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I'm a colonist who has declared war on machines and intend to conquer them some day. You'll often find me deep in the trenches fighting off bugs and ugly defects in code. When I'm not tappity-tapping at my WMD (also, known as keyboard), you'll find me chatting with friends, reading comics or playing a PC game.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Game Review: NinJump for the iPhone.

NinJump from Backflip Studios is one of those games that captures your attention from the get go due to its lovely visuals and simple gameplay. Our protagonist is a Ninja with an uncanny ability to defy gravity and run up walls. Of course, being a Ninja you also get to deal with all manner of enemies ranging from cute little twitter blue birds, squirrels and rival clan Ninjas. Your wall-running quest ends when an enemy manages to tag you. Gameplay goes in short bursts hardly lasting more than 5 minutes at a stretch before you run into an enemy and lose. The game is free to download from the AppStore but includes ads. If you find the ads particularly annoying, you can disable them via an In-App purchase.

Basic Mechanics:
There are two walls on either side of the screen held in portrait mode and you can bound from wall to wall by simply tapping the screen. When jumping from one wall to the other, the Ninja does a slicing action with his Katana (sword), rending anything that gets in his way. Timing is key. The jumps must be timed so that you slice through your enemies. If you knock into an enemy while running up the wall, its game over.

The game isn't as bland as a simple run and slash. There are god-awesome powers too! If you manage to kill three enemies of the same type one after the other, you gain a power-boost that is specific to the enemy that was killed. For instance, if you manage to kill three blue birds in a row, the character will sprout wings and take to the air, smiting anything that gets in his way. After a short while, the power will end and you will become your usual vulnerable self again. The power-ups are particularly visually appealing and when you see them for the first time, you are bound to go "Oh YEAH!" (or some such similar form of exclamation).

There are also tiny bubbles on the walls which you can grab to get a protective force-shield. The force-shield is good for one hit.

Score System:
The score you accumulate is a factor of the distance you've covered. This is naturally dependent on how long you manage to survive and how many power-boosts you gain. Destroying attackers is great fun but unfortunately, it doesn't contribute to your score.

The Good:
- Good replay value.
- Cute visuals.
- Addicting gameplay.

The Bad:
- Really simple (can be seen as a good thing too)
- Needs more bad guys.
- Needs a better scoring system.
- No unlockables? :(

Get NinJump on the AppStore here.