Samurai Cats (のぶニャがの野望, Nobunyaga no Yabou, literally translated as "Nobunyaga's Ambition") is a social game adaptation of the Nobunaga's Ambition series which turns historical figures into cats with kitty themed names. It debuted to the public on the informal Japanese holiday, Cat Day. The game's East Asian titles are a portmanteau of Nobunaga's name and the onomatopoeia for a cat's meow (ニャ or 喵).
The current producer for the social game is Nobuhisa Hiroshige. Its popularity led to five characters becoming costumed mascots for Koei-Tecmo: Oda Nobunyaga, Date Masiamune, Utsunomiyah Kunitsuna, Siamzu Yoshihiro, and Ishida Mitsunyari.
According to company executives, it is one of their most popular social games at the moment. It won the fan voted popularity award in Taiwan's Bahamut 2012 Game Awards. During the Taipei International Game Show 2013, the Taiwanese version was granted a Game Star award for web browser games. As of March 2013, over one million players have registered on the Japanese and Taiwanese servers (approximately 500,000 each).
Beta testing for a North American version of the game began on October 19, 2012. During testing, players could register in tournaments and use Mobage's digital currency to purchase the game's paid content. Its services were discontinued by Mobage in mid-February 2013.
The game's controls are simple. Players simply tap the touch screen (smartphones) or use the left-mouse button (PCs) to confirm their commands in the game. The game is played in real time, and timers are needed for nearly every action in the game.
Unlike the majority of the Nobunaga's Ambition series, the player primarily acts as the leader of their own forces. They are required to affiliate themselves with a clan and can randomly select their starting characters. The clan they first pick affects their base affinity rating with the land's daimyou. Sixteen clans are currently available. From west to east, the clans are:
After the player completes Myaamoto Musashi's tutorial, the player is free to travel to different castles throughout the land. Similar to its predecessor, the entire game is a battle royal with other players.
Five elements are used as resources throughout the game: fire, earth, wind, water, and void. Elements determines a card's stats and weaknesses and act as the resources for the player's village.
Each player is given a plot of land which exists in hammer space. They can build a maximum of nineteen buildings which can either strengthen their generals and troops, restore lost troops, and so on. More buildings can be earned based on the player's progress, and existing facilities can be upgraded using elements. Troops and troop supplies are imperative for traveling and initiating battles. As of March 31, 2014, players can alter the appearance of their village's backdrop, gate and headquarters and can instantly move the location of their built facilities. The April 30, 2014 update gives players the chance to purchase different shades of the same buildings with micropayments (GC or MC).
Battles are accessed on the world map. Pirates, ninja, and rioters are the common encounters in the game and will likely be the first icons to pop onto the screen. Friendly units appear as green icons on the world map. Occasionally, a random quest giver on the world map can unlock a special enemy icon. The player will receive reports of their whereabouts each time they access the world map. Clicking on an enemy icon lists the rewards, time, and difficulty of the encounter. The player may then choose to subjugate the particular foe.
Before each battle, the player determines their army's commander and their army's formations; special abilities for generals can be learned within the village and can be assigned here if they should desire. Once the order is complete, the troops are sent. The player can only send one army at a time.
Combat is automated and finished without the player's intervention. Results are given to the player as a detailed report after a short waiting period. Victory rewards the player with elements and other goods; stalemates grants a small amount of the battle's promised reward. If the player desires, they can watch a replay of the battle and change their formations accordingly for future encounters.
Special PVP tournaments or campaigns are routinely scheduled with the game's updates. News reports and the game's starting screen informs users of such events. The player can participate in them by clicking the main gate of their village and can register their particular team. Tournaments automatically has participants at maximum health and will not drain troops or special abilities. Matches between other players are random. Players who obtain a specific tournament ranking can be additionally rewarded with treasures and a special card.
Players can also participate in Wars or Castle Sieges scheduled by the developers. The player must move to the location of each battle on the world map either event is taking place. They can then choose to be loyal with a particular faction. These special battles rewards players based on their ranking per encounter; the higher their ranking, the greater the rewards.
