Cat StickerZ review
Cat StickerZ is a Facebook game from Ooblada. It has been available since the summer of last year but is still maintaining relatively stable user figures, and is also joined by similar games from the same stable known as Dog StickerZ and Social PeopleZ. Cat StickerZ is, at the time of writing, being promoted in the Facebook App Center, claiming itself to be a “new” game.
Cat StickerZ is, as the name implies, a game about collecting stickers with pictures of cats on them. The stickers are split into various different collections, so the player must navigate the game’s somewhat clunky interface manually to find the appropriate collection, then stick the sticker in by simply clicking on it from their “hand” at the bottom of the screen. In doing so, they earn “Meow Points,” which allow them to level up and earn rewards such as additional stickers and avatars. Hard-to-find stickers may be requested from friends, and a big part of the game — just like real-life sticker-collecting — is in trading duplicates for stickers you don’t already have.
Besides collecting stickers, there is also a “play” component to the game, where it is possible to interact with an on-screen cartoon cat. Feeding the cat provides Meow Points and increases a meter leading to weekly rewards. Food restocks over time or may be topped up by paying. Players can also invite their friends to brush their cat and win Meow Points, or view the conditions for unlocking the various “Kittem” (sic) items, which are essentially achievements. The quest for the “Kittems” encourages players to play socially, with many only available if the player invites friends and sends them gifts or Meow Points. A component called “The Queen’s Quest” also encourages players to post on their Timeline about the game and rewards them if they get a certain number of people to click on the link. None of the “play” features involve any animation or visible rewards; they are simply buttons to click on that reward the player with points.
That’s essentially all there is to Cat StickerZ — there is little in the way of meaningful social interaction with friends, unlike real-life sticker-collecting, which requires the “swappers” to meet up with (or at least contact) one another and agree a trade. The game does provide automatically-generated “copy and paste” codes that players can provide to friends as they see fit, but actual interaction with other players in the game is very limited, restricting itself largely to the usual requests for help and “please click here” Timeline posts. In an additional attempt to engage the community, however, the game does occasionally run photo competitions, with winning photographs turned into new sticker collections for players to collect.
The game is, at least, presented quite well visually — the photographs used for the stickers are high quality cat pictures, though any savvy Internet user will know that the Web is already overloaded with high-quality cat pictures that don’t require you to jump through any hoops to acquire them. There is no sound, however, leaving the game feeling like it is unfinished, and the interface can’t seem to make its mind up how large it wants to be. Some pages are so tall they require scrolling; others fit nicely inside the browser window.
The game monetizes primarily through selling blind packs of stickers. At anywhere between $2.80 and $5 a pop for packs of no more than 12 stickers (with the more expensive packs offering fewer but rarer stickers), it could get to be an expensive habit for some, though free stickers may be acquired by watching ads. There is also the option to subscribe to the “Cat Club” for 2 Euros a month from within the game, which removes ads, provides twice as much cat food and allows players to ask friends to brush their cat twice as often, effectively doubling the rate of “Meow Points” gain.
Ultimately, Cat StickerZ is not a good game. It’s barely a “game” at all in the traditional sense. It feels less like an attempt to entertain the audience and more like an engine designed to convince people that paying up money for randomly-selected pictures of cats is a good idea, when much the same experience can be had for free by typing “cat” in to Google Image Search. There is seemingly very little point to the game and very little incentive to play regularly — at least with a real-life sticker album, it’s possible to show it off to friends, but here, it’s a largely solitary experience with little in the way of meaningful interaction. The monetization feels excessive, the “play” features feel tacked on, unnecessary and underdeveloped and the whole experience simply leaves something of a bad taste in the mouth, making this one to skip.
Cat StickerZ currently has 110,000 monthly active users, 60,000 weekly active users and 30,000 daily active users. Follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for social games and developers.
Stick to the physical trading cards; this is a cat-astrophe of a game.