Although being a low budget indie game, Save the Ninja Clan has hours of fun attached to it. Set in a maze of sprawling time trialed levels, the 2D platformer pushes you to beat your best times and push yourself to the next extreme all the while making sure to amuse the audience.
Throughout the narrative of this indie game you play as a lone ninja who must save your ninja friends from the evil white ninja. And in essence, that makes up the entirety of the story. Within the game, there are three worlds, each with ten level of increasing difficulty. In each world there’s a boss to defeat. Getting through some of these levels can prove to be difficult, but the basic controls are simple as with any platformer. Jump across obstacles, avoid enemies attack and collect power-ups in this nostalgic title. The power-ups are related to the ninja that you play as; The Green Ninja can double jump, the Purple Ninja is a sprinter and the Grey Ninja can flash step.
Each of the three world focus on one of the different power-ups, but they can also change during a certain level, meaning you can go from having the double jump ninja to the sprinter to help complete the various obstacles. Each level is graded up to A+, which as long as you learn the levels, none of them are too hard to attain. Luckily these aren’t needed for progression; it’s just an extra challenge for those willing to aim for it.
As the player progresses through each level, the obstacles and levels become more complex and harder to master. Springs and saws turn to rockets, portals and lasers. It creates a needed difficulty curve in the game (we wouldn’t want it to be too easy). Also in each level there is a collectible, once you gain enough collectibles they can be used as an in game currency in order to buy knife upgrades. Although these aren’t hard to find, some of them are actually quite hard to get and then cross the finish line. As well as the collectibles, there are fun and interesting in game glitches that can be used to quickly pass the level or just to play the level in a different way. These ‘glitches’ are found by locating a flashing tile within the level, after passing these tiles ‘The Game Master’ will turn up in the form of a text box in the top right corner, ordering you to stop and trying to kill you by throwing more traps and obstacles in your way. These add a lot of personality to the game; make it much more interesting and adding an extra level of depth to the game.
Unfortunately the level of graphics and effort that has gone into the game seems very little, but you can’t expect a lot more from a game that is very low budget and therefore sold at a low price. The music sounds as though they’ve found it randomly on YouTube and just placed it over the top of their game. The tutorial wasn’t very helpful and the controls would have been easier to learn without the pop ups of the tutorial hints getting in the way of playing the game. The game doesn’t help itself in terms of letting the player know about everything for example the game seemingly tries to hide the fact that knife upgrades are available.
Although Save the Ninja Clan is very simplistic, downright ugly and lacking any form of proper narrative these problems don’t actually detract from the game play. The graphics don’t need to be good for this form of 2D platformer, due to the in game glitches and introduction of bosses and the game is definitely still enjoyable and playable.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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