In Wars, the player can side with one of three battalions. In short, it's a three man tug-of-war which ends once one of the battalions reaches a clan's main camp. Live updates routinely appear to reflect the battle's situation, enlightening players of which battalion has the least supporters each time. Players cannot switch their active army and are given five minutes to decide their formation and abilities for each encounter. Regardless of their overall participation, the player is awarded if their particular side emerges victorious. Rewards increase based on whether the player fought or not.
Castle Sieges are hourly live events which follow a schedule. Players can either attack or defend a castle whilst ordering their personal army on a separate map. Defenders can call upon their reserve generals to act as road blocks on the attacker's path at the cost of troop supplies. Attackers gradually inch towards the defender's commander by destroying gates and any other obstructing units along a divided numbered path. If their active army loses its vitality, however, the player must fall back to their starting position and are grounded for two minutes of real time. It takes thirty seconds of real time to move one space within the map, meaning that it's a race against time if either side appears to be failing.
If there is no event currently being held, the player can still click on their village gate to initiate PVP matches with a randomly selected opponent. Winning these battles increases the player's fame and their overall ranking with other players. Fame changes the designations present in their player profile and changes which buildings a player can construct for their village.
When the player runs low on resources, they can stop playing to have their village naturally restore their army. Mobage Coins or GC Coins (virtual currency) can be used to buy restorative items, new vacant spots, or temporary status effects to alleviate the waiting process for using facilities.
As of August 1, 2013, special "Nyan Days" are in the game. The dates tend to be 2nd, 12th, or 22nd of each month (or the "nyan" or "meow" days). Players can be rewarded a random bonus or challenged to earn an exclusive prize on these days.
Izumo no Okunii now challenges players with a daily three question quiz after the April 30, 2014 update. Quiz questions include trivia about the kitty generals' quotes and abilities and the location of certain archaic provinces.
As of December 14, 2012, players may choose to participate in miniature historical events starring the kitty generals. Character dialogue and dramatizations can be earned and triggered by completing a chain of affiliated story missions on the world map. As players complete missions for each event, they can compare their rankings in their profile. High ranked players can earn special rewards and a special title depending on their rank and earned points. Similar to tournaments and castle sieges, these scenarios are limited timed events.
The following scenarios have appeared in the game:
|Nyanko Risshiden||December 14~19, 2012
revised: October 23~30, 2013
|Hideyoshi themed story. Begins with his beginnings as a peasant at Okehazama and ends with his death.|
|Mikeda Senki||January 18~24, 2013
revised: January 23~29, 2014
revised for theatrical: November 11~18, 2014
|Shingen's youth and rivalry with Kenshin. Starts with his relationship with his father and ends with his death.|
|Kengou Retsuden||February 16~22, 2013
revised: April 17~23, 2014
|Musashi's memoirs during his elderly years. Includes duels of other sword masters of the era like Bokuden Tsukahara and Yoshiteru Ashikaga.|
|Kessen! Sekigahara||March 18~23, 2013
revised: August 13~19, 2014
|Broad overview of the events leading to the climatic war for control of Japan. Summarizes events which occurred within the main battle.|
|Akechiden||May 18~23, 2013
revised: April 22~18, 2015
|Summarizes Mitsuhide's career starting with his oft fabled service under Dōsan Saitō. Continues past Honnōji to follow Gracia's life after his death.|
|Bishamonten no Hata||June 18~June 24, 2013
revised: June 11~17, 2015
|Uesugi family history starting with Tamekage Nagao and detailing Kenshin's life. Leads into Kagekatsu's career for its later chapters.|
|Osaka Neko no Jin||August 22~August 28, 2013
revised: February 3~9, 2016
|Showcases generals who saw their first or final service during the Osaka Campaigns. Starts by focusing on the Toyotomi and Tokugawa families after Sekigahara.|
|Chisou Bombay||December 20~26, 2013||Bombay's career from his early days to his days of fame beside Hanbei. A part of the simultaneous Christmas themed challenge for Aya-nyan's Treasure card.|
|Dokii! Himedarake no Neko Senki||March 13~19, 2014||Stories regarding the women of the era. Starts with the Imagawa family maiden and extends into other marriage alliances in the era.|
|Ninja (Shadow) no Gunzo||June 18~24, 2014||Ninja based stories. Begins with Hanzō and includes other ninja rumored stories.|
|Nami no Ue no Neko (Cats on Waves)||February 20~25, 2015||Highlights seafaring kitty generals and navy exploits.|
|Dokuganryu Masiamune||August 24, 2015||Masiamune's life and exploits.|
Every battle and special quest rewards the player Nya Points for completing them. These points (or digital currency) can be used to purchase a random character card. Once the card has been obtained, it can be used to summon the pictured character immediately into the player's service. Users with Mobage Coins or GC Coins can purchase multiple tickets or pray to the Cat God to obtain several cards in one sitting.
