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Kittens Game Walkthrough: Tips and Tricks

Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.

You are a kitten. You are in a forest consisting entirely of catnip. What do you do with these two facts? Why, you begin construction on a civilization, of course. Thus begins Kittens Forest, a minimalistic incremental game that will see you progressing from the humble beginnings of a single, primitive cat to the ruler of an advanced civilization. There’s a lot involved between these two points, however, and hopefully this walkthrough will see you through to the end. Better get started!

(As I am still playing Kittens Forest, this walkthrough is a work in progress. That will hopefully change within the next two or three days.)

Kittens Game created by bloodrizer. Images used for educational purposes only.

Kittens Game created by bloodrizer. Images used for educational purposes only.

Accumulating Catnip to Expand the Game

You begin as a simple kitten in a simple forest, and your only option is to Gather Catnip. Click away until you have ten pieces of Catnip. You can then invest the Catnip in a Catnip Field. This will allow Catnip to accumulate on its own, without further clicking on your part. Purchasing more Catnip Fields will increase the rate at which you accumulate Catnip, though each Catnip Field you purchase is incrementally more expensive. Purchasing at least five or six Fields from the start will speed up your progress substantially, so don’t try to squirrel away your Catnip. Getting up to nineteen or twenty is wiser, as Catnip becomes important to survival rather quickly.

Once you’ve accumulated 100 Catnip you can Refine Catnip into Wood. Do this five times and you can purchase a Hut. Creating a Hut will unlock Kittens, which you can further utilize via the Small Village tab. Once you have Kittens (mind that it will take a little while for them to show up) the game expands.

The Village tab. Here you can allocate jobs to your Kittens.

The Village tab. Here you can allocate jobs to your Kittens.

Maintaining Your Small Village

Soon after you get your first Kittens, you’ll likely receive a message from your Food Advisor telling you that your Catnip supply is too low. Each Kitten you have in your Small Village will consume Catnip, and if you ever run out of Catnip your Kittens will starve to death. Consequently, it’s wise to keep a close eye on the amount of Catnip you’re generating every second, especially in Winter (more on seasons below), to make sure that the number’s never in the negatives. Don’t go nuts buying up Huts to get more Kittens until you’ve achieved a nice balance. Each Kitten eats up 4.25 Catnip per second.

If you hover over your Catnip Fields you’ll see that their production values change radically between Spring and Winter. In Spring you receive a hearty boost to Catnip production (+50%); in Winter that production value nosedives (-75%). For this reason it’s crucial that you only purchase one Hut for a while. Don’t be surprised if you lose your Kittens in your first few Winters. You may get away with hoarding up Catnip and attempting to wait out a Winter, but juggling your Catnip production is still smarter in the short run. This will change once you develop Agriculture, below.

Once you have Kittens you can give them jobs so they’re not just eating up your resources without contributing. Click on the Small Village tab and you’ll see the Woodcutter job, which will allow you to employ Kittens in harvesting Wood. You can create another such job, Scholar, by creating a Library (unlocked at 25 Wood). This will unlock yet another tab.

A sampling of the Techs available under the Science tab. You can remove purchased Techs from view by clicking 'Hide researched techs'.

A sampling of the Techs available under the Science tab. You can remove purchased Techs from view by clicking 'Hide researched techs'.

Using Science to Upgrade Your Tech

Once your Kittens are accumulating Science, you can begin purchasing Techs. Techs grant you additional information and abilities that will make handling your Small Village a little easier. The first Tech, Calendar, allows you to see the progression of the year by day (each season lasting 100 days), as well as how many years the Village has existed. You must unlock each Tech in turn to get the next one (though occasionally more than one Tech will appear at a time). Techs are crucial for progression, so you should always have at least a few Kittens employed as Scholars.

Unlocking Calendar will open up Agriculture. Get this as quickly as you can, as it will allow you to purchase Barns. Barns will increase your capacity for Catnip and Wood production, the former of which makes surviving Winters with all your Kittens intact a fair bit easier. Agriculture also allows you to employ Kittens as Farmers, who can accumulate Catnip at a rate of five per second. This Catnip accumulation is not subject to the effects of Winter, which will make survival of that dreaded month substantially easier. Reallocating your Kittens into Farming temporarily can make quite a difference.

Spend the next little while hopping back and forth between progressions. During any month but Winter, focus your efforts on constructing Barns and Libraries, as well as the occasional Hut (but not too many). Your Kittens should focus on Wood or Science, depending on what you currently need. Once Autumn rolls around, focus on accumulating lots of Catnip in preparation for Winter, then swap your Kittens over to Farming to survive Winter. Rinse and repeat to maintain a healthy, productive population. Once you complete Animal Husbandry you can also create Pastures, which will decrease the amount of Catnip required by each Kitten and further reduce the burdens of Winter.

Your resources. Catpower appears near the bottom, and is one of the more oddball resources you'll have to accumulate.

