Developer: AxoStudios
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

I Am Ninja is a very funny game: it will make you laugh out loud. It’s a game in the South Park mold, both in look and feel, and it contains a smattering of hilarious ninja quotes and wisdom. On top of the humor is a fun game, although it is slightly lacking in longevity.

I Am Ninja’s main game is called Confrontation. You control a ninja at the bottom of the screen, trying to fight off hordes of attackers. To aim, you tilt the iPhone left or right. Tap anywhere to fire a blow-dart, or tap the bottom left icon to change the weapon. Your enemies range from pirates and zombies, to ‘evilized’ ninjas.

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After each wave of attacks you are awarded some cash, with which you can upgrade your weaponry – which you’ll definitely need to do. At the store you can also purchase extra hearts, which are the equivalent of lives.

Before returning to the fray, you also have the chance to earn some bonus cash in the form of mini-games. The mini-games can be either: fire arrows at a target; a Simon says style punchbag whack-fest; or, balancing on a stick. The better you do the more money you accrue.

The mini-games fit in nicely with the main game’s dynamic, and are a welcome diversion in what could have been a one-dimensional and stale main game.

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Confrontation mode is fun – once you get the hang of the tilt control system. To begin with, I became frustrated with the controls and wished that the developers, Axosoft, had used the touch-where-you-want-to-aim method (as employed in iPhyzzle). But, with some perseverance, I was filled with ninja wisdom – after all, an easy control system would not have been the ninja way! Tilting the iPhone was a much greater test of my mettle. When I started to master the game, I felt a greater sense of achievement.

Aside from the game, there is also a link to the Ask A Ninja community. To Ask A Ninja aficionados, this feature on its own may make the app worthwhile.

All the mini-games can be played individually, but on their own they seem lacking. This is a game where the whole really is more than the sum of its parts.

I Am Ninja is fun while it lasts, but it’s not a game I’ll go back to repeatedly. The gameplay is too simplistic, and soon becomes repetitive. The mini-games, also, won’t last long when played out of context – they’re just too short-lived. In fact, I had more fun listening to the comedy audio.

I Am Ninja is $1.99 and, for fans of the Ask A Ninja website, will be money well spent, especially when you factor in the link to the community. Given the game’s lack of longevity, I’d like to have seen the game priced slightly lower.

Despite this, I Am Ninja is good, solid, but short lived fun.

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