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Hello Cats

App review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Hello Cats App Poster Image
Puzzle game uses violence toward cats to solve situations.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The app walks players through the basics and shows them visual examples of what they need to do at first -- but gameplay can get a bit confusing as they progress.

 

Violence & Scariness

Cats are sometimes shown in hazardous situations, such as being trapped in a vat of water, which some players may find upsetting; in other challenges, they're asked to knock cats off things or strike them with objects -- an unnecessarily violent way of getting them to move, but no blood or gore's shown.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Somewhat lengthy ads pop up occasionally during gameplay; kids also are able to purchase packages of gems, the in-app currency, for $0.99-$19.99.

 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know this Hello Cats is a puzzle game for iOS and Android devices. The focus of the game gives players a chance to draw freehand shapes and encourages them to strategize, but some of the challenges you're presented with involve animated violence against cats. While no blood or gore is shown, you may see cats trapped in water or need to hit them to move out of the way, which could upset parents or kids. The game also features in-app purchases, and players will be subjected to a number of ads that appear periodically as they play. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared, and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

Players draw balls, ramps, and other objects to move or block objects in HELLO CATS. They're often trying to knock cats who've allegedly been naughty off ledges, or occasionally protect them from things like bees. Some rounds are timed and players can only draw a certain number of items. They receive a one to three star rating after a cat's pushed, protected, led to water, or released from a dangerous situation. As players advance, they earn gems, which they can spend on boxes that contain portions of photos of cats they're trying to piece together.

Is it any good?

The description of this puzzle game app deceptively seems like a positive animal game, but the action is anything but kind to these digital felines. Players of Hello Cats are initially presented with info that suggests that they'll be rounding up cats for an animal shelter -- which would be great. Unfortunately, you often seem to actually be attacking -- not protecting -- the felines that you come across, and philanthropy doesn't get mentioned much, if at all, while playing.

The experience starts out fairly strong; players see detailed explanations of how to draw items and what they need to do to proceed. But as they advance levels, the challenges get harder, and while players can restart rounds to try again, their intent in each one -- and how to achieve it -- isn't always clear. Ads for other games pop up just often enough to be an annoying distraction, and the rating system that determines how many stars you receive after each round seems to be pretty random (or just imprecise). But the app's biggest issue is the behavior it encourages players to exhibit toward the cats they're allegedly trying to help. Instead of coaxing them to come to a safe location -- or just picking them up and carrying them there -- players often have to throw things at the cats to knock them down, and the animated cats do not look or sound pleased when that happens. Offering players other methods to move and help the cats would be a much better choice than encouraging what looks like violent behavior toward animals.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about empathy and social-emotional skills. Why is it important to help people and animals in need?

  • Why might a real pet take more time to care for than an animal in a game?

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love animals

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