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Video Game / Kittens Game

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"You are a kitten in a catnip forest."
—Opening log message

Kittens Game is a text-based Idle Game created by "bloodrizer", put online in 2014 and updated many times since. You start by harvesting catnip from the forest to start planting your own fields, and start building homes for other kittens to move into. The game quickly begins adding elements of city simulation games as you assign jobs to your growing population to bring in more resources, and research new technology and upgrades to build up your little village, to the point where your kittens will be exploring space, building moon bases, and even researching metaphysical stuff.


The original web version of the game can be found here, and there is a wiki on the same site. Mobile versions for Android and iOS have also been released.

Kittens Game contains examples of:

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Most buildings increase in price by 15% for every purchase - the first few purchases can be easy, but stacking them means prices quickly skyrocket. Some early buildings like Huts and Barns scale far far worse, which keeps your village from explosively growing until you research better alternatives.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The AI core gradually increases in level as time passes by. While it initially helps giving a bonus to certain space structures, once it reaches AI Level 15 it becomes sentient and evil, destroying 1% of your basic resources per year.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: After building any building, the game gives you 20 seconds to undo it, in case you misclicked.
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  • Antimatter: Can be obtained much (much) later in the game when you start harvesting the local sun directly for more energy.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: While offline, the game accumulates temporal flux, which can be spent on the Tempus Fugit ability to accelerate resource collection and the passage of time.
  • Are You Sure You Want to Do That?: If you attempt to refine all your catnip into wood while you have negative production (probably during winter), a dialogue box pops up to warn you that "Your kittens will DIE" and gives you a chance to change your mind.
  • Badass Adorable: Your kittens can eventually carry railguns to go hunting, while remaining adorable enough that lizards and spiders will give them extra resources.
  • Bad Future: Once you hit the year 40,000, whether naturally or more likely by fast-forwarding, it's implied the universe starts falling apart. While you can take advantage of this and adapt to get more energy and lots more storage, all the time shenanigans get progressively harder the further you go. It's been confirmed this is in place to prevent Time Travel for Fun and Profit being abused endlessly.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • The Metaphysics upgrade calls itself "absolutely useless". Naturally, it unlocks upgrades affecting the New Game+.
    • The description for AI Core says it's "absolutely harmless". Yeah, right.
  • Canary in a Coal Mine: the description for Deep Mining is Yummy Canaries!
  • Cash Gate: As with most idle games, progress is blocked by requiring ever-larger amounts of resources which can only be stocked in limited quantites (with storage costs also increasing at ridiculous rates). Thankfully, refined resources have no upper limit.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: Zigzagged: while going to other planets takes a very long time (without upgrades, one of them takes 46 years- not in-game, real years, and a mere 7 months with all upgrades), extraterrestrial structures are built and resources sent back instantly. You can even have kittens living in high orbit two at a time who can be put to work the same as their Cath-based counterparts, and presumably have the best commute ever recorded in the history of working.
  • Cute Kitten: Since this is built around kittens, naturally, but the cuteness tends to be limited to some fun Flavor Text and the census that details your villagers. Lizards and Spiders also find your kittens cute and will give them extra resources every now and then when trading.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: You may think you've cracked the game once you've bought a lot of Metaphysics perks, and can speed through your city building and reach the outer planets in the space of a day, only to be confronted with even rarer and harder to obtain resources. Building up the basics over and over so you can access crystals, relics, antimatter, and void more reliably is long and arduous process, but the first time you start abusing temporal mechanics for personal amusement, it will be worth it.
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance: Many bonuses that boost almost everything will only go so far before hitting diminishing returns, faith and paragon bonuses in particular as they can be easy to build up and up once you know how. Other global bonuses (like most things electricity related) rely on escalating costs to curb them, or don't apply to anything that's space-related.
  • Early Game Hell:
    • Much of the early game is noticeably slower thanks to having few buildings that increase in price quickly, and slow resource production. Once you get more resources as well as Paragon (which increases production and storage) via New Game+, a lot of the production speeds up considerably.
