battle cats splash screen

Battle Cats is a super cute free strategy defense game released by Ponos Corp. for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. In Battle Cats, you travel all over Japan with your cat minions, destroying enemy bases while protecting your own against hordes of non-cat enemies.


battle cats battling

 Each stage begins with a running dollar meter on the top right of the screen. Once you have enough dollars, you can start buying cat units to attack the enemy base and defend your base from invading hordes. Enemy units come in all shapes, sizes and even colours, such as dogs, oversized snakes, mini stick people, fat hippos, giant penguins, and the occasional red enemy unit. You win each stage by getting past these units and destroying the enemy base.

battle cats victoryAt the end of each stage, you receive a certain amount of XP which allows you to buy upgrades such as different cat units or to level up your existing ones. When your cat units get leveled up to 10, they evolve into a different form. Different cat units have their own characteristics and are good against different enemies. Axe-cats, for example, are strong against red enemies. If you want to get past each stage successfully, you’ll need to figure out which combination of cat units to use against which enemies.

There are also special cats that must be summoned with "cat food" to use them during battle. For example, the God-Cat has an ability that lets you buy cat units without having to wait for  These are kind of like emergency-use cats and since you have to pay real money for cat food, you probably don’t want to overuse it.

Besides upgrading cats, you also get to rev up your base and other functions. For example, you can give your base more HP or make its cannon stronger. You can also improve the rate of dollars produced, the amount of dollars gained for killing enemies, the amount of XP received at the end of each stage, and so on.

You have limited amounts of ‘energy’ that you can use to play the game. Each stage takes up a certain amount of energy and if you use all your energy up, you’ll have to wait a bit or use cat food to restore the energy before you can play again. However, unless you’re playing the game for the entire day (like I’m doing while I’m writing this), the 1 energy per minute recovery rate is probably more than enough.

After stage 7, treasures and other features get unlocked. You will find a Treasure List that shows you different collections of treasures you can gain from playing certain stages. Once you complete a collection, you’ll get a bonus such as an increase in money production, or improvement in unit production speed.

A store where you can buy upgrades with cat food is also made available after stage 7. The items in the store mostly give bonuses that make the game easier. For example, you can double the speed of the game, max out the production of coins, or buy XP to use for upgrades.

You’ll also be able to invite friends to play Battle Cats and bonuses. By inviting friends, you can receive gifts such as a certain amount of XP or more cat food when friends enter your invite code. Also, if you invite 10 friends, you’ll get a rare cat unit, Moneko, which looks absolutely adorable. If your friend uses your invite code, he or she will also get 10,000 XP. My code is sva90 if you need one.

battle cats invite friends

Graphics & Sound

Battle Cats uses simple 2D graphics but for some inexplicable reason, the plainly illustrated cats are just so cute. To make things interesting, the enemy base changes every turn, usually to something related to Japan, such as a Japanese shrine, a bowl of ramen, a bottle of sake, or a puffer fish. The background shows different scenes as well, although I notice they repeat after a while.

The battle music is catchy and sometimes, when a boss-like enemy appears, the music changes into a sort of scarier variation of the normal tune and this really brings you into the mood of the battle.

What I love about Battle Cats

What I love best about Battle Cats is how cute and funny it is! The ridiculous-looking cats and other enemy units make me laugh whenever a new one appears. It’s like watching an animated comedy with the hilarious attacking animations some of these characters have.

Besides the graphics, you can tell the game developers have a great sense of humor by the way they write the descriptions of the cats. Also, at around stage 14, or 15, a dictionary with entries of the enemies you’ve previously met will be unlocked and I had fun reading the profiles of each.

battle cats dictionary

The upgrades are also really fun, especially the cat level ups because they change your cats into different looking ones once their levels are maxed out. I was pleasantly surprised when my basic cat unit turned into a muscular, more menacing-looking one at level ten although I think its abilities didn’t quite match up with how it looked.

I felt that the concept of treasures in Battle Cats was well-designed. The game starts out fairly easy to get you acquainted with all the functions. But as it progresses, things become more challenging and you’ll have to redo stages to get more XP. However, with treasures to collect, redoing stages becomes more rewarding since there’s the possibility you could add a new treasure to your collection. What’s more, these treasures give you bonuses when you complete a set, so they’re not just useless decorations for your treasure page.

Although there are things in Battle Cat that have to be purchased using cat food, none of them are absolutely necessary for the enjoyment of the game. I’m still curious to see how some of the cat units such as the Ninja-Cat or the Sumo-Cat work though, and I wouldn’t mind buying them to support this great game. 


This is a must-get if you love cute animations, cats, or if you’re someone who loves a good laugh and a challenge.

Check out my other iOs game reviews:
Pixel People iPhone & iPad Game Review
Bread Kittens iPhone & iPad Game Review
Dragon Storm iPhone & iPad Game Review
Archer Cat iPhone Game Review