Your resources. Catpower appears near the bottom, and is one of the more oddball resources you'll have to accumulate.

Increasing Catpower

Once you’ve researched Agriculture you’ll unlock two more Techs, Archery and Mining. Mining will allow you to employ Miners, who will accumulate Minerals that will allow you to purchase more expansions for your Village. More on that below. Archery, on the other hand, allows you to employ Hunters, which will slowly accumulate Catpower.

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Catpower is less straightforward than most other resources, and can be used in several different ways. At this point in the game Catpower is used in Hunting. Whenever you accumulate 100 Catpower you can send your Hunters out Hunting, allowing them the chance to gather rare resources (Furs and Ivory to start) which can be used in other transactions later.

It is worth pointing out that, unlike most other resources, some things you gather from Hunting - again, at this point, Furs and Ivory - will gradually degrade over time, to the point that they vanish entirely. Don’t bother Hunting for the explicit purpose of gathering resources unless you’re prepared to use those resources immediately, usually through Crafting (see below).

Though you can’t use the items gleaned from Hunting at this point, gathering Furs and Ivory serves another purpose as well: it increases Happiness. Found on the Small Village tab, Happiness dictates the overall efficiency of your Kittens in their work. The happier they are, the better the results of their labour. It’s therefore worth it to keep your Happiness nice and high by Hunting whenever it’s feasible to do so.

(If you're lucky, Hunting will also yield up Unicorns. Find two Unicorns and you can create a Unicorn Pasture, which will automatically generate more Unicorns, thus allowing you to purchase more Pastures. This seems rather circular... until you realize that Unicorn Pastures also reduce the amount of Catnip each Kitten consumes. Very handy in the long run, and another good reason to Hunt often.)

A much more advanced Village (though still pretty far from the top).

A much more advanced Village (though still pretty far from the top).

What to Focus On

By now you’ve gotten a solid grasp of the basic mechanics of Kittens Game, and the next tips and tricks continue to build on what you’ve learned.

Focus on the following:

Working Your Way Up the Science Tech Tree.

Animal Husbandry will open up several more Tech branches you should explore, from the non-mandatory (but still very handy) Brewery, which unlocks a new Crafting option (see below), to the essential Construction, which allows you to continue down the scientific line to more advanced Techs. Mathematics is especially useful, as it allows to you to create Academies, granting a decent bonus to the accumulation of Science.

Improving Your Mineral Output.

Minerals become increasingly important for advanced buildings, and it’s easy to neglect them. You can also build Smelters once you research Metal Working to put your Minerals to work, though bear in mind that creating Iron will reduce your Wood and Mineral stores.

Improving Your Wood Output.

Wood accumulates reeeaallyyyy slowlyyyy at this point until you invest in Lumber Mills. You’ll need Smelters to get the Iron necessary for constructing these Lumber Mills, so Metal Working comes first.

Accumulating a Nice Combo of Huts and Pastures.

Huts will get you more Kittens, Pastures will keep those Kittens from becoming too much of a burden on your village. You can replace Huts with Log Houses once you have Minerals, as well, and not have to worry about being overloaded with excess Kittens. Catnip Fields at this point cost too much and don’t produce enough to be truly useful, so don’t bother with getting more. Research Engineering and build lots of Aqueducts instead, as they increase your Catnip production by a percentile and should be far cheaper for a while.

Keeping Your Eye on the Log to the Right Side.

Occasionally you’ll see a message about ‘astronomical events’. You’ll have a chance to click a button beside these messages and earn some Science. Fancy. You’ll occasionally see notices of meteors falling near your Village here, as well, automatically granting you a small boost to your Minerals.

Learning About Your Kittens Via Civil Service.

Once you’ve unlocked Civil Service the names of your Kittens will appear on the Small Village screen, and you can see how good each one is at their respective jobs. Knowing how ably a Kitten performs will allow you to more efficiently deploy that Kitten.

Increasing Your Storage Maximums.

Bear in mind that every resource you allocate has a maximum, including Catpower and Science. Some expansions simply can’t be bought without a few extra Libraries, Log Houses, or Barns.

It takes a long time to get enough Science to complete the Techs available after Writing, so expect this leg of your trip through Kittens Game to last for a while. Try to spread your Kittens out between the various jobs rather than concentrating them in a single category to expedite this process, with an emphasis on gathering Wood and Science.

The Crafting section of the Workshop tab.

The Crafting section of the Workshop tab.

Unlocking the Workshop

Shortly after unlocking Lumber Mills, Mines, and Amphitheatres (I honestly can’t say exactly when this happens), you’ll receive the option to create Workshops. Workshops will unlock the Workshop tab, an extensive menu of things which you can buy in order to purchase even more things.

  • On the one side, you can purchase Upgrades, which will improve various facets of your Village. Upgrades will generally improve the efficiency of your buildings or your workers, both of which are quite beneficial in the long run.
  • On the other side, you can Craft. Crafted items are generally composite parts for buildings. Advanced structures will require a fair amount of Crafting to complete.

