August 22nd, 2012 | By Charles Ferrendelli
We’ve all at some point wanted to be a ninja, whether it was when you were a kid growing up playing Shinobi, or as an adult experiencing Ninja Gaiden. Being a ninja is badass, and now you can be one on iOS with NinjaBoy. 2 Ton Studios developer Stephen Danton incorporated tilt controls into his high-flying acrobatic NinjaBoy to bring you deeper into the ninja experience.
The kingdom has fallen and Lord Hito now rules with an iron fist. During the battle for power Master Minoru and his youngest pupil Tadeo manage to escape. You play as Tadeo, now hidden away in a forgotten temple. The player will train Tadeo in hopes of one day defeating the Dark Lord and restoring freedom to the Kingdom in this 2D puzzle solving platformer.
The controls of the game are very simple. Tilting your iPhone/iPad left or right controls the movement of Tadeo, while tapping on one side of the screen will make him jump, and the other side chop. Chopping is unlocked later in the game and used to defeat enemies and interact with objects once you master the dojo and are ready to move on to Hito’s Wall, the second, much longer half of the game.
Tadeo has to avoid various enemies, lasers, and pitfalls while trying to collect stars and get the key to unlock the door to progress further. I found the controls require a bit of mastering, but are overall very reasonable.
It only took me about a day to finish NinjaBoy’s story, but there’s plenty of other unlockables that will take much longer than that. For starters, there are 240 stars in all to collect. These stars are earned by collecting all 3 of them among the 80 levels the game has to offer. It seems like a lot, but I liked the game so much I went ahead and accomplished this feat and earned myself the awesome Yellow Jumpsuit. It not only lets you pretend you’re Bruce Lee, but grants you special abilities as well. Now what’s the point of unlocking such a high level costume if I’ve already collected all the stars?
For the highly skilled players out there, you are rated three different ways with each level you complete. Depending on how many stars you get, the time you finish, and your overall efficiency will determine what level of ninja you truly are. Getting Grandmaster in all three of these categories in one try nets you a different type of currency that unlocks a costume that will make you nearly indestructible. While these challenges adds some longevity to the game, having Game Center on top of all this would’ve been the icing on the cake. Sadly, NinjaBoy is currently without Game Center support, but this doesn’t take away from the built-in longevity.
NinjaBoy offers an interactive shop that has 6 different costumes and three different trinkets and potions that will help you complete the levels your stuck on. The costumes in particularly are pretty cool looking and I found myself grinding in the beginning of the game to unlock them, something I rarely do.
NinjaBoy is one of the best looking games I’ve played on the iPad. The bright colors in the game combined with the beautiful dogo theme creates some serious eye candy and will be hard to go back to other games not as pleasant on the eye. The cut scenes, menus, and levels all look crisp and clean, but most importantly look beautiful on a retina display.
The in-game audio is decent. You have music for each area, sound effects for getting items and going through menus, but enemies don’t make sounds and actions like jumping and landing are also audio-less. It’s not a huge problem, and for those who want to listen to their own music or podcast the game will let you.
Overall I found my time with NinjaBoy to be great. Simple yet robust games that offer longevity for a great price are hard to come by. The gameplay is a blast and the complaints are few and far between. In short, NinjaBoy is a gem waiting to be discovered by many people out there
If you’d like to pick up NinjaBoy for the low price of $0.99 you can do so on the App Store today for both the iPhone and iPad. To keep up with 2 Ton Studios follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook, and visit their official website.