What is it?
The animal welfare charity Cats Protection has launched a gaming app called Cat Match in which users run their own virtual cat rehoming centres.
What is the object of the game?
Each player cares for a number of cats, assisted by a virtual vet. They can also build and personalise their own rehoming centre and complete puzzles in order to gain essential items for the cats, including food, bedding and medicine. They can improve and expand their centre by buying additional blocks and rooms using virtual funds, allowing for more cats to be cared for.
Is there a fundraising element?
Although the app is free to download, players can choose to buy additional credits in the game and the profits from these go directly to help Cats Protection.
Why is the charity doing it?
Cats Protection helps more than 194,000 unwanted cats each year through its 250 volunteer-run branches and 31 adoption centres. Rasoul Hudda, creative designer at the charity, says the app is a simple and fun way to give people an insight into life at a cat rehoming centre. "It is not as easy as it looks, as players will soon discover," he says. "We hope cat lovers will find it of interest and that it will encourage them to adopt one of the many thousands of unwanted cats in Cats Protection’s care."
Where is it available?
Third Sector verdict
This game is a fun way to get across a serious message about animal welfare, especially for children, and donating money from in-game purchases to the charity is a clever way to bring fundraising into the equation. The colourful artwork and cute, cartoon cats featured in the app are a big selling point, so it was a shame not to see those, or the video trailer, being posted on the main Cats Protection Twitter account around the time of the launch.