What makes a house an âAdorable Homeâ
Adorable Home lets you play with pet cats and fill your house with plants and furniture, which can attract other animal friends of all kinds.
What makes a house an ‘Adorable Home’
Fiel Estrella (The Philippine Star) - January 11, 2020 - 12:00am

I was forced to say goodbye to all of my virtual cat pals on Neko Atsume when my old phone broke for good and I had to replace it with a new one.

I was obsessed with the game for months when it first came out. By then, though, it had been a couple of years and I was barely checking it anymore — I kept it around anyway, not quite ready to abandon my feline friends. There was Baggy, who was black all over and named after MGMT vocalist Andrew VanWyngarden’s real-life cat. There was Jared, who, like his namesake from HBO’s Silicon Valley, was the absolute sweetest and always left me lots of fish after his stay. And there was Sammy (real name Osamurai-san, or Mr. Meowgi), one of the rare cats who was so named because he was, well, a samurai.

I didn’t download Neko Atsume again when I got my new phone; I didn’t really feel like starting over. There was no longer a void to fill anyway — or so I thought, until I browsed the early-access apps on Google Play one day and came across a game called Adorable Home.

I was instantly hooked, taken by the cute art with clean lines and the gameplay: you start by choosing avatars for yourself and your pretend-significant other, and then you move into your new house. You can bathe, pet and groom your pet cat named Snow, and prepare lunch in adorable bento boxes for your partner, both of which will earn you Love, which you can use to buy food, items to decorate with, lunch boxes in different designs, and even new cats. You can collect snapshots of moments with a camera, too.

My virtual house became a haven for plants and pets. I added a modern slab table, a bonsai tree, a Piet Mondrian painting, and an aquarium. When I earned enough Love I expanded with a garden, which I decorated with cherry blossom and peach trees, a mermaid fountain, a sunflower box, and a swimming pool. The weather is always changing; one day it might be raining, another it could be snowing. And it’s always fun to check in every few hours, because you never know who might drop by: Lexi the turtle, Mira the deer, Ed the frog, Joy the duck, maybe Lorre the otter.

Adorable Home has everything I loved about Neko Atsume, and more. It’s calming and simple and doesn’t require much maintenance, but it’s dynamic and always changing. I get to plan packed lunches and decide whether I want a space-themed bento box or a classic wooden one. Is it grilled chicken or sushi today? How about a nice avocado salad? Maybe tiramisu for dessert? It requires patience, too — in the minigames, you have to know where to pet your cats, you have to tilt your phone to get the right shower temperature, and you have to be careful when trimming their claws.

What I like best about it, though, is how it’s able to simulate a fulfilling inner life that’s all about growth and uncomplicated happiness. My in-game avatar is always engaging in hobbies, like playing the piano and building sandcastles. She never seems to leave the house, but I decided that it’s because she’s also a freelance creative who doesn’t really have to go to an office to do her job, like me. Really, all I care about is living my dream of surrounding myself with all the pet cats I want — plus the occasional hedgehog or koala bear.

(And if my virtual roommate happens to have a floppy ’90s middle part and be called Hobi just like a certain member of BTS, then it’s nobody’s business.)

 

***

Adorable Home is now available on iOS and Android.

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