, for people looking to get involved with something they can spend a few minutes, to a few hours, on as their schedule allows.
Which is the real appeal of the game. You can play as little or as much as you want, when you want. When you have a ton of things going on in your life, like I do, that’s the real selling point. Except the game is totally free to play, by which I mean, it’s 100% free to play. No hidden fees, no upgrades to purchase, nothing. You can get as far as you want, without spending a dime.
Of course, you can make a donation, but that is completely optional, and at no point is it ever even pushed. It’s just there, a tiny part of the screen, and that’s that.
Go check it out. Join me in sacrificing unicorns for their precious tears so we may summon forth the old ones, and revel in their forbidden knowledge.
Or, ya know, to play a fun, yet challenging game. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.