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[PS Vita Review] NekoBuro

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NekoBuro, developed by FK Digital and published on PS Vita by Neko Entertainment, tells the story of six square-shaped cats who got separated due to a solar storm that left all cats stranded on planet Earth. Totan is their leader, and they find a girl called Rino who has taken Totan home as a pet. Once he has settled in his new home, he set’s out on his quest to find his five missing friends.

NekoBuro is a very cute match-three puzzler with a funny story. As per the usual gameplay mechanics for the genre, you can match any three cats of the same color either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. The game is easy to learn and a perfect time killer. Your only aim is to clear each stage by completing quests as you aim to get an SS rank in every level. You have five worlds with ten levels per world, for a total of 50 levels, making this a short game with some replay value as you aim at getting the best rank possible for all levels. And adding to the replay value, on top of the story mode there is also the endless mode where players can test how long they can go before their luck runs out.

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The quests for each level are different and help to keep things varied. For example, one will ask that you match a certain number of colored cats while another might require that you achieve a certain number of chained combos. And once again, since SS rank is your ultimate goal for each level, you must do it all within the fastest time possible to make it.

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There are plenty of power-ups to use if you get stuck, but the game is so easy that it is unlikely you will really need them. My take is that power-ups could be a must for less experienced players, and that the developers intention was to offer a very rounded up package that a wide audience could enjoy in short burst or during long gaming sessions.

After each world is complete, you will be greeted with a cute cutscene that lasts about a minute or so. And once each cutscene is over you are free to explore Rino’s home. You can change the look of the room with the furniture you earn during the story levels, you can also view your comics, illustrations and view the profile of each cat, and unlocked cutscenes from the TV. Last but not least there is a ToyBox that has toys inside you can use to play with your cats. It is a very nice touch indeed!

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The game is fully voiced in Japanese (which is nice), and its gameplay mechanics make it an ideal release for the PS Vita thanks to its “pick up and play” nature. Experienced players will have fun with the game, as will children since, like I said, they can use the power-ups to complete the levels. The toybox and being able to play with the cats and their virtual toys is also a nice bonus that all will enjoy!

NekoBuro has fifteen trophies to earn (13 Bronze, 1 Silver and 1 Gold), and they’re not hard to get. You’ll get most of them as you enjoy the game.

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NekoBuro is a colorful and fun puzzle game that will be great for those of you who love to take your gaming on the go. The gameplay is easy to learn but hard to master, as is usually the case for puzzle games. While there aren’t many levels overall, it is easy to recommend the whole package since there’s something for everyone and aiming for the SS ranks will definitely keep players busy.

[review pros=”Cute graphics.
Very addictive gameplay.” cons=”Could use more levels” score=83]