Tuesday, 2 December 2014

App Review No. 72 The Battle Cats

Strong Points:
Lots of levels
Lots of cats
A variety of cats
Lots of levels and class changes
Lots of upgrades
Lots of enemies
A variety of enemies
Challenge mode and event stages add more challenges for more experienced players
Well paced rewards keep you coming back
Nice, cartoony graphics

Weak Points:
Can get repetitive
New enemies don't appear very often after the first chapter
Daily rewards end after a month
Not many basic cats compared to special cats
Storyline is rubbish and un-thought out
Stats are hidden
Treasures are randomly acquired

Rating: 94%

In-depth Review:

Release Dates:
World Wide: 21 August, 2014

Press the screen to spawn a cat or press a button.

The Battle Cats is a game about cats that battle a variety of animals and other creatures across the globe because... REASONS! And while the premise of the game basically doesn't exist, it does give us an excuse to play one of the most addicting and yet rewarding games on the app store.

The game is split into levels that each correspond to a place on Earth (and the moon because... REASONS!) and each one involves you sending out various 'cats' to attack other 'animals' in order to reach the other side's HQ (which represents that country in some way) and destroy it before they destroy yours. As well cats, you also have the 'Cat Cannon' a giant laser that, once charged, can be used to wipe the map clean of enemies... or just knock them back a bit depending on how far you are into the game. You also have the ability to use God (unlocked for a measly 2000 XP) which gives you various godly powers (however, you can only use these powers for free once, before you have to pay with cat food). The enemies range from the simple Doge to Those Guys all the way to The Face and Dark Emperor Nyandam and all have different strengths and weaknesses (such as floating and long range/area attacks). As well as killing enemies, you will also knock them back when you've damaged them enough which enables you to push the oncoming hoards away from your base (and give yourself some breathing room). Also, you can only bring 10 types of cats into battle at any one time so, there is a slight bit of strategy involved (once you've gotten more than ten types of cats, that is).

The cats also have their own strengths and weaknesses and range from the Basic Cat to the Tank Cat all the way to the Titan Cat. You can upgrade these cats (up to level 10 until chapter 3) so as to increase their (hidden) stats and, once they've reached level 10, evolve. These class changes bring another reason to upgrade your cats and that is to, simply, see what they turn into. You can also upgrade your cat cannon, worker cat (in order to get more money to use in battles), the amount of experience you earn when you beat a stage, among others. You unlock cats as you progress through the story (or through cat capsules, which I'll talk about later) but, sadly, there are only 9 of these 'Basic Cats' with the rest being payed for (with cat food, the premium currency) either through the Special Cat range or through rare cat capsules (again, I'll talk about these later).

Luckily, PONOS give you quite a large helping of cat food through their daily rewards. For 30 days, you will be greeted with either cat food, premium items (which do things like speed up your game, make treasure acquisition 100% or even play it for you), XP or, on day thirty, a new cat (the Tricycle Cat to be exact). As well as this daily reward, you also get a cat capsule ticket every day (and this doesn't end after 30 days either). The ticket can then be used to open one cat capsule which contains one upgrade (or if you haven't unlocked the cat, then you get that cat early) which can either be used to upgrade something or be converted into XP (in order to upgrade something else).

The pacing of the game is great as, for the first chapter, you are unlocking things all the time and battling in new places etc. Then, in the second chapter (which isn't even mentioned or hinted before you get it) you are progressing through the same levels without unlocking too much but still have plenty of class changes to do as well as a special cat to unlock once you've completed the chapter. However, then, in the third chapter (while you still have one new cat to unlock once you've beaten the chapter) thing start to get a bit 'old cat' (see what I did there!... no... OK then) as you don't see any new enemies and you've, most likely, finished all of the class changes. However, you've still got challenge mode (unlocked after chapter one is complete) and event mode stages to tide you over until the next cat food giveaway (and therefore a new cat and class change). One way they could have helped keep the pace up is to give the cats another class change at level 20 but, oh well. Maybe in another update...

The last thing you have to do is collect treasures (of inferior, normal and superior varieties!) from the different levels (again corresponding to something related to that country). However, it appears that these treasures are awarded randomly and it doesn't matter how quickly or strategically you beat the level to how often you get the treasures. This is a bit annoying as it means you can be playing one level about 10 times and only get an inferior treasure and then go at beat the next three levels and get superior trophies in one go. Once you've completed a set of trophies, you get a new power such as higher cat attack or a larger wallet. These powers cross over to each chapter so, if you're stuck on one of the later levels, it's quite a good idea to go and get all of the treasures in the earlier chapters in order to progress. If you can beat the random generator, that is.

Overall, The Battle Cats is a great game that managed to entertain me for weeks and will probably continue to do so because... REASONS POINTED OUT ABOVE!

