Zetsuna’s back, this time with Neko Navy! Development was done by DeathMofuMofu and crew, and Fruitbat Factory took care of the English release.
It’s a band of flying cats versus “soothing enemies,” ranging from planes to pills to sausage ropes and all sorts of things to shoot and blow up. There’s three difficulty levels – Easy, Hard, and DEATH – so pick the one suited to your bullet hell game ability and proceed to let the fur fly.
Neko Navy revolves around shooting enemies and picking up points. Players can increase the points gained, and by extension increase lives too, either by shooting an enemy in close range (called Braves) and using a bomb ability with a cooldown period (a full ring of dots around your cat means the bomb is ready) to erase enemy bullets and turn them into points to pick up. The three starter cats – Mugi, Miracle, and Chiyoko – offer a mix of different bullet layouts and bombs. For example, Miracle fires both bullets and bombs (or technically, a flamethrower) in straight lines while Chiyoko specializes at filling the screen with a wide bullet spread and having a screen-wide clear bomb at her disposal. Mugi is kind of the middle option between the other two. Then there are three more cats that add their own quirks to gameplay as well. Player bullets are more transparent than enemy bullets (which are either bright pink or purple), and don’t worry, enemy locations are consistent between playthroughs.
I will freely admit, this was my first real bullet hell game experience, as well as not being skilled enough to duke it out on the higher difficulties (something about so zetta slow reaction time?). Even so, I did feel that Easy difficulty is a nice starting point and is a good balance for newbies to test the waters, with difficulty generally increasing at an even rate, except for certain points in the game. More seasoned veterans will most likely have fun with trying to get as much out of the game as they can on higher difficulties, with Brave point increases and better bomb use. There’s even online and local data leaderboards so you can see how your run compares with other people’s best too.
Overall it’s a good starter bullet hell game from its small indie development origins. It tends to be fairly standard in what it offers compared to other more-complex games, but hey – cute and fluffy cats blowing things up. The price may be a bit high for some people to justify the somewhat short span of the game, but if you love bullet hell games, Neko Navy is well worth keeping around.
Now pardon me as I go get Nekotea to play this game….