So I have some very big news! Probably! It is not official yet but it looks like I might be moving soon! it This past Saturday I did something else other than watching anime! I went to view a new place I could rent! Less drug trades on the parking lot, less illegal racing or violence! More tolerance and an appartement with some actual space! It looks like I got it! Though I haven’t signed a contract yet, all parties were in agreement! So yay! Better times ahead. I will stick by my rules though and not watch the anime later that day as I was well worn and had a nice dream buzz! No instead we will finish catch up week by taking the Cat from catch-up and adding some nice clothes to them!
Kittens and Puppies
So normally I am not into mobile gaming. I played some Dragon Ball Legends, I played some Dokkan Battle, but usually whenever I am done with a Story Mode I am done with a game. Sure they get updates every now and again and I might come back.. but I don’t stick to Mobile games all that much. I still play Dragon Ball Legends and Pokémon Go and very loosely but other than that I rarely play a mobile game. So when Summer of Foovay’s Cauldron told me this game was good I thought… I’ll probably try it out for a day and dump it on the second..I am however been pretty dedicated for over a week now and I want more! Well at least of Castle Cats!
Castle Cats and Dungeon Dogs are both Idle Hero games developed by Pocapp Studios.
In Castle Cat you make a Guild Master of a Heroes Guild and collect cats to make them go on quests in the hopes of defeating the evil Pugomancer. In Dungeon Dogs you make a Rebel Captain Dog.. and collect dogs to let them do missions for the resistance against the evil cats. Both are essentially the same game with a different story and different flavouring but the exact same mechanics. It’s up to you whether Dogs or Cats are more your thing. Where Dungeon Dogs is only a recent game though Cats has the more impressive library of collectables With about 260 cats where currently you can collect 60 ish dogs. Guess I got suckered into two more collectable creature games huh!
As an Idle game the gameplay consists of making Gacha-pulls if you have the right resources and clicking on a few spaces to gather these resources or allocate cats to get them for you. Each mission has a timer but the player can join in a battle and tap on a boss to reduce their health while charging up their heroes powers until they can unleash a super attack. With the resources gained you can upgrade your furry friends with new outfits, powers and make them eligible for more quests. Other options involve upgrading your base to gather your three main resources faster or your main building which allows you to send more allies on a mission at the same time. Other than that you can craft some items with an alchemy station for aid when you do battle, or a bigger reward payout. Yet there are also special crafts depending on events you got going on. Which usually leads to super unique heroes being collected. It doesn’t do anything special gameplay wise but everything happens in a very non intrusive way. You can choose to just toss your phone aside and let the troops do the work or actively take part in the fights. I prefer to keep my paws clean and just let my darlings gather resources while I blog! Each day I collect a few kittens and puppies and I just smile.
While Dungeon Dogs doesn’t impress me as much as Castle Cats does I must comment both for their lovely presentation. The Joy on your cats and dogs as they complete a mission, or walk through your field is amazing. The design of creatures, especially the higher rarity ones is incredible! There is so much personality in them.The colours are vibrant and both your main story heroes as well as those rare finds oftenly look good enough in design to be in an actual cartoon of sorts. This is these games greatests plus. Oftenly mobile collectable creature games on mobile can look really unique but there is nothing to bind you to them. Say some Fakemon shows it and it looks mighty cute, I am still not tempted to drop some money in as it would be nice to have.. but there is no NEED to have it. A game using an existing IP thus makes a better Gacha! I want the new Majin Vegeta in Legends so I might drop some cash or do missions to get him.. as I recognise him.. he becomes something to pursue. Pocapp Studios manages a way to balance this greatly.
Most of the cats and dogs to collect have a reference, they are something else from another source of media. So for example my first Mystical was a cat called Howard, who when evolved turned into the Eldritch Cthulhu. Howard of course being the H in HP Lovecraft. But I also got Bunny! A cat who was chosen by the moon to be a guardian. When you evolve her she gets a sailor outfit and blonde buns.Usagi is the Japanese word for Bunny.. so you really know who you just collected. All of them have dialogue too! Scarlett really makes me laugh! It is a cat who wants to be a Blobmon trainer. He really wants to ride a bike.. but he knows now is not the time and place and HE is always watching. Scarlett indeed is Red from Pokémon. Because these games take a deep dive into Geekdom there is more reason to collect the creatures other than their cute look! You want to find out who they all are! My best friend Bean for example got a cat named Edward..He doesn’t like to be called small and his brother is an armor. I really want him!
What is also very impressive about these games is that you seem to get “fair deals” for spending money. You don’t need to spend money and by watching adds you can unlock a whole bunch of extra goodies as well so there is no real need to put money into it.. but the bundles and deals you get seem actually cool! Where Dokkan Battle for example only really has sweet deals when it comes to summonable stones in these games some creatures are strictly for sale. Yet some of them have powers to spawn resources you might need like Embers used to upgrade your creatures, or crafting resources. So while you get a cute cat, you also get some usability out of it. Package deals can refill your resources, can offer your embers, cats and skins summon tickets all for a bundle deal so there is always something nice in the store for you. You can say.. I do not care about that..but let’s be honest a game needs to make money and it needs to work with these deals.. that’s how they work so I wont judge them for it! These deals feel unique and rewarding and not like a complete rip-off. So while I will not become a money investing whale here.. they very much know what they are doing.
