Version Reviewed: 1.01
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4G
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
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If given a choice, I’d much rather play a game with a fun concept that isn’t perfectly executed than a well-made game that does absolutely nothing new or interesting in it. Flick Ninjas puts you in control of an 8-Bit Ninja, who has been dropped into a smartphone game, meant to be flicked around. The control scheme allows you to flick in a direction to launch your ninja or walk along the ground, tap to drop him while in mid-air or to walk slowly in one direction, or hold down to call up a power meter that you then use to launch in a specific direction at a specific power. Your ninja can cling to walls and slide down them, and wall jumping is a huge part of the game’s 30 levels. Your goal is to reach the end, but you also have goals of collecting all the stars in a level, and then collecting them all while reaching the end in under a set time.
Wall jumping is one of my favorite gameplay mechanics and Flick Ninjas is at its most fun when levels involve this process, as the controls are also at their best during these times, as you can determine your angle, and plot what you’re doing. The early levels can be frustrating, but as the level design gets more complex, the game really starts to open up and get interesting, especially as wall jumping becomes even more prominent. the game becomes kind of fun, and you see where the game concept can really go. The game also supports online leaderboards through OpenFeint and Game Center, including integrated leaderboards before each level, to see what the best times are.
The problem with Flick Ninjas is the control scheme. If you need to run around on the ground, the flicking and tapping controls are both inaccurate – some kind of tilt or on-screen button mechanism would actually work better than the current scheme. The wall jumping controls are a pain to handle, as well. When you cling to walls, if your angle isn’t wide enough jumping off the wall, then you often stick right back to it, and start sliding down again. This makes wall climbing far more frustrating than it should be. This is definitely a game where you will be fighting the controls as much as any challenge in and of itself to succeed, which is unfortunate considering that the game is based around its control scheme. As well, the level graphics feel a bit amateurish – the ninja sprite is well done, and it’d be nice to see a similar level of attention paid to the game’s environments.
Flick Ninjas has a good heart, but there are a lot of flaws. Thankfully, these flaws are things that can be worked on – either in potential updates, or in reapproaching the concept at a later time. Something good could come out of this someday, but this is still a rough work in progress as it is.
Tagged with: $0.99, Flick Ninjas, Games, platformer, T-Jam Games