In addition to all this, the Workshop will allow you to exchange Catnip directly for basic resources. Exchange rates are found below your resource counts on the left side of the screen. Also found here are quick / mass purchases for any items you’ve Crafted at least once on the Workshop tab.

One final thing, specifically for this point in the game:

Begin Crafting Parchment As Often As You Can.

You can do so by Hunting down Fur. You're going to need a lot of Parchment in the near future, and it's best to get started before you even know you're going to need it.

The Trade tab. Here you can swap resources with other civilizations.

The Trade tab. Here you can swap resources with other civilizations.

Trading for Goods

After twenty years of game play, a member of the Lizards will arrive at your Village, offering to trade Wood for Minerals. This unlocks the Trade tab, which allows you to exchange goods and Catpower for other goods you may need. There’s also a small chance that you’ll receive rare Blueprints or Spice whenever you trade. (Spice is another resource that degrades over time, so hopefully you’ll have something to do with it.) At first you’ll only have the Lizards, but by Sending Explorers you can discover additional civilizations with which you can swap resources. Note that you won't always find civilizations, so it's likely that you'll waste some Catpower (1,000 points!) from time to time.

Other civilizations will vary in their attitude towards your Kittens, from perfectly Friendly to utterly Hostile. Friendly civilizations have a chance of giving you bonus resources during a trade; Hostile civilizations may give you nothing at all. Purchasing Trade Depots, available via Navigation, will allow you to unlock the Caravanserai upgrade and improve your race relations with other Civilizations. Until you at least edge out of Hostile range, it’s smarter not to trade with Civilizations that don’t like you.

You’ll need to begin creating Gold before you can Trade with anyone, so don’t neglect to develop the Gold Ore upgrade in the Workshop. It will allow you to create Gold at the same time that you’re creating Iron in Smelters (though at a slower rate).

A Village. The game really slows down once you hit this point.

A Village. The game really slows down once you hit this point.

Upgrading to Village (From Small Village)

By the time you’re reaching the next few Techs in line (Philosophy, Machinery, and Steel) you’ll probably be a Village rather than a Small Village, which happens when you hit 20 or more Kittens. It’s merely a name change, but it’s a good sign of your progress past the early sections of the game. Now Kittens Game branches out into the realms of more advanced Techs - though if you want to continue receiving new Techs on your Science tree, go with Philosophy to start. It’s the cheapest of the three Techs listed above, and will continue on the path of advancement. Machinery and Steel are both specialist Techs that won’t help you much right now.

You’ll probably hit a fair bump right here after researching Philosophy, because the next major Tech in line - Theology - has some fairly steep requirements. You’ll be forced to create Manuscripts out of Parchment and Culture, a resource created via Amphitheatres and Temples that will accumulate rather slowly at the beginning. It will take a long time to overcome these hurdles. Make sure you have lots of Kittens working on your Catpower vis a vis Hunting to get all the Furs you’ll need for the Parchment.

It’s at this point that Steel also comes into play via the upgrades Coal Furnace and Deep Mining, both of which allow you to accumulate Coal (one via Smelters, the other via Mines). Coal is not directly useful for bypassing the Theology hurdle, but it will allow you to power a Steamworks. Steamworks eat up Coal in exchange for creating a variety of handy items, which, with the Printing Press upgrade, includes Manuscripts. The Steamworks presents another hurdle, however, in that it requires Blueprints to create - and Blueprints have an incredibly steep production cost. You’ll invariably want to keep Trading with other civilizations until you luck out and get a Blueprints for free. You’ll also need Gears, which require Steel, which requires lots of Coal and Iron. You can just get Manuscripts via Hunting, but Steamworks are handy for a large number of other things beyond Manuscript generation, sooo…

Once you're churning out Manuscripts and secure Theology, you'll find that the next Tech in line - Astronomy - is much easier to acquire, as it also requires Manuscripts to create. It shouldn't take quite as long to get the job done if you have a Steamworks up and running.

Religion is a rather important tab in Kittens Game, and not just for saving your immortal soul.

Religion is a rather important tab in Kittens Game, and not just for saving your immortal soul.

Unlocking Theology and Generating Faith

Unlocking Theology will, among other things, allow you to create Temples, which will generate Faith for you. Faith is another expendable resource, though in this case you'll be using it almost exclusively via the Religion tab, which will also open on the menu. Religion operates similarly to Techs in that you'll unlock more upgrades over time, only Religion-based upgrades are unlocked by investing Faith in the religion (In this case the Order of the Sun, via the Praise the sun!) option. Despite how it initially looks, Religious upgrades do affect things outside Religion - for example, Scholasticism allows Temples to contribute to Science, while Sun Altar contributes to your overall Happiness. Don't neglect Religion, in other words, as it can really help in the long run.


me an intellectual on July 05, 2019:

you just go with the farmers and create the wood my dude

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