If there’s one genre the mobile market is not lacking in, it’s endless runners. Part of the reason for this is that the genre lends itself well to the limited control options of smart phones and tablets. Another reason is that the mobile nature of phones and tablets allows players to engage in them for as long as they need to be distracted for, whether while on a bus or waiting in the doctor’s office. With so many of these games being available, typically for free, there are plenty of great games in the genre to choose from. Amazing Ninja is not one of them.
Amazing Ninja is extremely simple, which is both good and bad. Tap the left side of the screen to make your little ninja man jump; tap the right side of the screen to make it swing its sword. That’s it. Blue ninjas will run at you, which you need to jump over, while orange ninjas will try to attack you, so kill them before they kill you. Accidently running into or failing to jump over a friendly ninja will end the game, as will failing to kill the enemy ninjas. Simply jumping over them won’t work, since they will respond by slicing you in the back. There are also gaps between platforms , which require fairly precise timing to successfully clear. While the game is easy enough to pick up and play, the lack of any real depth ultimately holds it back from being addictive, and the mechanics themselves aren’t strong enough on their own to warrant their simplicity.
Amazing Ninja’s biggest crime, however, is that it isn’t especially challenging. With how simplistic the gameplay is, you would think the game would gradually increase in difficulty in order to keep the player’s attention, and encourage them to continue trying. Instead, the game continually moves at the same fast pace (which is to say, not very), without increasing the number of enemies or obstacles. It also doesn’t introduce any new mechanics, which would otherwise add some variety and new layers of difficulty. As a result, Amazing Ninja becomes incredibly dull, and most players will probably become bored with it about as quickly as it takes to download the game. In addition, the fact that you can tap the screen twice to double jump feels overly generous, allowing you to make jumps that would otherwise be much harder.
Visually, Amazing Ninja looks good enough. The simple art style is charming, and the bright colors are always welcome. The pure white backgrounds can be potentially straining to the eyes, another reason most people probably won’t want to play the game in long stretches. The rest of the presentation is severely lacking. There is no music to speak of, and sound effects are minimal. The high pitch whines the enemy ninjas make when they are cut down is obnoxious, meaning that you will most likely want to mute the game all together. There are leaderboards that rank you against friends, as well as players globally. Judging by the top scores, the number of defeated enemies tops out at a thousand, which makes me question some of these people’s life decisions.
Amazing Ninja, while completely functional, is little more than a time-waster. The gameplay is too simple to have any lasting value, and the lack of challenge makes it not even worth playing for any extended amount of time. If you are desperate to play absolutely anything on your phone for zero dollars, Amazing Ninja is probably better than staring at the wall for ten minutes, but even that is debatable.
Amazing Ninja is not only false advertising, but is also ranks near the bottom of the endless-runner barrel.