The Battle Cats

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The Battle Cats
TBCATSLogo.png
Publisher(s) PONOS
Platform(s)
Release

Mobile
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 for iOS and Android mobile devices which first emerged in Japan under the name Nyanko Daisensou (meaning "The Great Neko War"). The Battle Nekos 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) is also planned, which is soft-launched in Japan and can only be played in a browser through Yahoo! network.[3]

Gameplay[edit]

Screenshot from The Battle Cats gameplay on iOS

The Battle Cats is a strategy game about cats fighting things across the earth, universe and many other places in the world. The gameplay involves sending a wide roster of cats out onto a 2D battlefield in order to defend a base (that has a laser cannon and 4 other cannons that can be fired every time it's fully charged) against a wide roster of enemies of varying species and colors.

The cats are the protagonists (most of the cats don't look like a cat, while certain types of “Animals” are enemies) and are mostly the troops the player deploys throughout the game (with the exception of Gamatoto and his apprentices, who are instead explorers who go on adventures to supply the player with useful items). The cats are all unique in their own sense (from basic cat to the Greek god Zeus himself). The cats can be upgraded with XP to level up to the level cap of 10 (although you can eventually increase the cap to 20 for normal cats, and 40 for other cats with cats eyes). All the cats (partially including Gamatoto) change appearance and gain abilities after certain levels. The cats are divided into 5 categories: Normal, Special, Rare, Super Rare, and Uber Super Rare (commonly shortened to Uber Rare or just Uber). The normal cats are the first cats you can get, and are mostly the easiest to upgrade. They have a max pay-to-upgrade level of 20 but can be increased with cat capsules. And if you reach at 30, you can get the true form. There are 9 normal cats. The special cats are the second type of cat you can get. They are, to simply put, cats that don't belong in any other category. 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) but are usually more powerful than the normal cats (not to mention "crazed" cats and "maniac" 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 as long as you have an internet connection. Max energy can be raised with upgrades. You can bring items into the battle that assist you (ranging from a Sniper Cat that pushes enemies back from the base to a "Cat CPU" that deploys the cats for you). Some of the stages have special rules, like “Special and Rare Cats only”. The battle takes place on a 2D plane with your base on the right, and the enemy base on the left. The player gains a steady stream of money, which you can spend 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 are destroyed. Winning the battle gives you a chance to get a treasure, which are in the main story chapters (1-7). Collecting all of them can buff your cats' abilities and can also enhance other game mechanics, such as decreased energy recharge time. There are 3 levels of treasure: Inferior, normal, and superior, with inferior being the weakest while superior is 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. 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).

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 you complete 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 mildly 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 (obviously 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 popular game series or celebrity, usually crossing over their content if it's a game, 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 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 you against an alien-dog in this chapter (Shib-Alien), as you 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 you against a difficult boss. On completion of this level, if you get a treasure, it is the only treasure necessary to complete the set, similar to Alaska in the Empire of Cats

Cats of the Cosmos (Chapter 7-8)[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 using 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.

The Battle Cats POP![edit]

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

Critical Reception[edit]

The Battle Cats POP! received generally positive reviews.[5] CJ Andriessen of Destructoid gave The Battle Cats Pop! 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 digitallydownloaded.net gave 3 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 you take no damage, and can upgrade your cats (way) past level 30.

Other Media[edit]

The Battle Cats has spawned quite a large community. A subreddit titled "Battle Cats" has nearly 10,000 subscribers (March 2018). There are also a multitude of YouTube channels which feature this game. Some are solely dedicated to the Battle Cats.

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. ^ みんなで にゃんこ大戦争 公式PV (Minnade Nyanko Daisensou Official PV), 2017-07-03, retrieved 2017-10-03 
  4. ^ "The battle cats pop! arrives on nintendo 3ds". hardcoregamer.com. Retrieved 22 April 2017. 
  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]