Ninjas, masked assassins with the ability to melt into the shadows and sneak up on their targets unseen. One could be forgiven for imagining a whole town of these deadly contract killers to be quite a rough place, with death waiting in every shadow and the rooftops filled with dark and dangerous silhouettes. That is not the case.
The ninjas of Ninjatown are more like the stealthy assassin division of your local plushie store. They are small and they are cute. You could probably even tell them this to their faces without risk of sudden death. If you could find them, that is. They are still Ninjas after all.
Ninjatown: Trees of Doom, from Venan Entertainment, is the latest entry to the growing Shawnimals franchise, which includes all manner of cute and fluffy collectibles as well as a previous, rather good, tower defence game on the NDS. However, there will be no defending of towers in this iPhone game.
Again, trees of doom is not exaclty accurate and could be said to be leaning towards the over dramatic. There are two trees and the player, as a novice ninja, is tasked with climbing as high as possible in order to impress the wrinkly, yet still cute, elder ninja.
The Doom of which they mention is more of a risk of falling out of the tree, something most of us have encountered in our youth. Mind you, the heights that can be reached probably do elevate the risk slightly and there are a collection of bizarre looking beasties wanting to make you fall. Fear not, little ninja, for no harm will come to you whilst the wrinkly ninja has his trusty hot air balloon with which to save you.
Anyway, climb up the trees, leaping from one to the other to avoid obstacles such as particularly slippery bark or the previously mentioned beasties, and use the mushrooms to spring through the air to even higher branches. Get as high as you can and then try again.
Some of you may have been players of the hugely popular DoodleJump and are now thinking that you recognise the formula. The major difference between this game and DoodleJump is the pacing. Ninjatown: Trees of Doom allows the player to carefully plan their move and proceeds at a much more leisurely pace than the high speed DoodleJump. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this makes the game easier though, as there are still plenty of seemingly impossible situations to work through. It just means that there will be less frustration.
As one would expect from anything related to the Shawnimals brand, the game is cute to the point of sickening with it’s simple, brightly coloured visuals. Certainly not to everyone’s taste, but I have a sweet tooth so that’s ok. The controls work well and involve basically tapping on either side of the screen for the most part. It is possible to play the game single handed, although I found that a little imprecise (big thumbs and all) and opted for holding with one hand and finger control with the other.
The game features a host of different power-ups to collect during your ascent and there are more than 20 awards to obtain for the completists. What game based on gaining the highest score possible would be complete without bragging rights? Ninjatown: ToD allows you to post your scores to both Twitter and FaceBook to impress your friends, should you wish to admit to playing such a cute game, that is.
Ninjatown: Trees of Doom is a wonderful little time waster game that can be quickly picked up and played. It is simple enough for the most casual of gamers, yet contains a depth that will keep the hardcore coming back for more. Ninjatown: tree of doom, like the masked assassins of old, will stealthily infiltrate both your iPhone and your mind.
Ninjatown: Trees of Doom is available from the App Store here, for just Â£1.19