    • The "Winter Has Come" challenge. In the early game, getting a sufficient catnip production is extremely difficult due to the permanent winter and subsequent catnip production cuts. Once you research Aqueducts and better farming tools, all it will take are a few farmers to outgrow the production from catnip fields and offset the catnip demand, pretty much defeating most of the difficulty altogether.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Unlocking certain prestige upgrades will let you build structures to attract Leviathans, who accept trades of moon rocks for time-bending crystals, and will hang around if you feed them corrupted unicorns.
  • Endless Game: Like most idle games, there is no win condition. You can start from scratch with upgrades to make your next game run faster, or just keep building up as the years roll by.
  • Explosive Overclocking: It's possible to greatly accelerate the game by messing with the browser console to make several game seconds go by in a single real-time second, at the price of a lot of crashes.
  • Export Save: As an option under the options menu, a text version of the game state is provided to copy out, and a corresponding import option is available there as well.
  • Fantastic Racism: Zebras and Griffons have this towards the kittens, as they have a chance to "hate you for no reason" when you trade with them.
  • Flavor Text: For the constructs:
    • Catnip field: 'Nip as far as the eye can see.
    • Hut (With only two kittens): The Nation of Two
    • Library: All in Catonese
  • Guide Dang It!: Unless you read through the wiki, or make it a point to explore obscure options on your own, there's plenty of things to miss:
    • The game only presents certain buildings as options once you have some of what's required to build it (so you won't be shown Barns until you have a fair amount of wood). Since no building ever seems to need "megaliths", many players never bother to craft one, and therefore never see that they can build Ziggurats, which are key to an entire new religion involving unicorns.
    • Getting titanium as a new resource can be frustrating. The Navigation tech clearly unlocks Harbors to build for more storage, but also unlocks the easy-to-miss Trade Ships to craft in the Workshop. Trade Ships are expensive and have no clear purpose. The only hint is an obscure message when sending explorers that to find more trading partners you need to reach another continent. Trade Ships let your explorers find Zebras, who offer iron and (rarely) titanium in trade. It's also not immediately clear that having more ships will get you more titanium, although there is at least a different upgrade that encourages shipbuilding.
    • Plenty of other late-game mechanics, prestige upgrades, and rare resources require a guide to understand and use effectively, since they involve resetting the game in some way. Getting karma and paragon is simple enough, but then there's metaphysics, cryptotheology, transcendence, an entire branch of time-manipulation tech...
  • Idle Game: More complicated than most given the variety of resources to manage, but you still wait for resources come in and spend them on upgrades.
  • Jerkass:
    • Some of the other races (especially the Zebras) you can trade with are flagged "hostile", and will randomly steal your trade caravan without paying anything back ("X hate you for no reason"). Having the Caravanserai upgrade along with enough trade posts will reduce this, as will having the Diplomacy upgrade.
    • A very downplayed example are the Dragons. While they're not hostile and are a neutral race, there's a 5% chance that they don't give any Uranium to your kittens in return. Having the Caravanserai and Diplomacy upgrades along with a lot of tradeposts will not reduce this at all.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite the Zebras being utter jerkasses when it comes to trading, if you play an Iron Will mode, they will come to your aid and act as hunters who can also find gold for you.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • Faith Bonuses via Solar Revolution. At first, getting stored Faith is a hassle and it doesn't even provide much of a boost. However, when you sacrifice your stored Faith, it provides an "Apocrypha" boost that increases the amount of faith stored per point put in (a 200% apocrypha boost makes each point of faith praised give 3 stored faith), eventually getting to larger percentages. Then once you use Transcendence, it sacrifices part of the the apocrypha boost to make said apocrypha boost grow even further from fewer faith sacrifices. With this, you can gain Faith boosts very quickly, eventually allowing the boost to surpass that of Magnetos and Reactors (it stacks with them too!), and best of all this apocrypha and transcendence boosts carry over from resets. It does take a good bit of time to do this, and it has been Nerfed such that your maximum faith production bonus is capped at 1000%.