The card's rarity is indicated by the color of its edges. Gray is common and pink is uncommon. Rare cards are silver and ultimates are golden. Treasure cards can only be earned through special means and have a rainbow background. New cards are routinely added to the game and reported on Japanese video game news sites. The newest rarity, Fame, adorns cards with rippled red-orange borders.
- Left side
- Elemental Icon - located above character's name. This card's element is fire.
- Stats - bottom numbers. From left to right: Attack, Defense, Speed, Virtue (ability to build up Special Attack Gauge during battle), and Scheme (increases Special Attack's power; also increases defense against enemy Special Attacks).
- Troop Type - bottom left icon. Troop types are infantry, cavalry, and riflemen. Infantry are strong against cavalry, and cavalry are strong against riflemen. Riflemen are the distance fighters who can dwindle a unit's health.
- Cost - bottom right. Cost to have card within an army formation. The default limit Cost for each army is ten; this value gradually increases based on the player's performance. The card's Cost rating also determines the amount of troop supplies the player drain to use them in an formation. Higher Cost ratings (most Rare or Ultimate cards) are usually the most expensive.
- Available Troops - bottom right hand number. The maximum amount of troops this card can lead into battle. It also serves as a current life bar for the particular card if it is wounded during combat.
- Right side
From Top to Bottom:
- Character Quote - Personality for the image.
- Meritorious Service - Lists experience points for the character. Higher numbers increases the amount of Special Attacks the character can use and lowers the necessary resources needed to use it.
- Training - Indicates the training level of the card. Training can be performed by dragging and clicking this card's icon on top of the appropriate building within the player's village. Training can also change the card's default stats based on the element used to train them. Elemental affinities are marked in the Stats section.
- Elemental Levels - From left to right: fire, earth, wind, water, and void. Keeps track of current elemental level. Each card has their individual elemental levels which is told to the player during training (i.e. higher fire levels means greater attack power). Elements can be mixed and matched to learn each card's special ability.
- Special Abilities - Lists the abilities learned on the character card. These abilities can be learned after training and secured by pressing the double exclamation point icon which appears. Certain cards can start with an ability already learned without any training.
- Character Type - Indicator for which special abilities can be learned in the game.
- Flavor Text - Brief character biography to describe the historical inspiration of the character card. Includes the kitty's real historical name.
Aside from training, the player can strengthen cards by fusing them together. This alternate method can be used to further update a single card's the maximum capacity for Training and Special Abilities. It also useful for recycling repeat cards the player might obtain. Characters who are united under a theme within an army's formation can also perform stronger in battle. The Three Azai Sisters, for instance, will be stronger together. Cards which generally have friendly ties will likely succeed over those without them.
Once a character card is summoned, it normally cannot be returned to storage. There are three methods for dealing with cards players no longer need. They can discard it within the card formation menu or put their used cards up for sale in exchange for Nya Points from potential buyers. Prices are free for players to decide, and cards of any rarity can be sold. Users with digital currency can pay a small fee to have their kitty generals nap in separate storage. Napping kitties are removed from active duty but can be risen any time at the player's convenience.
The player can have thirty-six active generals at a time and can keep fifty cards in storage. These numbers can increase based on the headquarter levels found within the player's village.
