My Pretty Kitty leads kitten heads to the slaughter so your cat can have a $5 nap

I’m not gonna lie. “My Pretty Kitty,” a new match-3 game by Intersol released at Big Fish Games, is cute. It’s almost insistent in its cuteness. If I had to revert to saying it’s kawaii I would not only lose my sense of integrity, but would have to forfeit all the time I spent studying Japanese, for no one should use another’s language in such a remarkably silly way. Yet, “My Pretty Kitty” demands that you call it kawaii at least once, even if it’s just inside your precious pink mind. I won’t do it. I refuse. It’s cute. That is all.

You have to pay $5 to let Kitty sleep. My cat does this for free…well, for spite.

The developers market the game as “a unique combination of tamagochi and match-3” and I would say that is completely accurate. For myself, the same instinct that made me hammer my Tamagochi to death in the 90s 1 was a little more amenable to that part of the game play. However, the strange pricing of some actions and materials made me wonder why they even needed that part at all. $20 for milk? Not yet, Pretty Kitty. Not yet. The other unfortunate element of this tamagochi-style play is that “Kitty” – you are not allowed to rename your Pretty Kitty – is presented as gendered-female, or at least presented in a feminine aesthetic. Pairing that with the constant need to purchase new clothing, play with expensive toys, and coerce to sleep with money reinforces the “high-maintenance” female trope. The most unfortunate part of this decision is that the majority of players (most likely on Facebook where this game is available) will be female and therefore the trope may slowly edify already biased notions of how women react to and use money. Perhaps that’s putting too much burden on “My Pretty Kitty,” but hey…kawaii.

$100 My-Pretty-Kitty bucks for the colorful feather cat toy. One Hundred!

The match-3 element of the game is what you’d expect, with similar bonuses and power-ups that pervade the genre. Granted, there’s something weird about essentially exploding groups of jellied cat heads and I found myself wondering if we’d crossed from cute into cruel. The little mews as you match pink and purple puss-pusses and then the crash of the explosion when you clear parts of the board made me question why I kept matching and exploding, matching and exploding. I had to have a long talk with myself afterward to make sure I was okay. I am okay.

Without the tamagochi game play, “My Pretty Kitty” would have been a purr-fectly 2 good match-3 game and probably one that I wouldn’t have reviewed as there is nothing too grand nor too unsettling for me to call attention to. Yet the monetary element of the game – and yet I know, this is common, especially among mobile games – felt like a strange add-on and one that has far more connotations than I believe the developers realized. I will suggest that, perhaps, through some sort of expression of the subconscious, the kitties of “My Pretty Kitty” know they are merely paw-ns 3.

Look at the blue-faced cat heads. They know. They understand their own exploitation. They don’t want to be there. They know the others are just playing along. Look at them!

Knightin’ is more fun than familiar

I can’t think of what game I want to compare Knightin to. Some game, relatively famous, that has multiple top-down dungeons, a variety of creatures and delightful music. Legend of something, something. Well, it will come to me. However, that familiarity may be kinda the point for Knightin, an addictively fun and easy going game from Wolod and available at Itch. According to the site, the game won Pixel Day 2018 and rightfully so. Knightin appears simplistic visually, but once you start playing, you discover the details in those dungeons.

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I like my swords like my men: super sharp and available in the first room. 

I was looking in the wrong place for the game play instructions. I only had to check out the dungeon floors to find out everything I needed to know – like using the space bar to open a chest (see image above.) If this has been done before, forgive my inadequate knowledge of the entirety of video game history, but that’s damn clever and I’m giving full credit to Wolod for doing it first and best. Well done!

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There is also a solution to a puzzle on the floor. Can you see it? See those skulls? They’re not it.

I have only moved through the early levels of Knightin before stopping to write up this review because I feared I would be playing long into the knight, not due to my elite gaming skills, but due to the forgiving nature of the game play and the sheer nostalgic fun of it all. Give Knightin a try and if you love it, too, give Wolod a nice tip.

Farm Living is the Life for Me

I thought I was going to spend about five minutes playing this little farm simulator from kamihi over at the Unity Room, but 農園生活 (Farm Living) grabbed me for over a half an hour, at least. The entire game is in Japanese, so if you don’t have some basic understanding the hurdle to play will be higher, but if you trust yourself, you can probably muddle through. You play フィルミエ (Firumie(?)) – I’m adding her name in katakana so you can suss it out from the dialog — and you’ve decided to start living the farm life. You take out a loan for 35000 and you have a certain period of time (I didn’t catch how long) to pay it off with your labors.

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You can see some of the items and crops available in this screen shot. Clicking on the character on the right allows you to harvest crops. Upgrading tools means using fewer hearts per activity.

I nearly made it, the game stopping when I was around 5,000, but the music and game mechanics – plus my desperate need to improve my Japanese – kept me hooked. Here are a few tips when playing:

  • You won’t be able to remove the boulders on your property, but in time you’ll be able to buy a tool that will help.
  • Try to sell your crops at the highest value you can. See the list on the left hand side.
  • When you click on a plot, the right-hand menu will show your available actions. New abilities and crops will show up there without ceremony, so keep your eyes peeled.
  • Keep an eye on your hearts (bottom left). Those are the number of actions you can do in a month. The blue button on the bottom (休み) means Rest and hitting that will move you to the next month.
  • Crops don’t appear to spoil – though there were a few messages that popped up that were too fast for me to try to read. Hold them until the price is higher.

Most of all, enjoy it. And no, I have no idea how to turn off the music. I didn’t spend that much time on the menu. But I enjoyed it, just as I thoroughly enjoyed Farm Living.

Rating: Try