Game: Mini Ninjas
Format: iOS (iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch)
Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: Square Enix
Mini Ninjas is a title you may already be familiar with from its many incarnation(s) on everything from the Nintendo DS to the Xbox 360, but for this iOS release the team have remoulded the familiar characters, locations and mechanics into a “runner” format and delivered a game which will appeal equally to fans and those new to the franchise alike.
The “runner” category of games for phones is getting pretty crowded these days, but every now and then a game comes out that is still work discussing, and Mini Ninjas is just such a title. Mini Ninjas is a “side” runner, and in this highly competitive field can easily count itself amongst the leaders. Taking what’s best about the runner genre and throwing in; great visuals, genuinely interesting game play additions and remaining faithful to the Mini Ninjas’ world this is pretty much the ultimate example of a quality side runner on iOS right now.
For once there is not only depth of game play options, but this time they are relevant, have interesting mechanics and feel worthwhile. Yes you can buy new outfits for your character, but you also level up via a constantly changing “challenges” based mechanic, can craft potions which require not only time but the correct combinations of necessary ingredients which must be “gathered” during your runs, have companions to unlock and spells too purchase… and that’s before we even start talking about pets!
So you can see there is plenty of depth, but is it’s core deliverable; “the running game” well realised? Definitely.
A good running game should be easy to pick up and play, feature an acceptable learning curve and interest and challenge the player throughout hours rather than minutes.
Mini Ninjas ticks all these boxes and more. Even passing the final hurdle failed by many mobile games these days; the “But can I enjoy it fully without micro-transactions?” question. And yes, you certainly can.
Rounding things out with a wealth of stats and achievements there really is very little I can criticise about this title.
Good Points: Great visuals, true to the original / series, sharp controls and great value adding gameplay additions.
Bad Points: Really very little here! On some levels the ground can be a little obscured by the design, still, feel this may be deliberate!
Advice: Firstly; only jump when you absolutely must, it’s being in mid air that usually gets you killed! Secondly; just keep hitting attack infinitely, it’s one less thing to have to worry about. Thirdly: Use that spell as soon as it’s charged, no point dieing with it available! Lastly: Free you “companions” whenever you see them, they’re not only great fun but, in effect, and extra life too!
Overall: 4 Ninja Companions out of 5
A really, REALLY good side runner. Possibly the best on iOS right now. Family safe, great re-playability and top notch design and visuals. Highly recommended to any and all iOS device owners!