After spending a consecutive two hours on my phone, I felt the need to rethink how I spend my time; my eyes were glazed over and my thumbs ached because of the constant tapping on my screen.
I was playing “Cat Condo,” an addictive puzzle game in which the ultimate goal is to breed the best cat possible. Despite its minimum age requirement of four years, this game truly entertains people of all ages, which is reflected in its 22,800 reviews and 4.8 star rating on Apple’s app store. I’ve seen people as young as my 5-year-old cousin become engrossed for hours, while my parents showed equal interest in it as well.
Users essentially buy, receive and combine these felines over and over again, eventually gaining access to newer cats. Each cat has a respective number of combinations before it evolves into the next one, which usually proves more difficult to achieve.
On top of the screen, players can keep track of how much money they get per second — once combined at an elite level, each cat can generate more than millions of coins.
The app boasts catchy music and clean design, which partially drew me to continue playing. Nonetheless, when I play, there seems to be no end. Every time I make a “better” cat, a newer one takes its place. In a way, this app gave me vibes of “2048,” a highly popular game that appeared in 2014, except this one has an ending point. Players can reach the 40th and final cat available: the Deity Cat.
I was first introduced to this game by one of my friends as something to temporarily distract myself. However, as a student, I personally don’t find anything wrong with playing “Cat Condo” for an extended period of time as long as it doesn’t interfere with my studies. Because it only requires the user’s fingers to slide around the screen, it acts as a quick break for people to relieve their stress.
Admittedly, because I spent a good amount of hours on it myself, I came to realize that this game is pointless if used for long periods of time. It becomes a problem when it turns into something incessantly played for hours on end. It even took me away from my family, as I started playing it when we went out to eat together.
As I wrote this article, I counted how many times I logged onto the app. Sadly, according to my battery settings, it contributed to 10 percent of my phone usage; probably nine more than necessary. Although I understand the criticism that it is a waste of time, I do not condone playing the game at all if it does not suck lives into a portal of infinite cats and meows.
However, if used endlessly, it certainly crosses some lines as an addictive time-waster. Evidence? I still can hear the theme song ringing in my head.