Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
There are no frills or microtransactions in Kunin. It lives or dies by the sharpness of its steel and the strength of its twitch arcade gameplay. But from that trial it emerges a nervous yet nice test of ninja reflexes.
In Kunin, players try to keep their little ninja alive as long as possible by deflecting oncoming knives and throwing stars. Tapping each side of the screen causes him not only to jump but also face that direction. Turning the right way is crucial because threats come on all sides and strikes from behind are lethal.
Players can only jump four times, but they can continue to change directions during their descent. Their bamboo base also begins to sink into the abyss if players stay perched atop it too long, putting pressure on players to think but think quickly. It’s an intuitive system that requires planning while still feeling natural. Soon players will be racking up all kinds of combos and earning medals. Successful play also triggers overdrive mode, where ninjas can jump as many times as they want while slicing away at harmless rice balls.
However, once the action reaches it maximum craziness, weapons start clustering together and causing some slightly cheap deaths. Part of this is also due to the visuals. While the fluid, thick-outlined cartoon animation is super smooth and features pleasing, dark, saturated colors, it also creates a kind of fuzziness that obscures hitboxes. Prioritizing which are the most immediately dangerous weapons to deflect becomes difficult, especially while coming down. And not to say retro graphics would have been preferable, but the hard lines of pixelated art probably wouldn’t have had this problem.
These quibbles aside, Kunin is right to believe that its flowing and rewarding quick action gameplay will be enough to capture the fleeting moments of attention players have time to spend throughout their days. Reach for the night ninja skies.