Starting on the third year anniversary (February 22, 2014), players can awaken any card which has surpassed level 50 training with the newly added "Awakening Priestess" cards. Awakening a card increases its parameters and may unlock rarer techniques for them to use. It is a stronger type of power boost compared to the normal fusing method.
Differences between ports
- The Niconico appli version has Player Mode, an extra feature exclusive for this server. Players can strengthen multiple kitty generals in training sessions and can have their fortune read. The fortune's results can be hot-linked to the user's Twitter.
- Server data is shared between the Gamecity and NicoNico app versions; Yahoo! Japan and the mobile servers (between original and smartphones) are separate.
- Nyamon Awasenya!
- Guruguru Dungeon Nobunyaga
- Youkai Sangokushi
- Warriors All-Stars
- Nobunyaga no Yabou Nyapuri!
Samurai Cats has had collaborations with all of Koei-Tecmo's current MMORPGs. Each MMORPG features unique kitty themed items with the event and players can be rewarded a special Treasure card of one of the game's characters. These crossovers cards can be seen on Nobunaga, Masamune, and Hanbei's pages. Other crossover collaborations include 100man-nin no Nobunaga no Yabou, Sengoku Musou 3 Z Special, Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires, Toukiden Kiwami, Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires, Sengoku Musou Chronicle 3, and Guruguru Dungeon Nobunyaga.
Other serial code collaborations for cards have been published within the following sources:
|Appli Fan Vol. 2||Tama-nyan|
|Dengeki Game Appli Vol. 4||Treasure Ogo-nyan|
|Famitsu Mobage Vol. 3||Obu Toramasa|
|Famitsu Mobage Vol. 5||Ishida Nyakichi|
|Nobunyaga no Yabou Kouryaku Neko Bukan||Treasure versions of Izumo no Okunii, Sanyada Yukimura, and Oda Nobumiide|
|my GAMECITY||Nouhime-nyan (TGS 2011), Toyotomii Hideyori (TGS 2012), Rare versions of Nohime-nyan, Senhime-nyan, Joukou-nyan, Myagohime, and Matsu-nyan (Christmas campaign 2013)|
|Yuru Chara Matsuri in Hikone 2011||Ishida Mitsunyan|
|Samurai Cats merchandise and my GAMECITY summer mini-game grand prix||Treasure Iroha-nyan|
|Crane UFO dolls||Treasure Toyotomii Hideyoshi|
|Taiwan only campaign||Treasure Tokunyawa Ieyasu|
|Toshimaen amusement park live quiz event and the 2012 Sekigahara festival||Treasure Omiichi|
|Nobou no Shiro ticket stub and event||Treasure Nyarita Nagachika, a kitty version of film's protagonist; players could additionally enter another campaign to earn a Nyarita Kaihime themed to the film|
|Time Scoop Hunter ticket stub||Treasure Nohime-nyan|
|Neko Zamurai Lawson collaboration and in-game event (complete Musashi's requests within event's time limit)||Rare Myamoto Musashi and a kitty version of the film's protagonist, Madarame Nyantarou.|
|100man-nin no Winning Post Special tie-in campaign||Treasure Sanyada Yukimura and Treasure Miiura Anji|
|100man-nin no Nobunaga no Yabou PC browser tie-in campaign||Treasure Iroha-nyan and Treasure Omiichi no Kata; purchase the three year anniversary guidebook for this game to receive a Dokuganryu no Yabou season version of Masiamune.|
|100man-nin no Sangokushi Special tie-in campaign||Treasure Toyotomii Hideyoshi; if players did early sign-up for game before launch they get three Nyao Coupons|
|100man-nin no NINJA GAIDEN tie-in campaign||Treasure Oda Nobumiide and Nyattori Hanzo|
|100man-nin no Hokuto Musou tie-in campaign||Higuchi Nyaroku and Ishida Mitsunyari|
|AKB48 no Yabou tie-in campaign||Ashikaga Roshiaki and Treasure Izumo no Okunii|
|100man-nin no Winning Post tie-in campaign||Treasure card Ogo-nyan and Nyagao Kagetora|
|100man-nin no Musou OROCHI tie-in campaign||Takenyaka Hanbei, Honda Tadakyatsu and two raffle tickets.|
