NEKOBURO: CATS BLOCKS
By Kevin "Methodone89" van Dongen on June 14, 2015
Nekoburo: Cats Block released last week and we just had to try this cute looking Cat puzzle game. While itís not a new genre Nekoburo ads its own flavor and tune.
Our story takes place on a distant planet in the Universe of NekoBuro. It's a story about a fantastic electric wave life featuring the Square Cats; a whimsical group of aliens. These Square Cats use electric waves to travel through the universe. They were struck by a strong solar storm while passing by a beautiful blue planet, that separated the poor Square Cats from each other. Totan, the hero of our story, meets a carefree girl named Rino by accident. Totan is invited to stay at Rino's house where he tries to find his friends by using items he brought from outer space. What will happen to these square cats... ?</p>
The Story is simple, an Alien race of Cats has stranded on Earth and one of them, Totan, meets a girl named Rino who takes him into her home. From that moment on, Totan sort of enjoys her company and actually starts to think that Humans arenít that bad. Totan is frantically trying to find his friends and bring them back to Rino's place... and that is where you come in! In an series of 50 Block puzzles you can acquire the other Cats so they can join Totan.
The Gameplay isnít new and is similar to some of the more popular android games while borrowing heavily from golden oldies like Tetris. The main goal is to clear certain quests like clearing an x amount of Cats from a given color, use this item x amount of times, or just plain and simple survive these Cats. Itís not that hard but itís the randomness thatís killing.
A string of three cats drop from the top of your screen consisting of three random colors, you canít swap the colors nor can you change the direction in which the drop, you can only move them to the left or right of the playing field. Once three Cats or more of the same color connect, the line is cleared. The cats can be lined up horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Clearing cats fills up a meter that grants items which, in turn, help you clear the playing field. For example, bombs that clear an entire horizontal or vertical line, an apple which will clear an block of 3x3 cats and so on. Some items will even clear all cats of a certain color, which can come in really handy at times.
These items and the way you use them are a huge part of the gameplay; once you get the hang of it you can clear stages faster and more efficiently. In later stages using an item an X amount of time is required to clear said stage. In story mode clearing 10 stages will grant you a new companion and unlocks a new cat for your entertainment in Rinoís room. With a total of 50 stages, thatís 5 more awesome Cats to add. You can also change the furniture and decorations in Rinoís room, which are unlocked by reaching certain goals during the game. While you can change the look of the furniture, you canít actually move it around. Itís just simply a matter of placing another skin on the same object. Still, it does add just that little extra to the game. Even better is the fact that you can play with the Cats with acquired toys. This is pretty funny, albeit only for a couple of times. But hey, I might be wrong. If you're a cat person, you might never stop playing with your new friends!
Now on to the best part of Nekoburo: cuteness overload! The Cat designs are really great and while theyíre just Cats in different color it feels like they have their own personality. The game is colorful and just adorable to look at. The Story part is filled with little comics of said cats and are actually really funny. A downside to the game is the bad localization; this will make some parts really weird or just plain stupid. On the other hand, if you look at this poor localization as... well, alien cats who donít speak English perfectly, the previously weird- or stupid sounding conversations turn into a hilarious whirlwind of fun! As a cherry on this already delicious cake of a game, Nekoburo also features a pretty good soundtrack with clever and catchy tunes that fit the game perfectly.
So there you have it; while Nekoburo didnít invent the wheel, it did manage to add its own flavor to the genre and itís just really fun to play! After you've completed the story there isnít much else to do than Survival mode, so if youíre looking for even more Cat craziness, then thatís your go to mode.