It’s surprising to notice the amount of ninja themed games you will find in the App Store. Some of the more popular ones a lot of us may have played include Fruit Ninja, Ninjatown, or 8bit Ninja. What is a glaring similarity between these titles? They’re all so “cutesy”! Last time I checked, ninjas are meant to kill, not cuddle. Enter Go Ninja! by Hiptic Games to bring a ninja game back to the hardcore fans!
The first aspect of Go Ninja! that has to be mentioned is the art style. This is a very crisp looking game with some real smooth running animation. This comes at no surprise coming from esteemed Street Fighter artist and art director for this game, Long Vo. Moving, jumping and slashing looks real smooth and fluid.
Gameplay is very straightforward and has that “just one more” factor to it. You play as a ninja running to the right and slashing all who stand in his way. The enemies are stationary and prime for the picking unless they are flashing red. These enemies must be avoided otherwise it’s game over. One slight exception to this are the spearmen who can be hopped over and slashed from behind. You can also jump into and out of buildings either through the walls or roofs which makes for some slick deaths in the shadows!
Luckily our vengeful little guy has the assistance of his ninja powers! A power meter will go up automatically for as long as you stay alive. There are 3 levels in this power meter with a different effect for each one. Level 1 grants you a screen clearing bomb, level 2 turns you into an indestructible fireball, and level 3 encases you in a bubble that allows a free hit (pictured above). Each of these powers are handy and well balanced for the most part and can even be upgraded. A word of warning, the level 2 power turns off immediately after the timer is up and leaves you with NO invincibility time after. This lead to a number of deaths for me!
The actual story is secondary to everything which it very well should be considering this type of game. Basically you have these samurai get taken over by a dark force called the “Oni” and turn them into a demonic army which you must now vanquish. Your master, the cleverly named Lord Takei, tells the ninja all of this before succumbing to a fatal wound.
This is an overall solid game that hooks you in after the first slice. There’s a LOAD of achievements to unlock here too so prepare to play for a long while if you’re a completionist. That’s also not mentioning the upgrades you can unlock through NP (ninja points) you earn for playing which includes improvements for your ninja and the individual powers. You can even use them to download some sweet looking wallpapers courtesy of UDON. You get a lot from this download and the asking price ain’t too “stabby” either (FREE). What are you waiting for? GO NINJA!
Go Ninja! gets 5 Death Rays out of 5.