|Daikoukai Jidai V tie-in campaign||Date Masiamune and raffle tickets|
|Sengoku Taisenkai Namamatsuri!! Episode 19||Oda Nobunyaga and Nyaraki Hiroshige appeared as guests for a collaboration with Sega's Sengoku Taisen. Serial code (戦国大戦界に殿乱入) is obtainable only by watching the live broadcast and rewards Toyotomii Hideyoshi.|
|Browser Sangokushi tie-in||Water Mirror Girl in Nobunyaga no Yabou; Oda Nobunyaga in Browser Sangokushi|
|Sennen Yuusha ~Toki Watari no Tomoshibito~ collaboration||Ryoma Ito Nobunyaga in Nobunyaga no Yabou; Oda Nobunyaga gear in Sennen Yuusha|
|Yoshiaki Festa 2013||Treasure Mogamii Yoshiaki|
|Nobunyaga no Yabou Tenka Fumao||Uta Oda Nobunyaga|
|2 Minute Beginners' Guide series||Treasure Nyarita Kaihime|
|2 Minute Beginners' Guide series + Nobunyaga no Yabou Tenka Fumao||Uta Mikeda Shingen|
|Famima Meat Bowl Curry collaboration||Treasure "Princess" Omiichi no Kata|
|Medyfas collaboration (only those with Oda Nobunyaga sticker)||Treasure "Principle" Sanyada Yukimura|
Newcomers who start playing the Yahoo!Mobage version in mid-December 2013 can receive a Rare Garasiam.
Players of the my GAMECITY can obtain cross title bonuses with the following games:
- Nobunaga no Yabou Online - Treasure Sanyada Yukimura and Treasure Omiichi no Kata
- Daikoukai Jidai Online 2nd Age - Treasure Tenshō embassy card and Higuchi Nyaroku
- Shin Sangoku Musou Online - Treasure Iroha-nyan and Treasure Oda Nobumiide
- 100man-nin no Winning Post Special (my GAMECITY version) - Treasure Miiura Anji
- 100man-nin no Sangokushi Special (my GAMECITY version) - Treasure Toyotomii Hideyoshi
- 100man-nin no Hyper! World Soccer (my GAMECITY version) - Imyagawa Yoshimoto and one raffle ticket
Visitors of Koei-Tecmo Group's amusement parks, Tecmopia, may have a chance to visit Nobunyaga in person. Scheduled events will include a live quiz show and other games with the kitty characters. New characters will appear in these events. Official merchandise is often on sale during these visits.
The social game's collaboration with Nobunaga no Yabou Online included a "haircutting death match" publicity stunt between the producers of both products. It was a simultaneous collaboration with the wrestling group, SMASH!, and it celebrated the MMORPG's eighth year anniversary. Players of both games were rewarded special items and could decide whose hair would be cut on stage. The loser was the social game's producer.
TAJIRI was the star of the social game's second pro-wrestling tie up, and both Nyaraki Hiroshige (producer of the social game) and the wrestler hyped the match over their respective Twitter accounts. A YouTube viral video was made by the company to show that Nobunyaga did have the ability to fight. Niconico users could purchase a digital ticket to watch Oda Nobunyaga's pro-wrestler debut live on August 4th (JST) and fans could purchase seat tickets to cheer for Nobunyaga. When the match started, Nobunyaga was too lazy to fight so he had his dedicated retainer, Nyaraki, do it for him. Nyaraki lost to TAJIRI's school boy six seconds into the match and Nobunyaga didn't feel like avenging him. His defeat was ruled as a ring out in 20 seconds flat. Nobunyaga stayed in the lobby for handshakes and photo ops with fans.
To celebrate the completion of YAIBA:NINJA GAIDEN Z, Nobunyaga no Yabou hosted a tournament in its honor called "Yaiba Basho" on March 27, 2014 (release date of Yaiba in Japan). Players can compete against one another to earn a collaboration version of Fumya Kotarō. Another collaboration is being done with Shallie no Atelier. Players can compete in the celebration event to earn an exclusive Matsunyan cosplaying Shalliestera.
