Developer: Eutechnyx
Price: Free ($0.99 in-game purchase)
Version Reviewed: 1.02
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★★
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

The age-old battle between samurai and ninjas has been told throughout time across several forms of media, but Eutechnyx has taken it to a whole new level with Ninja Cats vs. Samurai Dogs.

Ninja Cats vs. Samurai Dogs is a tower defense game in which the field of battle is divided up into five lanes. There are a variety of towers available to build that each have various functions and resources, but there are only five spaces in which to place them so it has to have some sort of strategy. Otherwise it’s just a case of trial and error. Units are created and deployed from these towers, which are generated as cards that all have different abilities. Once the decision to deploy a unit has been made it is then possible to choose where to place the character, with the aim of getting them across to the other side to destroy enemy towers. If a character, be it a ninja cat or a samurai dog, passes an enemy on their path (or adjacent to, depending on abilities) there will be a face-off to the death and the victor will advance forward.

Photo 12-09-2013 12 32 33A small tutorial at the beginning of the game does well at easing players in gently, but it starts to become more challenging as characters gain different movement and attack abilities. For example, an archer has the ability to attack from long range distances, and some melee units have the ability to move to an adjacent lane to avoid enemy contact. Juggling various units and working out a strategy that will incorporate both a strong attack and defense can be tricky, and it isn’t easy to avoid having to redo certain levels a few times but this can sometimes be beneficial.

Along with a large amount of various campaign levels to unlock, with a variety of beautiful settings and locations, the game’s greatest feature is the skill tree where different abilities and techniques can be unlocked via experience points in order to make a stronger and more powerful army. However, though the opportunities seem vast, skill points are limited – which means lots of thought has to go into weighing the options in order to make the right overall decisions.

Photo 12-09-2013 20 13 30With a ton of replay value and an expansive world to unlock, Ninja Cats vs. Samurai Dogs offers many hours of fun and is very accessible for those looking for a unique and thoughtful gaming experience.

The game is free to try, but this is limited to roughly around seven campaign levels and four skirmishes. This also means many of the skills and upgrades are locked to the full game, but for a mere $0.99 more it is definitely a worthwhile purchase.


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