That confidence is shown in just about everything. The Story lines of the games are both cute, though I again vastly prefer the story of Castle Cats as it has that cuter atmosphere that just fits better with the aesthetics and the genre. Dungeon Dogs focussing on rebellion just feels a bit forced somehow. Mostly because their size seems to exist in the universe so I would assume they have the upper hand.It just doesn’t feel as magical! Castle Cats story however is surprisingly entertaining for a mobile game. Again it has a bit that saturday morning cartoon vibe with each story mission being a cartoon episode. While we only get a few lines of dialogue it is easy to imagine how that adventure will go. Both games feature three protagonist that all are very fun. Lyra the Golden Retriever dog is not my favourite as I find her a bit bland. Poppy the Barbarian Dog is probably one of my favourite characters though! For Castle Cats, Catniss ,(which indeed IS a reference) Conan and Frederique are all pretty good. It’s funny to see Catniss volunteer for every suicide mission because.. she is Katniss. It might not be fully original but these games just ooze with charm. Making it really something you want to play.
A Bark Worse than It’s Bite
The games are not flawless though, especially not if you choose to play both. Both games promote playing both through a quest line but because of it you see they are a bit TOO samesey. It makes sense from either a dog person or a cat person perspective but since both games push you to play both..chances are you will experience how same everything is. The base is a sprite swap with everything at the exact same location, the mini games are the same between the games, even the resources don’t look THAT different. Instead of Iron Ore, dogs gets bones and some stuff is swapped around but essentially it is the same and you can craft the same things with it.. it’s all just sprite swaps. It also leads you to compare items. Avatar items for example are WAAAAY better in Dungeon Dogs, the items are so much more detailed and ornate. Yet Cats have so much more felines to collect.
However the worst part about these games being so linked! Your VIP status is NOT linked. I spent 7 dollars now on Castle Cats which was enough to get me to VIP1 and I feel I should have shared that level between both games. That way I could buy dogs I want when I already have the cat from the monthly bundle or vice versa and still keep my VIP level up! But no alas.. it is seen as a different game any money spend is counted for that game alone. If those get linked I might go deeper but for now it means I shall invest 0 money in Dogs.
I honestly suggest you stick to one game and for me it would be Cats. The references are a bit sharper, although the dogs have more intricate designs. There is not really a bad side here. During my time playing I experience a few glitches in Castle Cats. For example my Adds for extra rewards or skipping missions will sometimes refuse to play unless I reset the game. Other times my screen would go unresponsive during the minigames. I haven’t had these issues with Dungeon Dogs yet.. but that one plays a lot more additional commercials which you can spend a pass on to have them disabled. I dislike that choice which puts me off Dogs a bit more than Cats.. I have control over what I watch in Cats and more control over my spending. In the end these games are made for you to pay for a creature or two. I am not going to hold that against them. It doesn’t HAVE to be fully playable for free. You can have your fun with it for free but like a real Gashapon vending machine.. it is cute to stare at for free but a lot more fun if you toss a few coins at it. That is fine and no one is gonna convince me otherwise, this is a type of game now, deal with it!
The biggest gripe I had with my gameplay so far is that the game at one point bottlenecks you in story mode. IF you haven’t chosen to keep up your main three heroes. I got a lot of Cats that can generate embers.. so I prefer to send those on missions instead. Yet later you need to send a cat with two skills on a mission. Usually the only ones who fit are the main heroes. I have been stuck for two days now being forced to grind embers and levels for Conan, draining my resource pools for a cat I did not really want to level. Of course I could spend money on it to make it go by easier..as you can both by level boosters and embers but thats not how I like to do things. However it makes story progress slightly more unappealing as it limits you very much! I can’t say how much of these missions will come as of yet as I am stuck at this one so much but if you play these games do level up your main heroes! Regardless if I progress in the main story or not though I still have lots of fun with this game so the positives really outweigh the negatives.
These are wonderful games for you to play on the side or whatever else you are doing that day! Mind you .. Emphasis on the side. The gameplay is monotone so it would not entertain you through the day. It has the stamina thing most Free to Start games have so gameplay is not unlimited either. Yet if you play it casual this is one super fun game! I got two friends addicted in a short time. Cute sweet innocent fun, with a amazing design time behind it and witty yet also very clear cut references. These are games that reward you from dropping money, but hardly ever punish you for going free to play and that for me is the ideal mix. I don’t think Free to Play needs to be equally rewarding. It has fun enough gameplay an amazing store and even if you don’t use it a very fun libarary of creatures to collect so if you want something fun feel free to try it out! If you REALLY want to try it out though give a shout out to me in the comments! I could send you an invite and get stuff as a reward… I am all about those rewards now.. because I am hooked enough to at least put in an effort. That is more than most mobile games can make me say.
As for what flavour to reward it with..I feel that is rather relative for this one. For me personally this is a Gacha Idle Game done right. I feel the need to collect and the urge to pay and I would happily splash a few dollar for it here and there. It gives me satisfaction without the need to feel to purchase everything. I can take this journey like I take this game. One step at a time. I’ll get there when I get there. Meanwhile I stare at cute cats a grin widely! This is fun, it does more for me than Dragon Ball Legends does.. which is a fine game but I can still see myself getting frustrated with it within a few week so it won’t receive the highest of my praise. In the end I find this game Berry Good…now I want a cat named Berry Good! I might be more addicted than I think!