Like an old school side-scroller
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 13 Jul 2017, tested on HTC One M8
Epic retro art design, fun controls, beautiful levels
Upgrades are super grindy, progression is gated
Alright, so NinjAwesome for Android has a pretty sweet name - there’s really no debate there - but does the gameplay live up to its ridiculously cool name? Well, as someone who enjoys old school platformers like the original Ninja Gaiden games, I think it’s a pretty solid arcade version that throws me back to the stress free summers of my youth.
If you’ve never played the old Ninja Gaiden games, you play as a ninja who runs across a 2D side-scrolling backdrop who takes out other ninjas. Here you’re not actually taking down other ninjas. In fact, there are several different mission types you could be on. One type of mission might have you destroying bridges while the other make simply be asking you to reach the end of the level. The various objectives really help make the game feel a bit more alive than it would otherwise.
The controls hold up really well despite being on a phone. All of the buttons are laid out in really intuitive positions and there are a surprising amount of mechanics for what is really just a side-scrolling runner. The good news is that you’re not really worry about moving your character since it runs automatically.
The bad part of the game is the progression. You can upgrade your character, and while it seems like you’ll get things rolling fairly quickly, the jump in the cost to upgrade becomes pretty substantial. To make matters worse, you will sometimes have to wait to play new levels because they lock after you beat them.
For an arcade game, NinjAwesome is a really cool side-scroller. I wish it didn’t gate your progression, but the gameplay that’s there is just plain fun.