Poisoft is an interesting developer. It’s known for quirky, downloadable games. Primarily, these are WiiWare and Nintendo 3DS eShop exclusives, though it has worked on Apple iOS and Android games as well. Most of these titles are bite-sized experiences with quite a bit of replay value, like Kersploosh!, the only one of its games to be localized, and Mansion Percussion. There are exceptions, like Monokage Quest, a JRPG where your world-saving hero will die if anyone actually notices him. Poisoft’s most recent addition to the Nintendo 3DS library is Nyanyanto Mori, an expanded version of its Same Color Cat Go Up! mobile game. It also happens to be one of the most normal games in its library.
Well, normal aside from the fact that virtual cats kind-of, maybe, probably die along the way.
Nyanyanto Mori is, at its core, a matching puzzle game. Cats will appear in a space, and you’ll need to slide a whole row of cats horizontally or vertically along an axis to get them into matching groups that clear them from the space. At the outset of each stage, you’re given a set number of moves you’re allowed to complete that particular puzzle. When all cats are eliminated, you’re taken to a new puzzle.
And by eliminated, I mean that it really seems like completing these puzzles totally and completely removes the cats from existence. When the group is united, their precious faces disappear and are replaced by kitty ghosts.
There are two modes in Nyanyanto Mori. The former is a challenge mode that gradually increases in difficulty. You are given 60 seconds to complete 10 stages. The latter is a free play mode divided up into 3×3, 3×4, 4×4, 3×5, and 3×6 space puzzles. Your task is to complete them as swiftly as possible, as running out of time will naturally result in a game over. Here, you try to get through as many puzzles before a certain number of seconds run out, the exact total varying from group to group, with points awarded based on how far you can go. Reaching certain goals unlocks more free play levels.
Each mode has its merits, of course, though both result in you transforming cute kittens into somewhat less cute ghosts.
Fortunately, you’re awarded extra seconds for good performances in each mode. This can keep bringing you up to 60 seconds in the challenge mode, if you get on a roll. Clearing the screen gives you three more seconds, not requiring any retries adds an extra two, and coming in under par nets two more. In the free play mode, the number of seconds doled out as rewards vary depending on the size. The free mode also allows you to give one continue. And, if those bonuses aren’t enough to help you in the later worlds or more challenging areas, you can always pause the timer to look at the situation or have the AI solve a puzzle for you. There isn’t even any penalty for having the AI pop in for the assist in one situation.
Really, all of these help make it easier to usher these animals into the afterlife.
Getting through levels and hurdles even unlock rewards. There’s a trophy room where you can collect 80 inspirational phrases from the cats. (Think of them as their last words!) But, I feel like the real reward is the music. Utata-P, also known as t.Komine, created the Nyanyanto Mori soundtrack. That name may sound familiar, as he’s rather famous for putting together Hatsune Miku trance tunes with orange. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd’s “This is the Happiness and Peace of Mind Committee” is one of his songs.
Nyanyanto Mori is an incredibly catchy game. The gameplay is compelling, requiring you to quickly analyze situations and respond. It’s challenging, yet forgiving. Plus, it’s pleasing to the eyes and ears. The cats are adorable and soundtrack fantastic. The only unfortunate thing about it, aside from the whole death thing, is that the Miiverse community suggests a localization would use the title Same Color Cat Go Up!, rather than the more adorable Nyanyanto Mori. It’s an entertaining and import-friendly budget title, should anyone happen to have a Japanese 3DS with eShop credit on it lying around. I know it never failed to bring a smile to my face.
I mean, even though it did make me feel a bit like a monster for killing all of these virtual cats.
Nyanyanto Mori is available on the Japanese Nintendo 3DS eShop for 500円. A mobile version that only deals in undead cats is immediately available on Apple iOS and Android devices.