Developer: Charisma Entirtainment
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod Touch 2nd Generation

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Dark Ninja is a fast paced, side scrolling, hack and slash game. Players control a ninja that is constantly running forward and has a limited set of actions that can be performed. The game definitely requires that players have the ability to stay focused for a prolonged period of time since the levels get a little repetitive. Fortunately, there are multiple levels with different themes and enemies to keep things interesting.

Players control a ninja that is always running forward, but there are only a few controls in the game. To attack, swipe down, to jump swipe up, and tap shoot to fire a weapon. Players can also tap a spot on the screen, and the ninja will move there. The controls are easy to learn, but hard to master, and I found that many times I would accidently jump because I hadn’t been careful when swiping.

The timing is also hard to fully grasp. It takes time to figure out when is the proper time to swipe. It’s also important to remember that swiping on the right side of the screen doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily where the ninja will attack.

At some points, especially towards the end of the levels, the gameplay feels a little dry and repetitive. Fortunately, the game does have different enemies, backgrounds, and soundtracks to change things up. The soundtrack in particular is very well done and fits the Japanese nature of the game.

Players encounter multiple different types of enemy ninjas, sumo wrestlers and villagers. Some ninjas drop money, which can be picked up to spent in the store. There is a shop where players can spend their money and purchase additional money with real dollars. Some of the items available for purchase are upgraded swords, nun chucks, smoke bombs, shuriken, and many other classic ninja weapons.

Dark Ninja is a decent hack and slash game. The fast paced nature along with the different themed levels make it worth playing. It’s very easy to pick up and play and there isn’t much of a learning curve. The only drawbacks are that controls and timing take some getting used to and the levels get somewhat repetitive.

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