Neko Navy from DeathMofuMofu
Soaring through the air as an adorable yet ruthless feline defines Neko Navy as quite the side-scrolling expedition. Consistently destroying every unique enemy that blocks the path to victory is half the battle. Evading their one-hit murderous attacks, however, contributes that challenging aspect players yearn to receive. At least the cats are cute – they make the imminent defeats a little less heartbreaking.
Not All Cats Have Nine Lives
Developed by DeathMofuMofu, this shoot-’em-up experience doesn’t present much of an introduction. The gist of Neko Navy boils down to a magical cat gliding through the air whilst extinguishing bothersome obstacles along the way. Overall, the concept alone doesn’t heed much worry of failure. Unfortunately, the adorable kittens aren’t granted their nine lives. Giving players only three chances to muster through a stage creates a daunting atmosphere, especially when one little mishap diffuses a life instantaneously. Not to mention most levels wrap up up with a grueling boss battle.
Neko Navy displays itself as a retro arcade game. Think of it as venturing into an arcade and inserting a token in order for the game to begin. The only difference is that the adventure is so conveniently exhibited on your computer screen, and the tokens are merely mirrored as second chances. Fortunately, Neko Navy is controller-friendly, and guiding the cat of choice is elementary.
Neko Navy’s stages conveniently illustrate enemy patterns and attacks. Rallying through a stage without facing an embarrassing defeat comes with a sense of pride, but it doesn’t happen often. Memorizing a level’s layout, on the other hand, becomes the best plan of action. You know, considering a few mishaps and a “game over” literally reverts you back to the title screen. It’s fine.
Not Quite Nine, but Extra?
Luckily, those fancy computerized tokens come in handy as the adorable cat’s last life disperses into thin air. There is no handbook in Neko Navy, but apparently after scrounging up enough points, tokens are awarded and grant the player with another chance. Mastering the skill of evasion, though, increases the probability of success more than relying on Lady Luck. She won’t show up, so don’t even bother. Blinking isn’t much of an option, either. Keep those eyes peeled and attempt to conquer all seven gloriously strange stages as a heroic kitten.
Now I know what you’re thinking – only seven stages? Yes, but they certainly aren’t a walk in the park. Personally, I was fortunate enough to power through to stage four most play-throughs. Not to mention, mastering all three difficulties – Easy, Hard, and Death – creates a rather challenging experience and a decent replay value. Sometimes the gameplay can get repetitive, especially if there’s that one stage that appears to be impossible. Fortunately though, a training mode provides extra practice on specific levels. The environments are also insanely diverse, ranging from floating through a simplistic night sky to dodging homicidal medicinal pills in a bizarre hospital. Yikes.
During these escapades, blowing up enemies results in an abundance of collectable tiny blue kittens. Collecting these nifty little guys increases the overall score of that stage while simultaneously generating a power-up. Each groovy feline has a unique power-up that travels across the screen and obliterates enemies in its path. The chubby blue kitten with an emotionless expression powered me through difficult times in Neko Navy, but testing the waters with each playable cat generally gives you a feel of which suits your style the most. They’re all adorable, though, so the decision isn’t an easy one.
Though Neko Navy is a very simple game, it’s still fairly enjoyable. Lack of introduction or explanations of minor details puts a damper on fully understanding aspects of the gameplay, but that knowledge is sort of picked up along the way. Nonetheless, Neko Navy challenges its players to better their score and then outdo that score on an even more insane difficult. Whew. With a little paw-sitivity though, anything is paw-sible.
Neko Navy is available via Steam.
Watch the official trailer for Neko Navy below: