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Neko Atsume Purrfect Hands-On: Cute VR Introduction For Newcomers

Neko Atsume Purrfect - Kitty Collector VR

Neko Atsume Purrfect feels like a great introductory experience for VR newcomers. Available today on Quest, here's our hands-on impressions:

Hit-Point's popular mobile cat-collecting game remains strong nearly a decade later, so it's no surprise Neko Atsume's back in VR. I've previously called it the second VR adaptation after 2018's 'Neko Atsume' on PSVR, but I now realize that's not entirely accurate. Featuring over 40 cats and mixed reality support, Purrfect is closer to an expanded edition.

Purrfect tasks you with finding cats to log them in a cat book, though this isn't a game you can "beat." Playful animals like cats aren't interested in empty surroundings, so attracting them requires 'Goodies' like snacks or toys. Between balls, cushions, sashimi, and more, there's a pleasing variety you can place across your home. Watching cats get fixated on laser pointers as they chase that elusive red dot is particularly adorable and they'll often leave fish (currency) upon leaving.

Goodies are bought through an in-game tablet accessed by the menu button, a convenient approach that lets you select unlocked items at a moment's notice. This tablet's camera functionality directly saves those snaps to your Quest's screenshot library. A nice idea, though the small photo sizes are a disappointment once you download them onto the Quest mobile app.

If a cat's busy with toys, pressing the Y button calls them over so you can give more direct attention. Hearing them purr during head pets is very sweet, and picking them up provides a nice serotonin boost. Better yet, Purrfect also supports hand tracking controls that feel like a natural fit, swapping the Y button for clapping your hands. Should you register a particular cat as your favorite in the cat book, they'll arrive more frequently, too. 

Neko Atsume Purrfect Quest 3 screenshot
Quest 3 screenshot

So far, my biggest criticism is that Purrfect is rather restrictive. Items can only be placed in specific locations, while teleportation movement across the house is limited to three areas. However, this simplicity is arguably what makes this a good introductory game for new VR users, there's nothing complicated here and it's comfortable.

The mixed reality mode on Quest 3 - it's not available on Quest 2 or Quest Pro - is my current highlight, which offers a stripped-back but pleasant experience. MR only lets you interact with a single cat and, across your playspace, you can add a back door for returning to the VR world, a cat flap and different wall paintings. It's one of the better MR uses in gaming I've seen on Quest, and watching these fluffy creatures play is almost therapeutic.

Neko Atsume Purrfect Quest 3 screenshot
Quest 3 screenshot

There's a whimsical joy with Neko Atsume Purrfect that I found immediately appealing. Hit-Point's done a nice job adapting this virtual cat playground for VR and the casual pick-up and play approach makes it a better fit for Quest than it ever was on PSVR. With its simplistic gameplay, cutesy visuals and enjoyable MR support, Purrfect feels like an ideal experience for VR newcomers.

Neko Atsume Purrfect is available now on the Meta Quest platform for $20.

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