    • Trade Ships are made with scaffolding, plates and starcharts. The first two are refined from wood and iron which can be put to better use elsewhere while starcharts are only automated a long way into the techtree, so why get them at all? Because while only one ship is needed to get access to zebras (and therefore titanium), the amount of titanium traded increases with the amount of ships. Zebras randomly refusing to give you titanium is a lot less important when you can get several hundred with a single successful trade (as opposed to the one or two at the beginning). Add in one upgrade makes them boost storage limits and the fact that they can be manufactured automatically...
  • New Game+:
    • Resetting the game once you're over a certain population will get you karma, which makes your kittens happier, and paragon, which speeds up the game and eases some of the resource caps (and every thousand years reached on a single run gives paragon useable during that run).
    • The Metaphysics tech unlocks an entire new tech tree of upgrades that let you spend paragon to add bonuses, reduce prices, or even add new mechanics, all of which carry over to the next run.
    • Chronophysics even lets you start with some of your resources from the previous game, letting you quickly slap up the first buildings and skip past the early build up.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • It's one of the tougher Idle Games out there, and it's even likened as "a Dark Souls of incremental gaming".
    • Then there's Iron Will mode, which requires that you build a Library without building a Hut, and that you cannot gain any extra kittens (meaning no Huts or residential buildings) or else the "mode" ends, and most buildings that increase job outputs are utterly useless. The only way to get Minerals is via meteors that drop from the sky. You do get Zebras (yes, those Zebras who hate you for no reason) to help you out with hunting and gold, but the run is still excruciatingly slow even with all this. In fact, the game doesn't give you the "Super Unethical Climax" 'achievement' if you use an Autoclicker in this mode.
  • No Fair Cheating: The "Super Unethical Climax" "Achievement" is obtained if you clearly used an autoclicker to click on the "Gather Catnip" button and have had at least one kitten joining.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Dragons are one of the races your kittens can trade with, taking in a good amount of Titanium in exchange with giving you a small bit of Uranium. There's a small chance where they don't return anything, however.
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: One of the races that your kittens can trade with are the Griffins, and unfortunately, they're jerkasses hostile to kittens and may refuse to trade their part. Having a Caravanserai, a few Tradeposts, and the Diplomacy upgrade will make them more generous to the kittens.
  • Our Time Travel Is Different: The easiest and most common use of rare time crystals is to build Chronospheres, that fling your existing resources into the past for use in your next New Game+, speeding up the early game considerably. Kittens can be sent back too, although that's much more difficult.
  • Power-Up Letdown: Some upgrades are available and affordable a long time before the stuff they affect is actually available or practical -
    • Calciner upgrades are plentiful as you move through modern tech. Problem is, Calciners cost expensive Blueprints, so you're not likely to have more than a handful of them until much much later.
    • Distant planets, past T-minus, can be explored by just building up your space resources. Unfortunately, they take a long time to reach, there might not be anything you can build there if you didn't get some corresponding research, said research and buildings usually require rarer end-game resources, and even then some are questionably useful - particularly the Hydroponics, which boosts catnip storage and production, long long after you need either of them.
    • The earliest time technology is available with just a few time crystals, but its initial effects on your game are very small. Your first impression will be that you just wasted your precious and hard to earn crystals.
  • Refining Resources: Basic resources such as catnip, wood, minerals, and furs can be refined (some slowly but automatically and others slightly faster but manually) into more complex resources at ridiculously low rates (it takes 175 furs to make a single page of parchment, 25 parchment to make a manuscript, 50 manuscripts to make a compendium, 25 compendiums to make a blueprint) which can thankfully be improved with more Workshops and Factories (and in the case of Manuscripts, Compendiums and Blueprints, their codex metaphysics upgrades). Fortunately, most refined resources have no cap, and later on you can assign kittens to craft them over time.
  • Religion of Evil: Zig-Zagged with the Ziggurats, which let you sacrifice unicorns in order to build structures out of their tears, which in turn... summons even more unicorns. Furthermore, it's explicitly stated that the unicorns aren't killed when sacrificed, but just sent back to their dimension. Once you get the Megalomania upgrade for Metaphysics and its associated buildings/upgrades, it starts becoming far more evil, with corrupted "necrocorns", black pyramids, and an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Inverted. Lizards are one of the races who can trade with you and they even find your kittens cute, giving them extra resources sometimes.
