Nyaaaanvy – Review
Follow Genre: Party game, wrestling game, arcade game
Developer: Team DigitalMind
Publisher: Phoenixx Inc.
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Nyaaaanvy – Review

Site Score
Good: Varied gameplay in the campaign
Bad: Soundtrack gets annoying really fast
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

If you have a cursory grasp of the Japanese language, you’d probably guess that Nyaaaanvy is going to be a game involving cats based on the onomatopoeia in the title. And while this certainly is the case, Nyaaaanvy is about so much more than just cats. The game is massively popular in Japan, and now developer Team DigitalMind is hoping to conquer the hearts of Western audiences with cat butt sumo wrestling action. Is Nyaaaanvy the cat’s meow, or are you better off looking elsewhere to scratch your feline-based video game itch?


We’re going to go ahead and give you a fair warning here: we can’t talk about Nyaaaanvy’s story without giving away major spoilers, so if you want to go in blind, stop reading here. If you’re still curious, strap in because this is going to be a wild ride. Our story begins with Nora, a cat-like creature known as a Nyanvy, finding out that there is going to be a wrestling tournament. The winner will be crowned Cat of Cats and win a full year’s worth of food. After seeing Nora kick the crap out of a rival Nyanvy, a human girl named Aoi coerces Nora into participating in the tournament. Nora’s swift rise in the ranks draws the attention of the mob, however, and our heroic Nyanvy finds herself having to take on the Boss himself.

Up until this point, our story isn’t all that remarkable for a fighting game, but after defeating the Boss, Nyaaaanvy decides to pull the rug out from under your feet. The wrestling tournament turns out to be an elaborate ruse by the EBE, a race of rabbit-like aliens that hate the idea of individuality. They were responsible for the creation of the Nyanvies, aiming to create the perfect artificial life form. The Cat of Cats tournament was the final step in their plan: the winner will become the blueprint for future identical Naynvies and all other Nyanvies are to be eliminated. Of course, Nora’s not going to let her friends and former rivals get killed, so with the aid of Aoi, our little feline friend decides to take on the EBE and their army of…. penguins? It’s the start of a rollercoaster of a story that is all over the place, and we feel like we’ve spoilt too much already, so if you want to know what happens next, you’re just going to have to give Nyaaaanvy a try for yourself.


What Nyaaaanvy lacks in visual sophistication, it more than makes up for with customization when it comes to the Nyanvies. You can customize Nora’s appearance to your liking, and despite the inherent simplicity of the design, there is a surprisingly large amount of cosmetic items, colors, and patterns at your disposal. On top of that, any in-game currency you earn can be spent on even more visual enhancements. The 2D character portraits in dialogue scenes and story scenes will match those of your custom 3D model too. The story is told through static scenes, and the visual limitations are often played for laughs, with Nyaaaanvy breaking the fourth wall or making visual meta jokes, like presenting Aoi as a cardboard standee.


If there’s one area where Nyaaaanvy didn’t gel as well with us, it was the soundscape. That’s not because of poor sound quality, bad voice acting, or ill-fitting music, because in all honesty, Nyaaaanvy’s audio is good for what it wants to be. The problem is WHAT it wants to be. This is a game that is all over the place in terms of story, visuals, and gameplay and so, the music follows suit and can be a bit…much. The frantic fast-paced tunes may be suitable for the game’s chaotic atmosphere, but they also grow really annoying really fast. We ended up turning off the music altogether while playing the game, but this wasn’t ideal either, because playing in silence doesn’t really convey the same experience. Your mileage may vary here, but we haven’t found the right balance when it comes to Nyaaaanvy’s soundscape.


It’s not just with its story that Nyaaaanvy pulls a bait-and-switch, but with the gameplay as well. If you play just the tutorial and the first few stages of the campaign, you’ll find a physics-based sumo wrestling game, where the aim is to knock other Nyanvies out of the arena. Nyaaaanvy sticks to an established and familiar template for the first half hour or so, but as soon as the EBE get involved, you’ll find yourself engaging in stealth missions, puzzle-solving, and even platforming. Despite the genre switching that is very prevalent here, everything is built around Nyaaaanvy’s physics-based wrestling mechanics too, which ensures that things remain consistent and accessible. Once you master Nora’s butt attacks (no really) and figure out which items to pick up and which ones to avoid, you’re already halfway there when it comes to saving the other Nyanvies. Given how all-over-the-place that the game feels, it helps that controlling Nora is a breeze and that the game manages to tie everything to these mechanics, because it feels very unfocused otherwise.

Despite Nyaaaanvy’s campaign feeling all over the place, both in terms of narrative and in terms of gameplay, it’s a very short affair that can easily be completed in just a few hours. Fortunately, the madness isn’t over after the credits roll, as Nyaaaanvy delivers the practice and arcade modes you’d expect. Here you can hone your wrestling skills. There’s also the sub-game mode, which offers a series of mini-games where the game’s physics are pushed to their logical limit. These are a fun little distraction, but the real longevity and replay value of Nyaaaanvy can be found in its multiplayer mode, of course, where you can take on your friends in short bouts of arena mayhem. Nyaaaanvy isn’t the next Smash Brothers, but quite frankly, it doesn’t aspire to be, and for its €9.99 price, it’s definitely one of the best party fighting games out there.


We were pleasantly surprised by the unexpected gameplay twists and turns that Nyaaaanvy’s main campaign served up. These elevated what otherwise would have been a solid but unremarkable party game to the next level. Nyaaaanvy doesn’t boast the most impressive visuals, and the soundscape can get annoying, but the game more than makes up for this with a rollercoaster of a story, tons of cosmetic customization, and -most importantly- fun and accessible gameplay.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Nyaaaanvy - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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