Animal Hot Springs and telling the story

Remember Neko Atsume (Cat Collector)?

That game was great! Put out some treats, have adorable kittens come visit, maybe take pictures of them if you want. And that’s about it. I think the cats give you fish, and you can spend that on new cat toys.

I recently was linked to a knockoff called Animal Hot Springs. I started playing it, and thought it was great! Animals come in to a hot springs, they ask for stuff like a drink or a towel, you drag it to them, and they give you acorns. You then spend the acorns on new hot springs gear.

This eventually became less fun. Dragging the stuff to the animals was not so fun. Hoarding acorns was not so fun. Sometimes you had the option to watch ads to speed up your progress. (I think Richard Garfield would be displeased.) Most of the ads were for other crummy games, like match-3 clones and Farmville knockoffs.

Why was it less fun? I don’t know, I guess it was just less tuned. I felt like I had to grind for a long time. Plus, the basic loop of “drag food to animal” was less fun than the basic loop of “look at kitties.” Oh, and the ads.

Anyway, it seems very psychically helpful to tell stories of things that happen to you. (See also: recent bike guy story.) In this case, it’s not just “I’m an idiot who played a junky game”, it’s an opportunity to wax philosophical about what did and didn’t work about that game. (And to marvel at how silly it is that I didn’t like that but I’m now playing Antimatter Dimensions, aka the most recent Number-go-up game.)

And this blog is one way I do this. In a space that’s mostly psychologically safe (somehow, despite being on the internet); that is, where I know that if anyone’s listening, they’re probably friendly. Thank you for making it so!

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