Kitty minions, go forth and fight! In Battle Cats from PONOS, you control legions of tall cats, chubby cats, flying cats, cows (which aren't cats), and plenty of other cute warriors whose sole purpose is to defend their base from legions of tiny stickmen, hippos, snakes and other bad guys. It's a familiar combat-oriented defense set-up we've seen before, but there's so much lovable style poured into this game, you can't help but to play until the wee hours of the morning, pitting cartoon cat against cartoon cat.
Battle Cats places you in a two dimensional world with your base on one side and the enemy's on the other. Troops slowly march/fly/slither out of the bad guy's tent, gradually making their way to your home sweet home. You're not going to let them just waltz right in, though, so by spending coins and summoning various warriors using the icons at the bottom of the screen, you can put up a decent fight. You earn money both by defeating enemies and by letting time pass, but you can also upgrade "worker cat" to speed up cash production. It costs a pretty penny, of course, so you must carefully consider it in light of defense costs (which sounds boring, but it isn't!).
Upgrades are half the fun, and after winning a battle you get to head back to the store to beef up your abilities. Troops can be upgraded to provide sturdier defenses and stronger attacks, but you can also put some cash in unit recharge speed, increase the size of your wallet, beef up your last-ditch laser attack, or strengthen a few other global attributes. Really, there's no shortage of options to suck up your newfound cash reserves, and that doesn't even take into account the special cat units you can summon using the game's secondary currency, cat food.
Analysis: Battle Cats is the sort of game that will catch you by surprise. On paper it sounds a bit ordinary: a strategy defense game where you summon troops. Seen it, played it, mastered it, right? To a certain extent this is true, but Battle Cats has an impressive amount of variety, especially for a mobile game. There are 50 troops in all, most of which can be unlocked or purchased through the in-game store. Not mentioned in this review (uh, until now): the stamp card that earns you bonuses for logging in on a daily basis, the fact that there are 100 stages to fight through, single-use items, secret treasures, cat evolution, and the almighty god-cat.
Battle Cats can be a little overwhelming with its complexity. Fortunately, you don't need to deal with most of these elements until later in the game, which sets a nice pace. You can also dip into some in-app purchases if you're so inclined, spending money on cat food that can be used in the shop to buy all sorts of rare and delightful goodies.
There's a lot to experience in Battle Cats, so much so that this quick pick up and play combat game grows on you over time. Soon it'll become your diversion of choice when you've got a spare minute or two, and after the weeks and months go by, you'll eventually see some of the more spectacular sights the game has to offer!
Cheers to Aquilegia for sending this one in!
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the Nexus 4. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.