Goodbye for now, Harry  

Update: the Cats are coming and they've brought an update! First of all, the Basic and Tank Cats have come with new Cat Capsules while the Axe Cat has brought his new, patented, Invite Reward Cats and the Ninja Cat has come with a set of new characters. Next up is the Fish and Lizard Cats and they've brought a third row of Cats to use in battle (unlocked after Chapter 3) and the Bird Cat has brought character details that can be accessed by double tapping the characters in the upgrade menu. The Worker Cat has brought a few improvements as well, including a filter setting in the Capsule Storage, a function allowing players to exchange capsules for Max-Level Cat and Stop and Slow effects as well as adjusted character parameters and various bug fixes. Finally, the Titan Cat has brought some new Legend Stages

Update: the Cats are back and they've brought another update! Basic Cats have brought a new User Rank system that will appear after Chapter Two has been cleared. Your total upgrades will be displayed as your User Rank and, as an added bonus, you will receive rewards when reaching certain ranks. The Tank Cats have brought a 3rd evolved form of the EX characters which can be evolved when fulfilling specific requirements. The Axe Cat has brought new characters to the Rare Gacha and the Titan Cat has brought new Event Stages and Legend Stages. The Bird Cat has brought a recording system and the Worker Cat as done a number of things including: a change to the save data transfer system (Google + can no longer be used for save data transfer); the achievements and leaderboards have been switched to iOS Game Centre and there are a number of minor bug fixes

Update: the Cats have returned and they've brought another update! The Basic Cats have brought new Timed Score stages that grant players a performance score based on the stage clear time and the Tank Cats have provided scores above a certain value with special XP and item awards. The Titan Cats have made improvements to Stories of Legends including adjusting the two-star difficulty levels, adding more unlockable stages and adding a three-star difficulty level to stages (wow they've been busy!). In addition, the Hero Cats have adjusted the XP rewards and added a display showing the stage clear count. Furthermore, the Fish and Lizard Cats have brought unlockable three-star difficulty for monthly event stages. Finally, the Worker Cats have changed the Ten Rare Cat Capsules draw to give 11 instead of ten at a time. Bonus! Also, there are some minor bug fixes

Update: the Cats have progressed to the future and they've brought another update! The Basic Cat (along with an alien parasite) has brought a new chapter - Into the Future (unlocked after meeting certain conditions)! The Titan Cat has brought a new CatCombo system - deploy certain character sets together in battle in order to increase their inherent benefits and gain new advantages! The Axe Cat has brought an ability to unlock even higher level limits for units by achieving certain User Ranks as well as new character traits that are added to existing characters! The Tank Cat has bought additional Stories of Legend Stages as well as additional event stages! Furthermore, the Gross Cat has increased the number of saveable battle formations - unlocked by meeting certain conditions (up to 10 formations possible, with use of Cat Food). Finally, the Worker Cat has squashed some bugs but needs your help to kill the rest of the alien kind! Will you help the Cats? They would help you (maybe)!

Update: the Cats have gone back to the future (subtle reference is subtle) and they've brought another update! The Basic Cat has brought Chapter 2 of Into the Future! The Titan Cat has added a level 3 stage to the Stories of Legend stage - Jail Break Tunnel and a level 2 stage to Prince of Darkness. The Valkyrie Cat has brought some more Event Stages and the Worker Cat has done some minor bug fixes

Update: the Cats have continued their journey and they've brought another update! The Basic Cat has brought Three Star Stages to the Stories of Legend stages 'Capone's Jail' and 'Dead End Night'. The Titan Cat has added more event stages. The Special Cats (Bean Cats and Moneko) have brought their own unlock criteria at Clearing Greece of Chapter 1 and Clearing of Chapter 1, respectively (no more inviting friends!). Mr. Ninja has also changed his trait from high damage to Red to high damage to Aliens. Finally, the Worker Cat has brought more miscellaneous bug fixes

Update: the Cats turn more of their Stories into Legend and also bring a new update! The Basic Cat brings new Stories of Legend stages with it. The Tank Cat has added 3-Star Difficulty to the Stories of Legend maps 'Silk Road' and 2-Star Difficulty for 'Battle Royale'. The Titan Cat has added more Event Stages as well as some play conditions for Event Stages. The Axe Cat has brought an instant-set function for the CatCombos that allows you to double tap any combo name to place those units in your battle formation. The Phantom Thief Cat has brought a Start-Up Booster Pack (a big discount on special helpful items, only avaiable withing 3 days of your first launch) and a Rank Up Item Pack (special offers on items, XP and Cat Food that appears with every 100 User Rank levels). Finally, the Worker Cat has brought a Full Cat Energy push notification, cheating prevention features and miscellaneous bug fixes and edits

Update: the Cats continue their conquest and have brought with them a new update! The Basic Cat has added a 3-Star Difficulty to the 'Stairware to Darknesss' Stories of Legend stage and a 2-Star Difficulty to the 'Scars of War' Stories of Legend stage. The Titan Cat has added additional User Rank rewards and the Worker Cat has made it so that the Equip Menu is accessible via a button on the Stage Select screen, that Bonus Item reveal animations can now be skipped and more miscellaneous bug fixes have also been completed

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