Version Reviewed: 1.3.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Let's get this out on the table to begin with: I know next to nothing about Ninjatown. Some might argue that this fact makes my review of a Ninjatown game suspect, but I beg to disagree. Ninjatown: Trees of Doom is so enjoyable it actually stirred my interest in the entire Ninjatown online mythos. Plus, it's a fun game all around, even if I don't know who or what any of the characters are.
The premise of the game is simple, and will be familiar to anyone who has already played the same game on the iPhone. You start off as Wee Ninja (I'm not making this stuff up, I promise!) on the ground between two very tall, if not infinite, trees. Touching one of the tree trunks starts your lil ninja man climbing, and early on you can either jump from tree to tree or shimmy up one tree. Things get difficult when you encounter barriers like purple syrup sludge or a wide variety of demons sent to block your progress (I'm sure all of the demons have some sort of known nomenclature in the Ninjatown canon, but like I said, I am a Ninja-novice). The basic idea is to climb as many feet as possible in one go. You only get one life per game, so you have to think on your feet as you encounter new and more irritating barriers. At first, I was frustrated by the game as it didn't seem possible to make much progress without some sort of tutorial explaining how to use the various tree elements provided in the game. But then something happened, and I started climbing like a madman. The spot-on controls, clever visuals and bizzaro character models make this a game that, while simple, encourages multiple plays.
There's not much to differentiate this version of the game from its iPhone brother, but I think Ninjatown might just work best on the larger screen real-estate of the iPad. On the iPad the game just feels better and easier to control, and the visuals are sharp and crisp.
So, take it from someone who doesn't know Ninjatown from Busytown: it's worth getting tangled up in these Trees of Doom.