The producers of Nobunyaga no Yabou and Sennen Yuusha held an interview with 4Gamer to explain and promote the collaboration between both IPs. Both producers have shared friendly relations with one another and wanted to share their respects for one another. They're hoping that this collaboration can open the gateways for future collaboration projects between Koei-Tecmo and Square-Enix.
Koei-Tecmo has sponsored two special written exams for two historical figures. The first was a Nobunaga themed one called Nobunaga Sengoku Rekishi Keitei. The second is known as Sanada Sandai Sengoku Rekishi Keitei, which focuses on the historical exploits of figures found within the famous generations of the Sanada clan: Yukitaka, Masayuki, Nobuyuki, and Nobushige. People who sign up and arrive at the site can receive serial codes for three Koei titles. The first test offered the Nobunaga no Online collaboration version of Oda Nobunyaga. The Sanada exam offers the Treasure card version of Sanyada Yukimura.
Short animated flash cartoons of the Samurai Cats characters were shown on episodes of Sengoku Nabe TV, a variety program which is loosely based on the Warring States period. A short promotional video with Nobunyaga's voice can be seen on Koei-Tecmo's Youtube. Two years later, many of the actors from the same show took part in a theatrical production of the social game. The theatrical group, Tambourine Producers, includes actors and creators from Haruka theatrical adaptations. In-costume cast commentary was posted on Tambourine Producers's YouTube channel. Smartphone users can view twenty in-costume publicity photos and actor commentary for the production by accessing Visual Boy.
Tambourine Producers had another theatrical production as a sequel. These cast members also starred in a separate spin-off story. This particular play doubled as a Vocaloid collaboration with IA; IA did the main theme and has a limited edition crossover card. Players could earn or receive multiple cards for the original theatrical protagonist or versions of preexisting characters based on their staged interpretation.
A third stage production has been announced for February 3~7, 2016. The actors will take part in a series of teaser events December 16~23.
Oda Nobunyaga and company are mascots for the Cyber Crime Division of the Kanagawa Prefectural Police. They appear on posters raising awareness to cyber crime with tips to prevent unauthorized access of another person's online account. Developers of the social game hope their small collaboration will help foster the industry's healthy development as a whole. Merchandise for the social game will be available at Marui One's August "Sengoku Marui" Kitasenju no Jin store campaign. It is one of many titles represented in the October 21~November 3, 2014 Marui One Family Mizoguchi Koei-Tecmo Goods Fair.
This is one of the titles that will be on stage during the Tokyo Game Show 2015 net game presentation.
Nobunyaga's second idol group collaboration promotes MIRACLE MYSTERY TOUR, the first album made by Earphones. Susume! Otowa Shoujotai will play in both Nobunyaga games for a limited time; in this game, it replaces the standard village music.
An art contest is being held as part of a collaboration with TINAMI. Participants must submit an illustration combining a specified Samurai Cats character with a 3rd party mascot. The winner will receive a cash card worth ¥10,000 and have their artwork used in the game.
A third collaboration campaign featuring idol group Maneki-kecak is being held until the end of September 2018. Players can log in to collect cards of the idol members and a rare portrait of Nobunyaga. The event also includes a music video performed by the group.
A collaboration event with Peacemaker Kurogane is currently being held. Players can collect special cards featuring the main cast.
- The main visual for the Nyakoukai Jidai January 29, 2015 update spoofs the logo and visuals used in the Uncharted Waters series.
- Official Japanese site, Official Japanese Twitter, Utsunomiyah Kunitsuna Twitter, Official Japanese Facebook
- Yahoo!Japan Mobage portal, Niconico Appli portal, dgame portal, Google Play portal, iPhone Apps portal, mixi game pre-registration page
- Official Taiwanese site, Official Taiwanese Facebook
- Official English Facebook
- Official Chinese site
- Japanese wiki, Taiwanese wiki, Taiwanese card list
- TGS 2012 promotional video, TGS 2015 promotional video, GNN press event video recording from TW Gamer
- Inside Games interview
- LINE stamp store