The Battle Cats

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The Battle Cats
TBCATSLogo.png
Publisher(s)PONOS Corporation
Platform(s)
ReleaseMobile Devices
September 17, 2014[1]
Nintendo 3DS
June 27, 2016[2]
Genre(s)

The Battle Cats is a free-to-play strategy tower defense game developed by PONOS Corporation for iOS and Android mobile devices which first emerged in Japan under the name Nyanko(cat) Daisensou (meaning "The Great Neko War"). The Battle Cats premiered on the Japanese iOS App Store in November 2011 under the name of "Battle Nekos", with Android support following in December of that same year. It has sustained immense popularity in Japan and Korea, with an English version briefly appearing on the English-language iTunes/Google Play stores in 2012. But it later was deleted in both the US Google Play Stores and App Store. An improved version of this game was later released on September 17, 2014.[1] A PC port release was available for download until late 2018, when PONOS Corporation cut support for it.

Gameplay[edit]

Screenshot from The Battle Cats gameplay on iOS

The Battle Cats is a strategy game where the player selects a team of cats to fighting enemies in multiple settings. The gameplay involves sending a wide roster of cats out onto a 2D battlefield in order to defend a base equipped with cannon, which is referred to as the "cat base". The cannon is by default a laser cannon but can be developed in order to obtain different effects such as freeze, slow, etc.

The cats are the protagonists the player deploys throughout the game. The cats are all unique in their own sense, design, and ability. Many cats may not look like a typical cat or are characters earned in collaboration with other games. The cats can be upgraded with XP to initially level up to the level cap of 10 and the player can eventually increase the cap to 20 for normal cats, and 40 for other cats. All the cats change appearance and gain abilities after being upgraded to certain levels. The cats are divided into six categories: Normal, Special, Rare, Super Rare, Uber Super Rare (commonly shortened to Uber Rare or just Uber), and Legend Rare. The Battle Cats frequently has events where players can earn cats called collaboration units. The nine normal cats are the first cats available and are the easiest to upgrade. They have a max pay-to-upgrade level of 20 but can be increased with cat capsules. After upgrading to level 30, the player can evolve the cat into what is called true form. The special cats are the second type of cat unlocked. They can either be unlocked by certain stages or be bought by cat food, the special currency of the game. The Rare to Uber cats can be unlocked with a rare cat capsule, which requires golden or platinum tickets to operate, or to be unlocked in special stages. They are expensive to upgrade (with the Ubers requiring XP in the millions for the final levels) but are usually more powerful than the normal cats (not to mention "crazed" cats and "manic" cats, which are immensely buffed versions of the normal cats in the Super Rare Tier).

Fighting in battle requires energy, which slowly regenerates over time. Every exact one minute, 1 energy is recovered (the energy recovery rate can be sped up with treasures). The app requires an internet connection in order for energy to update. Max energy can be raised with upgrades. The player can bring items into the battle that assist such as "Sniper Cat," a tool that pushes enemies back from the base, and "Cat CPU," a tool that automatically that deploys cats as soon as money is available. Some of the stages have special rules, like “Special and Rare Cats only”. The battle takes place on a 2D plane with the players base on the right, and the enemy base on the left. The player gains a steady stream of money, which can be spent to either deploy cats or to upgrade the money production. Deploying cats requires a cool down, which can be reduced by upgrades. The battle ends when one of the bases is destroyed. Winning the battle gives the player a chance to get a treasure, which is in the main story chapters (1-7). Collecting all of them can buff cats' abilities and can also enhance other game mechanics, such as decreased energy recharge time. There are three levels of treasure: Inferior, normal, and superior, with an inferior treasure being the weakest and superior treasure being the strongest. Players can replay stages in order to get all the treasures. Players can also use a Treasure Radar to have a 100% chance to get a superior treasure if they complete the battle.

There is a huge roster of enemies all of different stats and types, with more being added with each new update. Certain types of enemies can have advantages over others. For example, while all the non-white enemies have higher stats than their white counterparts, black and angel enemies have higher speeds and knockback counts, while zombie enemies can burrow past cats and can revive themselves a limited number of times. While it now seems like the enemy has an unfair advantage, everything's fine as certain cats have advantages over certain types of enemy. For example, Weightlifter Cat is a massive damage anti-black enemy, meaning that he does massive damage against black enemies (while the damage is less for non-black enemies).

Some cats include: Cat, (Basic Cat) Tank Cat, (Oblong cat with high health) Axe Cat, (Basic Cat with axe and missing an eye) Gross Cat, (Cat with very long legs) Bird Cat, (Cat with no legs, and wings) Fish Cat, (Fish body, Cat face and legs) Lizard Cat, (Cat with lizard legs and arms) & Titan Cat. (Cat with a huge body, biceps, arms and legs, does the most damage out of basic cats)


(with the exception of Gamatoto and his apprentices, who are instead explorers who go on adventures to supply the player with useful battle items, experience, catseyes, and catfood).

