Sep 11, 2015
Speedy Ninja packs a lot.
On the surface, it’s an endless runner. The main job is to get our hero — a sassy, excitable ninja with just a hint of stickman sensibilities — to go as far as possible. Running occurs in an intuitive left-to-right fashion, and once a run commences, the ninja moves forward continuously… until an obstacle of some sort says otherwise.
The obstacles will be somewhat familiar to ninja aficionados, and have a touch of the fantastic: bamboo stakes, spinning blades, homing spears and more. To navigate these, there is a handy jump button that allows one to vault and double-vault such run enders.
One interesting wrinkle is the ability to make the runner flip orientation, which basically allows our protagonist warrior to run upside down. This is great when it comes to avoiding topside dangers, but it’s far from a permanent solution, because the bottom side isn’t immune to killer obstacles. Still, switching gravity is a fun aspect that is indispensable. There are also power-ups and boosts which can be collected to increase one;s chances of going further.
Also lining the runway (top and bottom) are coins. They provide plenty of opportunity cost situations.
There are other pieces that give it a bit of an RPG feel: leveling up, crafting improved weapons, challenges/quests, training and even multiplayer interactivity. Real cash can be used to expedite progress, but isn’t mandatory. Different characters can be unlocked, and there is an upward progression on most weapons.
It is easy to like the game, as it does its core task well. Still, the crafting element does get a bit busy in parts, and the upgrade aspect isn’t as clear-cut as it could be. Overall, the sundry pieces do add a level of complexity that make it a cut above the norm and a bit convoluted at the same time.
To be fair, if running is one’s main love, it can be had in spades in this one, and in the end, that’s why it’s a compelling offering. It’s a simple game, but can be a bit more in the right hands.
Not much more one can ask for, really.