Towards the end of last year, developer ngmoco released TouchPets: Dogs onto the App Store. Despite some odd game design choices (mainly needing to constantly feed your dog to be able to even play with it), it was an engaging game and easily the best virtual pet app available in terms of graphics and depth. But one question that everybody always brought up was “what about cats?” Fear not, feline supporters, as TouchPets: Cats is on it's way. We were given a preview demonstration at a recent ngmoco media event, and our impressions were positive.

The most important new change here is the ability to play with your kitty whenever you like. Gone are the days of needing to feed your pet to get a few minutes of play time. In place of the food mechanic from TouchPets: Dogs is catnip. Having your cat all hopped up on catnip allows him or her to perform actions that will advance you in the game. For instance, coins will collect amongst the furniture of your house over time. Feed kitty some catnip and they will run around collecting all the coins for you. These coins can go towards unlocking new toys, clothing, and furniture items for your house. That's right, there's now multiple rooms in your house that can be customized with different furniture and decorations. There's no more backyard to play in (after all, cats are usually considered more indoorsy), but with multiple rooms and many different items to adorn them out with, this shouldn't be a problem.

Also gone is the forced daily leveling of certain skills. This time around, your cat will actually tell you via a thought bubble what kind of activity it's in the mood to do. You won't be able to teach them any tricks either, but these qualities actually fall in line with the independent nature of cats – they typically march to their own tune. The fantastical careers from TouchPets: Dogs will also not be making an appearance this time, so if you were hoping to have your kitty perform emergency open-heart surgery you may be out of luck. Instead you'll have tiered in-house goals to accomplish and items to earn, and once you complete one tier you unlock a new one in a similar progression to the careers from the last game. The social aspect is ever-present in TouchPets: Cats, and instead of merely inviting a friends pet over to your house to play you can actually visit their entire house for yourself (and vice versa). You'll be able to own multiple cats as well, and a variety of different species are planned for the release.

TouchPets: Cats seems to be coming along nicely, although it's still fairly early in the development process. Some aspects to the game may be changed before it's final incarnation is available. The graphics look very similar to what was in TouchPets: Dogs, and the animations and expressions of the cats are really endearing. It'll be hard not to get attached to these little virtual pets. Best of all, if you just feel like spending time with your cat, there's nothing preventing you from doing so. Goals and coins can be earned at an accelerated rate if you choose to purchase DLC catnip, but it's not a requirement in playing. If you were a fan of the first game, but couldn't help but wish you were playing with a cat instead, keep your eye out for TouchPets: Cats most likely coming before the end of this year.

  • Kelly

    oh cats.

  • Kelly

    oh cats.

  • http://www.galleytech.com Galley

    Cats rule, dogs drool!

    • http://www.stormchild.net Stormchild

      Haha…they literally do.

  • http://www.galleytech.com Galley

    Cats rule, dogs drool!

    • http://www.stormchild.net Stormchild

      Haha…they literally do.

  • dyscode

    Oh Dear, if my wife ever finds out about this one I can kiss my iPod farewell.

  • dyscode

    Oh Dear, if my wife ever finds out about this one I can kiss my iPod farewell.

  • Fluffeh

    So are they going to update TouchPets Dogs so you can play with your dog anytime you want without feeding it? The whole "play-for-5-minutes" thing doesn't really translate well to a virtual pet game. Anyway, I hope this strategy of cat-nip instead of food will work out but as a dog person, I'd like the same option to play at any time. :)

  • Fluffeh

    So are they going to update TouchPets Dogs so you can play with your dog anytime you want without feeding it? The whole "play-for-5-minutes" thing doesn't really translate well to a virtual pet game. Anyway, I hope this strategy of cat-nip instead of food will work out but as a dog person, I'd like the same option to play at any time. :)

  • http://cathammocks.net cat hammocks

    this game is so cute :D Meow! Cats rule the world. And now you can too with Touch Pets Cats. Adopt furry feline of your very own to care for and play with. Build it a pimp kitty pad. Then invite your friends over on playdates.

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