Yes, even after an entire year, I am still playing Pokémon Go. Not with the regularity that I used to, but both the gym re-vamp and the recent special events revived my interest. You can actually win gym battles as a solitary player again because all the gyms aren’t stuffed full of Dragonites and Gyarados! And the raid battles get you cool stuff! And the coin rewards are way better.

Also, it took 53 weeks, but I finally hatched a Snorlax from a 10km (reduced to 3.3 km during the most recent fest) egg. I love it so much. Adorable cuddly Snorlax.

Perhaps even more unbelievably, I am also still playing Neko Atsume. There was an update recently adding two more Normal and one Rare cat, and also new toys, which are very suited to the Sugary and Café Styles.

Abyssrium has also recently revived my interest with special event fish and the new “fusion fish”. The appearance of the latter interfered somewhat with my goal of finishing off Levels 1 through 3 of the Collections (Level 4 is pretty much impossible until you get to ridiculously high levels). I have just a few more Vampire Squid to make before I’m done with Level 3 and then I can collect the rest of the fusion fish.

I’ve completed Magikarp Jump’s Ultra League, the eighth and last. One of my tiny satisfactions has been ensuring that the Magikarp who win the leagues have appropriate names. For instance, Stitch won the Great League and Lilo won the Fast League. You have one guess who won the Ultra League.

The bloke discovered a game that we both like called Samorost 3, while searching for a replacement puzzle game for the beautiful and creepy “The Room” series that we both completed. The artwork in Samorost 3 is wonderful and the puzzles are possibly even more cryptic than in The Room, although apparently not if you’re four and have been playing touch-screen-based games for your entire life. We got stuck on something and Humuhumu figured it out in about five minutes, thereby making us feel both old and incredibly thick. Thank you, child.

Anyway, Samorost 3 features an elfin creature in a nightcap wandering around through a strangely organically populated space. There are comets and planets and asteroids, but they are all shaped like seeds or bulbs or tree trunks. You run around exploring, using your trumpet to hear music and sounds that give you clues about the puzzle you must solve to keep your spaceship moving and complete the narrative. It’s lovely to look at and very absorbing. It’s also not free. Still, highly recommended.

Gratuitous pictures of gameplay under the cut.

Abyssrium, Magikarp Jump, Neko Atsume, Pok�mon Go )

How's everyone else's summer gameplay going? Anyone else still playing PokéGo?
Pokémon Go: Week 25 + Abyssrium

I haven’t posted about PokéGo in a while, which probably reflects my waning interest. I have, however, reached Level 28, thanks in part to the quadruple points bonus from the Lucky Egg evolves during the Thanksgiving event. I didn’t benefit much from the Winter Holiday event due to being entirely occupied by family in rural Norfolk. It was pretty irritating not to see a single Pokémon within a kilometre of the house. On a couple of brief visits to town, I got a few free incubators. I also caught a large quantity of Santachus in London during December, which were sufficient for me to evolve a Raiclaus. \o/

New to my Pokédex since my last update on Week 18 (!) were: Blastoise, Dodrio, Exeggcutor, Arcanine, Magneton, Raichu (and Raiclaus), Nidoqueen,Ivysaur, Charmeleon, Vileplume (which is a lot cuter than it sounds), Victreebel (which isn’t), Dragonite and Weezing.

I’ve caught a few Dittos, and one was even in Worcestershire and not London. I’m 30 candies from my fourth Gyarados. I am frustrated that I’ve been playing for nearly half a year now and not managed to catch, hatch or even see in the wild a Snorlax, a Lapras or an Aerodactyl.

OTOH, I hatched a Pikachu from a 2km egg recently, which was pretty satisfying! I’ve walked my Sandshrew to sufficient candies to evolve it, and my Nidorino is ready to go at my next Lucky Egg too. I have sufficient Voltorb, Kabuto and Vulpix candies to make walking them to evolution a reasonable undertaking. After that, though, I won’t have many left to evolve, and for those, I have so few candies out of the 100 required that walking them is pointless until there’s another event where the distance required is quartered. I suspect this game is coming to the end of its natural cycle for me.

Abyssrium has been making up for the petering out of PokéGo with its Winter Holiday event. I collected all the Christmas fish in their Santa outfits and enjoyed adorning my Coralite with Rudolph antlers. I also still faithfully feed my Neko Atsume kitties and water my Viridi plants every day. At some point I’ll have to look into acquiring a new adorable phone game.

Gratuitous Abyssrium & Neko Atsume images below.

Neko Atsume - Whiteshadow
Featuring the elusive Whiteshadow in the Sugary Style garden. Looking at this, I can’t feel too sad that my first public post of 2017 is about frivolous games.

My plan is to finish off the December Days photo prompts in January. I also have a set of Throwback Thursday photos I shall be posting over the course of the next year. Let it not be said that I don’t have goals.

This ESA Rosetta mission shirt is only sold at the ESRIN site in Frascati, Italy. I call it the "Welcome to the gun show" shirt because I suspect its very form-fitting cut and perfunctory sleeves were designed for a svelte Italian man with large biceps to swan around on his scooter in his aviators. I'm better at eating gelato than hitting the gym regularly, so I'm afraid my guns aren't quite up to the task.