Plot[edit]

Empire of Cats (Chapters 1–3)[edit]

While Earth is having its usual problems, (financial crisis, terrorism, etc.) the Battle Cats attack the earth, presumably to establish a new government with the cats as rulers. They mercilessly invade every major country along with some minor ones, eventually conquering the moon as well. It is then revealed that at the end, the cats, as they're still cats, did not do much to affect the earth. However, more cats were being sighted around the earth, but that's about it.

Zombie outbreaks[edit]

Once one completes the story part of the chapter, outbreaks can happen at random stages. In those stages, zombie enemies appear, which have higher stats and can revive a certain number of times after death, unlike their white counterparts. Upon containing a zombie outbreak, the player receives cat food rewards. Upon completely containing the outbreaks across the world, the player is given 50 extra energy and a higher chance to collect treasures. These Zombie outbreaks are moderately difficult and the zombie enemies inside contain the "revive" trait. (Unless using a cat with 'zombie killer effect, which immediately kills the zombie without it respawning.)

Stories of Legend/Event Stages[edit]

After the cats took over the world, they invaded nuclear power plants and channeled all their energy to one place to power a time machine. The narrator (who is thought to be a kid in the beginning, which upon entering the In To The Future levels, is actually revealed to be an alien, whom is later disclosed upon the completion of the chapter Beyond the Exosphere to be the same entity as God Cat, whom is the boss of the final level of the chapter.) meets one of the cats, who, presumably out of intoxication, revealed their plans to go back to the past to free the legendary cats (as of now, Ururun Wolf, a suburban girl who swears allegiance to anyone who defeats her), Li’l Nyandam, (the younger version of Dark Emperor Nyandam), the final boss of Chapter 2, Red Riding Mina (based on the protagonist of Little Red Riding Hood), a bazooka-wielding assassin feared by the Cats, but changed sides soon after one of the enemies unknowingly convinced her to do so, and Miyamoku Musashi, a young actor being possessed by a spirit of a dog against his will, before being possessed by a cat spirit,) before they were forever sealed (along with need for cat food as a minor motive). They time traveled to the past and shut down all the power plants so that no one can follow them. The narrator also mentions that God Cat, who is 20 years old, can't help the cats on their journey like chapters 1-6 as he wasn't born yet (with "yet", being emphasized, implying that the battle cats have something to do with God Cat's creation).

There are two main sections in this chapter, Stories of Legend and Event Stages. Event Stages are levels which appear on a schedule. The levels available can change hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly. Heavenly Tower, a stage with no regular schedule, allows for two units to be unlocked, Hermit Cat and Masked Yulala, on floors 30 and 40, respectively. Stories of Legend (commonly shortened to SoL) is the main progression of the game after other chapters. There are currently 47 sub-chapters, ranging from five to eight levels in length. These levels have a 1% chance to drop power-ups, but have a 10% chance to drop amounts of XP in later sub-chapters. There are also units which can be unlocked in sub-chapters 18, 23, 28, and 37.

The player can also play event stages, where one can unlock or awaken certain units, or play levels for rewards such as Cat Tickets and XP.

Over the course of the story section, the cats travel through various places, from a small island to Multiversal studios ( referencing Universal Studios,) to find and recruit the legendary cats to their side (as they were part of the dog army, whether being their assassin or being mind-controlled). Along the way, they meet enemies much more powerful than the original dog army or the alien empire, with enemies such as an eccentric koala that can create shockwaves with his axe, an (incredibly annoying) otter that carries an extremely damaging, but "normal rock", and 8 ridiculously powerful cyclones found in the event stages, which is full of other enemies as well.

Collaborations[edit]

Every once in a while, The Battle Cats collaborates with another game series, movie, or celebrity. This usually crosses over their content with a few exceptions, such as the MattShea collab. In these events, the player can attempt special levels and get limited edition cats.

Into the Future Chapters 1-3 (Chapters 4–6)[edit]

Around 900 years into the future, on the date April 1, 29XX, aliens came to visit earth. However, the earthlings just "brushed the visitors off like weirdos." The aliens eventually got impatient, prompting them to sink Japan, do psychic activity, install mind control implants, build their own floating continent, and more evil actions. That caused most of the enemies to become stronger alien versions of themselves, with some aliens growing THAT (unable to describe in human language). After the aliens conquered every county on earth, the battle cats return after 900 years (likely because of time travel) to presumably save return humanity from the dominance of the aliens. The Battle Cats, now calling themselves the "Cat Army", defeat the much more formidable alien empire. However, it is revealed at the end that the cats once again didn't change much at all, with the only change being that cats star more in TV dramas with aliens getting fewer parts and that playing with THAT is a "new comedy boom". Later the narrator (who is an alien) decides to talk with the cats. The cats were pestering the narrator about his home planet with questions like "Is there cat food over there?" for over an hour. The narrator eventually says yes (out of annoyance), and later hears that the cats are building a rocket.

