We’ve got a great deal of time for hit cat-collecting mobile game Neko Atsume, but what about dog lovers? Well, step forward rival game Boku to Wanko. Stop sniggering at the back.
Despite what you might think, ‘wanko’ can apparently be used as an affectionate slang term for a dog, similar to ‘pooch’. Boku to Wanko therefore literally means ‘me and my pooch’, or ‘me and my doggie’ which sums up this very familiar-looking animal-based game.
The object of Boku to Wanko, just like Neko Atsume, is to attract a coterie of furry friends to your garden. For purposes that are entirely wholesome and legal, you understand. You do this by way of leaving out toys and bowls of food. When the wankos arrive you can then take pictures of them to add to your wanko photo album.
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When they eventually get bored and totter off, they’ll reward you with bones, the in-game currency that’s essentially equivalent to Neko Atsume’s gold and silver fish. And once a dog has paid you a visit enough times, they’ll reward you with a special item. Just like in Neko Atsume.
The remarkable similarities don’t end there; animations of the dogs aren’t a stone’s throw from Neko Atsume’s cats and some of the items (the basic red ball you get at the start, the wool and the watermelon) look like they’ve been lifted wholesale from the Neko playbook. The wankos have even got the same unnecessary-attention-to-detail x-shaped cartoon anuses.
Take in the screengrabs below and see if you get the same chilling sense of deja-vu as we did.
Boku to Wanko is available for both iOS and Android devices in Japanese and English varieties.
Update: We originally incorrectly said that Boku to Wanko means ‘life with dogs’. We’ve since been reliably informed by more than one Japanese speaker that ‘me and my doggie’ is an accurate translation.