App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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Mr Future Ninja is a neon-soaked stealth game where you control a team of ninjas on their quest to free their clan from enslavement. It's a completely rad premise that is backed up by a really slick visual style and some clever level design. The only real problem is that Mr Future Ninja ends well short of when you'd like it to.
The action of Mr Future Ninja is an interesting hybrid of puzzle, stealth, and platforming mechanics. At the start of the game, you control a single ninja using a virtual joystick in the corner of the screen and using a single button in the opposite corner to throw shurikens. The goal of any given level is to sneak past robot guards and avoid dangerous obstacles to reach a prescribed exit.
As you get further into the game, you add two other ninjas two your team, and each of them has their own unique abilities. Although all three of the ninjas travel together as a pack at the start of levels, certain puzzles will require that you break them up and perform solo duties to make sure everyone can make it to the exit.
As a stealth game, Mr Future Ninja is a little on the easy side, but that sort of works in the game's favor. Playing as a ninja and sliding effortlessly past enemies makes you feel really cool and empowered in a way that a lot of stealth games don't.
As for the sneaking mechanics themselves, Mr Future Ninja employs a lot of systems that other stealth games have used over the years. Enemies have vision cones so you can always see what they're looking at, your footsteps can create noise and attract nearby guards, and incapacitated robots will only stay down for a certain period of time and may wake up and go searching for you. If at any time you get caught, your foes are quick to use lethal force and end your adventure immediately. It's a really conventional set of rules, but they really work well here.
Disappearing in the night
By the time you get all three of your ninjas, Mr Future Ninja really hits its stride. Levels are pretty open-ended and allow you to use them as a stealth playground as you find your way to the next level. Before you know it though, the game abruptly ends. Mr Future Ninja sports only 19 levels, with each one only taking a few minutes to complete.
When I reached the end of the game, I was frankly kind of shocked. It came out of nowhere, and the ending was quite unceremonious. This wasn't one of those things where the game felt like it was trying not to overstay its welcome either. Mr Future Ninja just squanders a lot of potential and ends just as it starts getting interesting.
The bottom line
There's a lot of things to like about Mr Future Ninja, but there isn't a lot of it to like. It looks and feels great, but just when it shows its potential to be a much more challenging and satisfying game, it just ends. Because of this, it's actually pretty hard to recommend Mr Future Ninja, even though what little of it there is is pretty great.