I've wanted to write this article for a while! Pets are an integral part of my life as a professional pet sitter, and I also enjoy playing cute games on my phone when I'm not "on the clock". It's time to share some of my favorites, and what I like (and don't like) about them!
Over the last few years, I have played dozens of mobile games on my Android phone(s) involving cute animals and pets. Most were deleted within days; usually because they were crippled with annoying ads. However, a few games rose above the others, be it because of their cuteness factor, their enjoyable gameplay, or the heart and soul that was poured into the game by their developers.
All the games presented below have been extensively played with. There is no in-game chat interaction with other users (and therefore no chance of online bullying or harassment from other players), and they are totally free to play with minimal or no ads.
I am writing this article just for good fun, with no compensation for promoting any of these games. I am also open to suggestions for any new games to try!
Here are my Top FIVE favorite games for mobile devices, involving cute little animals and pets!
1) Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector
Released back in 2014 by Hit-Point, Neko Atsume took the world of phone gaming by storm.
The gameplay is very easy! All you have to do is purchase different types of food, items and toys, and enjoy the different cats (some of them very rare!) visiting your yard throughout the day. There are more than 66 cats to "collect" by taking pictures of them, 204 different toys to acquire, and 5 yard themes. The possibilities are endless! Long-term players are also given the option to purchase wallpapers for their phone, featuring some of their favorite kitties in cute little scenes.
Many of Neko Atsume's cats and their toys were released as collectibles in Japan and overseas, and for a while they were very prized items by collectors. If you are lucky, you can still find Neko Atsume plushies in the dealers' room at your local Anime Convention or Comic Expo, and in anime thrift stores in Japan. Neko Atsume was also adapted into a live-action movie back in 2017.
- Colorful and cute cat character designs
- Beautiful music
- Very easy to play and enjoy
- Perfect for all ages
- As the game is older, there haven't been many updates lately
- Can be repetitive in the long-term
- It can take a while to be able to purchase some of the expensive toys
2) Tsuki Adventures
Released by Hyperbeard in 2018, Tsuki Adventures has acquired a strong and loyal fanbase around the world.
Highly inspired by Japanese culture and folklore, this game follows the journey of Tsuki ("Moon" in Japanese), a little bunny who moves from the big city to Mushroom Village, to take over his uncle's carrot farm. But it is only the beginning of his adventures!
The gameplay can be a bit overwhelming at first but as you get immersed into the game, its different locations and all the characters who are key to Tsuki's journey, you'll find yourself checking on your little rabbit's whereabout many times a day. Of course, you'll have to become friends with certain characters, complete quests, unlock diary entries and collect a bunch of items to help Tsuki complete his journey. You are in for a long ride!
Tsuki Adventures is usually updated every other month, reflecting events such as Christmas, the Lunar New Year, or Halloween to name a few.
You will need many months, if not a full year of continuous play to go through all of Tsuki's adventures, quests and friendships. A subscription to the Moon Club for a very reasonable $2.50 CAD ($1.99 USD) per month is the best way to speed up traveling between the different locations of the game, and save precious carrots as in-game currency in the process.
In the meantime, a new Tsuki Adventure game (Tsuki Odyssey) is currently in the making, and due for release later in 2021.
Note that some mature themes are explored in this game, including alcohol consumption, crime, the grief of losing loved ones, smoking, and abuse. Nevertheless, Tsuki Adventure delivers where many other games have failed.
- Engaging storyline
- Gorgeous music
- Highly inspired by Japanese culture
- It can take more than a year of continuous play to go through the main storyline
- LOTS of different characters with unique personalities
- Vast international fanbase eager to help on Social Media (believe us, you'll need it!)
- The level of difficulty of certain quests is very high and it can be frustrating for casual players
- Mature themes are explored (racism, grief, murder, smoking, drinking, gambling, etc.) and may not be appropriate for young children
- The main storyline has not been updated in almost a year and probably won't due to the new game currently in development
3) Adorable Home
Who doesn't want a house full of cute critters and animals?
Adorable Home was developed by HyperBeard and beautifully designed by LakeQueen in 2019. This game allows you to fully (and we mean fully) customize not only your living room, but your back yard, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and even your own farm with an endless selection of items. In return, your home will be visited by the game's twelve resident cats, but also a bunch of other cute little animals. Even bees and fireflies can drop by!
You will find yourself and your partner enjoying your house while you check on your furry visitors daily, prepare bento boxes, take care of your cats and reorganize your furniture.
- Gorgeous designs
- Many different cats and animals
- Endless customization of your living spaces and back yard
- Beautiful music
- Regular gameplay updates with new items
- Perfect for all ages
- The game can be buggy for certain devices and the developers have yet to fix the issues
- The gameplay can be repetitive
- Long ads (up to 45 seconds)
- The "activities" with the cats (petting, nail cutting, etc.) could be significantly improved
4) Animal Restaurant
Animal Restaurant was released in 2019 by DH-Publisher and is what players call a "business simulation" idle game.
The gameplay starts relatively simply, with the story of Chef Gumi who wishes to run his own restaurant. You will start with a simple kitchen and a dining room, but as you grow your restaurant, you will learn new recipes and expand your facility to include a garden, courtyard, pond, sushi bar and take-out counter. You'll also need to hire staff and deal with a wide variety of clients and customers with different tastes and needs. The money you earn from your operation will help buy more items and furniture for your restaurant to thrive even more! There are also different types of currencies for different items in the game.
There's a little bit of strategy involved to maximize your profits and attract certain clients and vendors. Some activities can only be performed at certain intervals. If you like a game keeping you busy and on your toes, this one is a great choice!
- There's always something to do every time you open the game
- Endless customization of your kitchen, garden, buffet, etc.
- You can visit other players' restaurants
- The character design is pretty nice and unique
- Very good to simply pass the time!
- After a while, it may take a long time to accumulate enough currency to purchase items for your restaurant
- The Sushi Bar requires you to invite "friends" to unlock certain features, which is not always possible
- You need to link a social media account (we use a Twitter account) to increase some of the rewards
5) Rilakkuma Farm
Most of us have been exposed to "farm games" already (who doesn't remember Farmville from Facebook?!), but Rilakkuma Farm brings farming to the next level!
Released in 2019 by Imagineer and San-X, this game features the popular Japanese Sanrio character "Rilakkuma" and his cute little friends. The game starts as they arrive at a deserted farm in hope to eat sweets, but there's nothing there! It doesn't take long for your new crew to start growing crops and decorating the garden with a bunch of items, ornaments and buildings.
Although there is a little bit of strategy involved to be able to complete all the tasks, orders and the boat deliveries, the game remains extremely easy to play and is very forgivable if you need to put it away for a few days. Every now and then, there are special events (like picnics or the Sakura blossoms) where you can get exclusive or unique items for your farm, as long as you give Rilakkuma and his friends all the delicious food they wish to eat within a limited amount of time!
- Stunning visuals, colors and animations
- Excellent game for children
- Very nice music
- No ads. Yes, you read that right!
- Rilakkuma toys and merchandises are relatively easy to find (and everywhere in Japan) if you end up being a fan
- Aside from farming, there's not much more to the game
- Redecorating / moving the items on the farm can be a tedious process
- Can be repetitive in the long term
Have you ever tried any of these games?
What do you think?
What should we play next?
Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below! :)