  • Saintly Church: In contrast to the unicorn madness, there's the Order of the Sun, which produces faith, helps all your kittens do more, and contains enough of its own upgrade mechanics to turn initially useless Temples into a Disc-One Nuke.
  • Snake People: Nagas are one of the races that you can trade with. They're neither friendly nor hostile, and they sell minerals in exchange for Ivory. In order to discover them, you'll need enough current Culture when sending explorers.
  • Spiders Are Scary: Inverted. Spiders are one of the races who can trade with your kittens and they even find your kittens cute, giving them extra resources sometimes.
  • Shout-Out: Several —
    • One of the things your kittens can do after building temples and researching Theology is to "Praise the Sun". Solaire would be proud.
    • The description of Geology:
      Diffferent fossils of giant lizards were discovered. Apparently they all died in a sudden but inevitable betrayal.
    • The "Dune" planet has spice as a harvestable resource from it. No worms, though.
    • Get to 40k years and the Dark Future starts. There's also an achievement called "Cathammer 40k" with the Flavor Text "In the grim and dark future of a catkind there are no resets".
  • Tech Tree: An almost Civilization worthy example that starts at inventing the calendar and farming, and ends with space exploration, time manipulation, and antimatter.
  • Temporal Paradox: Once you start tinkering with the past, time will begin to stutter and drop you into a paradox. Your kittens are frozen until your calendar ticks out of the "negative days" and back into normal time. Naturally, yet another rare resource - void, a kind of dimensional energy - starts to wash into your Chronospheres, and more advanced and expensive tech will let you widen the paradox and farm void more reliably.
  • Threatening Shark: Subverted. Sharks are one of the races who can trade with you, but they're not hostile.
  • Time Dilation: Shattering a time crystal in a Chronoforge fast forwards the calendar to the next year. Initially this appears near useless, since nothing in your city actually works for that skipped time, until you notice that one very slow resource that builds per year just got much faster. Yet again, more advanced and seriously expensive tech lets you also pull in all your other resources from the year that never was.
  • Time Travel for Fun and Profit: Investing seriously in three facets of the endgame - the Time Dilation tech, space infrastructure to mine Unobtanium, and the religion that summons the trading Eldritch Abomination - lets you set up a loop of shattering a time crystal, generating enough unobtanium from the skip, and trading that to the Leviathans to end up with more time crystals than you started with. It takes a fairly large stockpile of crystals just to set up the tech however.
  • Unicorn: An actual "resource" that can be obtained from hunting. You can use them to make pastures which will increase your food and unicorn generation, and they can also be used in a sacrificial religion for more bonuses.
  • Unit Confusion: Resource tabs tell you how much real time you need to wait to have all required materials (which can reach several days, as it doesn't take trading or engineer manufacturing into account), while space missions ETA is given in in-game days, which are usually several years long.
  • Unobtanium: Mining the moon provides a new resource called exactly this, while later space upgrades allow you to craft an alloy of the stuff now called Eludium.
  • Vegetarian Carnivore: The kittens seem to feed exclusively on catnip at first. Later upgrades add unspecified animals in pastures - for their milk - to lower the demand for food.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You get an achievement for having 50 kittens without any dying in the current game.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You also get achievements for having 10 kittens die on you and another for letting 100 kittens die on you.
  • Video Game Time: It takes about 13 minutes for a year (made up of 400 days) to pass in-game.
  • Winged Unicorn: Alicorns are unlocked by higher-tier religious buildings, and are sent back to their dimension in exchange for crytals that boost your New Game+.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: All kittens require a source of catnip in order to survive. If the player runs out of catnip and there's a deficit in production, they will start dying one by one.
  • Worker Unit: Your entire kitten city population serves as workers, bringing in particular resources depending on the job they are assigned, whether that's building materials like wood and minerals, or mental resources like science and faith.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: There are well over 20 different kinds of resources to hoard and use, whether obtained by workers, hunts, buildings, or trade. And that's leaving out the crafted resources...

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