This chapter adds 3 different subchapters (Chapter 4,5,6) and enemies in this chapter are usually much harder than the Empire of Cats. The first level in all of the 3 sub-chapters is Japan, which pits a player against an alien-dog in this chapter (Shib-Alien), as a player will see a lot of Aliens in this chapter. This chapter is heavily focused on Alien and anti-white type enemies. The half-point of all the 3 sub-chapters is the "Great Abyss" which puts the player against a difficult boss. If the player gets a treasure on this level, it is the only one necessary to complete the set, similar to Alaska in the Empire of Cats

Cats of the Cosmos (Chapter 7-9)[edit]

Back in the year 20XX, the Cats have now built the rocket (mentioned in the ITF ending) to travel to different planets. These planets and universes can be anything, ranging from just Earth to even "The Big Bang". The narrator states that the most popular holiday destination at this point seems to be outer space and that everyone is wearing alien fashion. It is also said that the aliens aren't actually as bad as they thought and that they're just normal people. And so, the cats have to invade somewhere, and head to space. After completing it, the Cat Empire achieved total domination of the entire universe. The cats achieved unlimited cat food. Once again, no one's life really changed. Only the constellations looked more like cats. The cats and aliens began to talk about time travel, mind control, and other obscure, technical topics. One Tuesday, the narrator was free and joined the cats on the battlefield, which later revealed the narrator to be Cat God, implying that the 'joining on the battlefield' statement, relates to the Big Bang boss fight, in which the boss was God Cat. He says that the cats will finally have their wishes granted.

This chapter introduces starred alien enemies, which make up much of the challenge. These are alien enemies which are not affected by anti-alien treasures in Into the Future, requiring the player to acquire treasures in this chapter. These units can also have special abilities warp and barrier. The warp ability gives the enemy a chance to teleport the player's cats backwards on a hit. The barrier ability allows all damage below a certain threshold to be negated, forcing the player to bring units with high damage, or the barrier breaker ability.

The Battle Cats POP![edit]

It was released for Nintendo 3DS under the name of The Battle Cats POP! (often abbreviated to BCP) on June 27, 2016, and was later released on Nintendo Switch in December 2018.[3][2][4]

Critical Reception[edit]

The Battle Cats POP! received generally positive reviews.[5] CJ Andriessen of Destructoid gave the game a 7 out of 10 and wrote: "The Battle Cats POP! is a game that's as fun as it is weird. When it’s not putting you in time out with the energy meter, it can be addictive, like Pokémon. Too much of its free-to-play roots are still present, but even with those elements it's still a worthwhile time killer."[6] Matt S. of Digitally Downloaded gave 3.5 stars out of 5 and wrote: "Ultimately what sets Battle Cats apart from the many (many) similar games of similar depth and strategy is that hugely creative edge. This game gets to be the distinctive and memorable example of the genre because the artists had the sense to do something that makes no sense, but we end up looking forward to each new level just to see the insanity that it brings. That, right there, is good design principles for mobile gaming, and it translates across to the 3DS perfectly."[7]

Spinoff[edit]

On April 27, 2017, Battle Cats Rangers, a spinoff game developed by MEMORY Inc and published by MEMORY Inc, PONOS Corp, and YD Online Corp, was released. The game has many differences from the original, having the cats face right (when usually facing left) in a tapping game, where the player's cats take no damage, and the player can upgrade cats (way) past level 30. The spinoff has been widely disliked, due to it having almost no similarities to the original game.

Other Media[edit]

The Battle Cats has spawned quite a large community. A subreddit titled "Battle Cats" has over 20,000 subscribers (April 2019). There are also a multitude of YouTube channels which feature this game, some of which solely dedicated to the Battle Cats. Battle Cats is also often featured in CoroCoro Magazine, where new additions to the game are often teased.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "PONOS The Batlle cats". ponos.net. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "The Battle Cats Pop! on Nintendo 3DS". Nintendo. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  3. ^ "The battle cats pop! arrives on nintendo 3ds". hardcoregamer.com. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Together! The Battle Cats announced for Switch - Nintendo Everything". nintendoeverything.com. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  5. ^ "The Battle Cats pop! Metacritic". metacritic. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  6. ^ "The Battle Cats Pop! Review". desrtuctoid. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  7. ^ "The Battle Cats Pop! Review". digitally download. Retrieved 25 April 2017.

External links[edit]