Shuriken Ninja is developed by GeekWorkGames, and will be released on Windows Phone 7 devices on April 1st, 2011 for $.99 USD or a Free ad-supported version is available. This game is an indie game available through the marketplace (here).
Shuriken Ninja places the player in the [Tabi] shoes of a Ninja during his training scenarios. These training exercises involve popping target balloons. In order to pop the balloons the ninja must bounce his shuriken against the metal barriers at odd angles, but must beware the wooden barriers as the shuriken will get stuck.
The levels gradually increase in difficulty, with each subsequent level needing the previous one beaten to unlock. As the difficulty introduces moving targets, smaller balloons, and even more difficult angles become commonplace. Within each level the score is determined by popping the maximum number of balloons with the minimum amount of shuriken.
The more balloons you pop with less shuriken, the higher your score. The goal is to obtain the Golden Shuriken on each level by obtaining the required score. There are three modes based on these concepts: Single Star, Round Challenge, and Level Creator/User Level.
- Single Star is a level-based mode progressing through more difficult obstacle courses in order to hit the targets. There are 126 levels to be traversed.
- Round Challenge introduced a time limit in which to hit 20+ balloons that decrease in size, move quicker, etc. as the levels progress.
- Level Creator is what the name suggests: A player can create their own obstacle course to upload for others to play. The interface is easy and allows plenty of customization to let their imagination grow. Of course, there is also a “User Level” option to download and play user-created levels as well, giving added longevity to the game play.
What we liked about it:
Simplicity in design - The basic idea of Shuriken Ninja never changes – pop the balloons using the richotet ability of the shurikens. The gradual increase in complexity over the 126 levels allows players the time and practice to become proficient enough to eventually solve some very tricky level designs.
Longevity – With 126 levels in the Single Star levels alone there is the potential for hours of playtime chasing the high score. When combined with the Round Challenge and Level Creator the potential increases dramatically.
Level Creator – The Level Creator allows the player to create challenges not only for themselves, but their creations can be shared with other users as well. The simplicity of the level designer allows users to create challenges limited only by the size of the level and their imagination. Not only can players make new challenges, but they can try others’ creations as well – making the potential time spent nearly endless.
What we didn’t like about it:
Difficulty spikes - While the majority of the levels require thought more than anything, there are occassional difficulty spikes. Some of these levels seem to require either luck or millimeter precision that to progress, which is diffcult considering the average screen size.
I need a bigger screen (free version only) – In addition to the aforementioned precision there is also the matter of the ads. These ads are located at the top of the screen right where a player might be aiming at a target. Though rare, this may result in accidental banner clicks exiting to the advertisement.
While the gameplay is simplistic the potential entertainment and challenge should keep most players busy for a long time. The addition of the Level Creator and user-generated challenges only add to the experience. For the price Shuriken Ninja outweighs the occasional frustration.
Final Score: Buy It