Jun 6, 2014
Unless you’ve been under a rock in a wireless dead zone for the past few months, you’ve probably heard of Flappy Bird. The simple screen-tapping game took the world by storm and caused its creator so much stress that he decided to take down the game. Since then, a plethora of similar apps have invaded the Google Play Store in attempts to recreate the worldwide frenzy that was Flappy Bird, including Mini Dodge Ninja.
Mini Dodge Ninja takes some elements and makes them its own, but it is an obvious duplication of the Flappy Bird formula, right down to the bird main character. While gameplay is similar to Flappy Bird, Mini Dodge Ninja offers a significantly greater challenge in a less vibrant setting.
In the game, players take a control of a ninja bird–apparently ninja birds wear straw hats so you can tell they are ninjas. The bird is dropped down a tunnel in his dojo and players must repeatedly tap on the screen to keep him afloat.
As players venture down the tunnel, a series of pipes appears to block the little bird’s path. But these pipes offer problems even a famous mustached plumber couldn’t fix. Pipes open and close, giving the mini ninja a chance to pass. Players must tap on the screen to help the bird fly and time their taps (and moments when to not tap) perfectly to guide the bird through the maze of endless pipes.
While it may not seem like it, this poses a significant challenge. Pipes are placed closely together, so players have to find a balance between hovering over the next pipe and flying too high with a pipe above. In addition, pipes open and close at different times, meaning players will find it difficult to pass through more than one at a time.
Unfortunately, its difficulty is the only aspect of the game that captivates players’ attention, but it is an immediate turn off when starting out. Racking up higher scores takes practice, but players will find themselves uninstalling the game immediately before putting in an effort to master it. Rather than feeling they will be able to top their high score with the next attempt, players are left thinking they had some dumb luck on their side when performing so well.
Users had better want to compete on leaderboards because the game will consistently ask players to connect their Google Play Games account. Simply jumping in and playing is impossible without linking stats to a Google account. Players are also forced to link their Facebook account if they want to unlock new characters, which is the only real variety Mini Dodge Ninja offers.
If a game causes players to die often and die quickly, it should have a simple replay button that appears after deaths. That is not the case in Mini Dodge Ninja. Users are forced to go back to the main menu before starting up another attempt to tab their way to a high score.
From its gameplay to its imperfect menu system, Mini Dodge Ninja gives players brief moments of satisfaction that are drowned out by constant frustration. Its attempts at recreating the magic of Flappy Bird wear thin quickly and the challenges that it offers are too difficult for casual players.
Mini Dodge Ninja Review Rundown
Download: App available at the Google Play Store »