Anyway, I've been a bit busy lately what with updating several hundred requirements in our database (complete!) and submitting a grant application on behalf of the artist I'm hoping will be able to join me in January to document the final months of the Cassini mission (also complete!). Additionally, I acquired a new phone. I don't know what it is about new gizmos. Somehow even though it's running the same OS and is the same brand, just a bit bigger and faster, it has turned my fingers into hams and it's taken me the better part of two days to not be afraid to touch the damn thing. This was not helped by me forgetting which Google account I'd used to create my Pokémon Go account, logging in with the wrong one, and immediately being devastated to find I was back at Level 1. Eventually I figured out what had gone wrong, but not before a lot of lip-wobbling and wibbling unhappily at the bloke. I caught a Clefairy at Birmingham New Street station this morning, so I'm almost reconciled to the brief period of unnecessary mourning.

I decided not to port my Neko Atsume game data over from my old phone either, so I'm starting again from the beginning. AND I now have space to install The Room 3. WIN.
Today's Unscientific Poll is rather UK-centric, I'm afraid. OTOH, it makes it an easy choice for non-UK based participants!

Also includes ticky box for those who have no idea what I'm on about.

Poll #17572 Phone gaming pleasure
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 45

Which is the most exciting development of the past 24 hours?

View Answers

Neko Atsume has an update (3 new cats! Lots of toys! New backgrounds!)
19 (42.2%)

UK release of Pokémon Go
9 (20.0%)

I don't know what you're on about but I'm glad you're having fun
18 (40.0%)

After weeks of waiting, I have finally managed to catch Tubbsy visiting the giant cushion instead of troughing in the food bowl.

I have all the mementoes, seen all the rare cats, used all the backdrops and made many themed gardens. Tempting Tubbsy to the cushion was my reason for continuing to play. And now it has happened, I feel a little lost.

I carry on feeding my kitties on the finest gourmet food and hoarding gold fishies, and I hold out hope...for an update.


ETA: Cat-game players are aware that you can get free fishies in the game once a day by going to News, then tapping on Daily Password, then entering the daily password in Input Password, yes? And that if you do that for five days, you get a free Ritzy Bits can? If so, yay! If not, is good tip!

[Neko Atsume screenshot featuring Sugary Style background and one new cat - Ganache - in the cream-puff house.]

There is an update. There is a new background. There are four new cats (two common, two rare). There are twelve new toys.

I knew I was banking all those gold fishies for a reason. Now if only I could get Joe DeMeowggio to leave me their memento. Sixty visits and no signed baseball! Even Peaches has brought me theirs.

I'm just back from a whirlwind weekend away with the family and it's been wonderful, and I will actually post something publicly here that is not about cats, real or cartoon, in the very near future. But for now, as I wade through the accumulated mass of unanswered messages from 2.5 days disconnected from mobile, wifi and 3G signal, I would like to share a moment that made me think I must have reached the apex of Neko Atsume play.

Observe the lower left hand quandrant of the photo above. Peaches (the not-rare cat who visits less frequently than any rare cat), Frosty, and Guy Furry turned up simultaneously. Two rare cats and Peaches? Definitely almost time to quit.
Friends who play the cat game may have noticed that the last update included some new toys, like the luxurious Sunken Fireplace pictured below. I was delighted to discover that this item attracted Chairman Meow, previously tempted only by the Earthenware Pot.

Chairman Meow is perched atop the fireplace. This was also the first time I'd managed to catch Conductor Whiskers in the act of riding the cardboard train.

Another photo with two rare cats. I like this one because of the contrast: the elegant Lady Meow Meow lounging in the hammock in shades below Bob the Cat with rucksack and rough-hewn walking stick.

Poll #17305 Neko Atsume: Play forever?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 41

It's been almost four months. Should I stop playing Neko Atsume?

View Answers

Yes. You have a giant stockpile of gold fish & nothing to spend it on except expensive food, and you have a stockpile of that as well.
0 (0.0%)

No. PLAY FOREVER or at least as long as the kitties give you joy.
41 (100.0%)

Yeah, I can't cope with the news or bring myself to talk about life right now. So instead, I give you a Gratuitous Neko Atsume picspam!

I haven't been so captivated by a game in years. Possibly more than a decade. I have collected all the cats. I have all but two of the "common" cats' mementos. I own all the toys. The only things I have left to do are to get the rest of the (mostly) rare cats to bring me their mementos, and purchase the other two backgrounds. Although my favourite is likely to remain the Zen Garden which features in the picspam.

Anyway, I have been carefully constructing a series of gardens. The first was inspired by a comments exchange with [personal profile] lurkingcat, and after that, I just couldn't stop.

The Food Garden.

The Expensive Garden (no toy worth less than 25 gold sardines).

+4 )

And finally, the Chromatic Garden series is behind the second cut.
Red, Pink, Orange, Green, Blue )

Fellow Neko Atsume players! What themes have you come up with for your gardens?

[Screenshot of my yard, with two rare cats making simultaneous appearances. One is a tiny cat-samurai, and the other a noble Heian-cat.]

Whilst I was in Tenerife, one of my colleagues introduced me to what she called "the crazy cat-lady game". (I have mentioned I work with the best people, haven't I? Yes, yes I do.)

I immediately downloaded and installed Neko Atsume.

I have not been this captivated by a game for a long time. It's so low-key in terms of interaction, and yet so rewarding. You put out food and toys, try to optimise the acquisition of gifts (silver and gold sardines) and tempt rare cats into your garden. Then you simply wait for the kitties to turn up. I have thus far managed to tempt all but two of the sixteen rare cats into my garden, and that's because I haven't put their favourite toys out yet. I'm now trying to save up enough fish to purchase the toys to execute various projects, such as the All-Ball garden, the All-Box garden and the All-Cushion garden. I could do the all-ball garden now, but I'm reluctant to take away the kotatsu (the heated table with the orange skirting in the photo). They all look so cosy on - or more frequently, under - it.