Developer: Samuramu Games
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Ninjas are just like everyone else, sometimes they need therapy. Ninjas are not like everyone else in that apparently therapy for them involves killing other ninjas, samurai, and other warriors of the feudal era. That, or the therapist of Super Ninja Therapy needs to have their credentials reviewed due to their unorthodox therapy methods.

This is an old-school style action game, feeling something like a clunky 8-bit title of yore. Players get to jump, punch, and kick, fighting other ninjas in arenas. Killing ninjas makes them drop coins, and a certain number of coins must be collected to advance to the new one, with each coin going to the bank to buy upgrades to the weapons like shurikens and katanas. While there’s hearts that can be collected for extra damage, in general one hit is deadly. Be careful.

The game is difficult to control, but there’s something about it as part of the whole package that makes the awkwardness feel intentional, rather than functionally broken. Jumps feel like canned moves, and it can be difficult to maneuver around. The attacks have strange ranges, and there’s a perfect spacing beetween attacks and enemies that has to be achieved. The good news is that the enemies’ physical attacks have the same restrictions. If the spear doesn’t fit, the player is not hit!

If this doesn’t sound appetizing, well, there’s something of a curious appeal to the game. Maybe it’s the fact that it feels so authentically clunky, like it was really made back in the 8-bit era and brought back to life now. Plus, the seemingly-purposeful imperfections just give the game a feel of being actually being possible. Like, the game is so consistently imperfect that it feels like it can be mastered, like one more try is when it may finally cause the game to be perfected. As well, there’s the upgrade system, which helps to tip the scales, but doesn’t make it all that much easier to win.

I think this game is only for a gamers with patience to handle the difficulty level in part due to the controls. I generally don’t like games that are so difficult to control – I have never been a fan of the Resident Evil series because of it – but the game wears its style with pride. I can appreciate that. That, or I have lost it and this game provided the soothing therapy I needed.

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