I knew cats were complicated, but I had no idea just how tricky it was to keep them happy until Yume Neko DS came along. During the game, the upper screen displays a series of bars that each cover a certain aspect of Reno's well-being. Since there wasn't much to do before the shopping trip, most of the bars are either entirely empty, or in the red.
There are seven bars on the top screen, and each one focuses on a specific need or aspect. The bar with the hearts measures his affection for me, the food bar monitors his hunger, the water bar his thirst, the sparkle bar his cleanliness, the scratch bar for his claws' condition, the musical note for his happiness and the fuel gauge bar shows how energetic he is. Keeping all of the bars filled is incredibly challenging.
I have no real control over his hunger, thirst or nails bar. He'll eat and drink when he feels like it after food is put out. I can feed Reno treats, which he will immediately eat, but those don't really fill up the bar. The same can be said about his nails and scratching post usage. I'm tempted to say cleanliness is fairly optional as well – when Reno cleans himself it goes up. I've noticed that many of these bars never really completely fill up, which is disappointing..
So the areas that can be affected directly through interactions are the love, entertainment and energy bars. The heart bar is a little finicky, as it can be filled by petting and interacting with him. I can't just sit and pet Reno for 15 minutes straight and expect it to fill up. So I've decided my mission in life is to try and keep the other two filled.
The energy gauge is easy. When it gets low, I click the paw icon in the upper right corner, click the sleeping kitty icon, and then Reno will lie down. I click the yellow sleeping kitty icon that appears, and he goes to sleep. He'll then think little thoughts and dream. Leaving him alone like that for about five minutes does the trick – I then can touch the return icon and wake him up, and the energy gauge will be completely full.
Fun is boosted by playing with him. It takes a while for that gauge to fill up, so I most of my time is spent dangling string, driving little cars, waving a wand or tapping toys. Reno is obviously not as easily amused as I would hope.
I guess I should mention that I can have some effect on Reno's cleanliness. You can give the cats baths or brush them. Reno doesn't seem to care for either – he bolts when I even try it. So I figure I'll leave him to his own devices until his affection for me rises. Maybe when he loves me, he'll tolerate cleaning.
Yesterday: Yume Neko DS Day 4: Shopping for Reno.
Images courtesy of Sega.