You may have heard that Hit-Point, the creators of the popular cat game Neko Atsume, had another game out. It’s called Tabikaeru, which means “travel frog,” and like its predecessor was at first, it’s only available in the Japanese language. But you can still download and play it from the App Store or Google Play if you’re willing to bravely navigate the menus. Don’t worry. Tabikaeru is a very mellow game, just like Neko Atsume. Even if you just push buttons at random, it’s very unlikely you’ll mess it up.
Tabikaeru, like Neko Atsume, is mostly a game about waiting on animals. You play house-sitter and friend to a little frog that likes to go on trips around Japan. You’ll pack his backpack with a bento box lunch, a lucky charm, and some travel gear, then send him off. While he’s gone, you can harvest clovers in his garden (which you can trade for more travel gear and food) and greet guests that come to visit. The items you send with him determine where he goes, what pictures he sends back for your album, and what souvenirs he brings with him. There’s a gallery of collectible souvenirs to fill, as well as food presents you can offer to guests who show up at the house.
Travel Frog will be gone for a long, long time for a mobile game, though. Sometimes, he’ll be gone for six or seven hours at a time, so just be patient. He’ll always come back. If for some reason you think he left without food in his backpack, then you’ll need to lure him back by placing food on his desk (the screen to the right of the backpack when he’s home, and the screen that automatically opens on the same button when he’s gone). If you’re actively playing the game, you should avoid letting him leave with any empty spots in his bag if possible, though you won’t have any travel gear to give him the first few trips. You should also generally avoid giving him cheap scones (the first food listed) after his first trip. He won’t go anywhere special if all he has to eat is a scone.
Food and travel gear are purchased from the shop, but what about lucky charms? Mostly, you’ll get four-leaf clovers from your garden on occasion, but you can also win new charms through the lottery. Lottery tickets will be brought back to you by Frog or given as gifts in the mail from visiting animals (you’ll have to watch a short ad). Once you have five, you can play the lottery for a chance to win a lucky charm. These charms are one-time-use, so be sure to send Frog with some good food and gear when you’re using them to make sure he goes somewhere interesting!
Finally, here are some tips about where the different buttons in Tabikaeru are:
- In Frog’s house, the bottom left button opens his backpack or his desk, depending on whether he’s there or not, and lets you fill the slots. The bottom button on the backpack locks in your choices, and on the desk, it asks if you want to clear your selections.
- The lottery is accessed via the bell button in the shop. Press the big white button once there if you have five lottery tickets to play.
- You can view past souvenirs and photos via the top button on screen. The left option opens souvenirs, the right shows your album.
- After a while, you may start to get duplicate photos. Try to keep track of what you give Frog each time so you don’t duplicate trips. He may also send you similar photos with him in different positions, or with friends (such as a butterfly) assisting him.