A Stickman Ninja Adventure
Games with stickman characters have been a staple of the internet since the dawn of Adobe Flash Player. Developer Bravestars Games draws on that nostalgia with its action game Stickman Revenge – Supreme Ninja Roguelike Game. Players take on the role of Nagato or Yagami, ninja stick figures who must fight through waves of enemies. After completing a set number of waves in a level, players take on that level’s boss or mini boss. Upon defeating the boss, the next set of levels unlocks.
The game has no real story to guide it. Characters occasionally pop in at the beginning of levels with a few lines of dialogue. The game is driven more by the endless waves of enemies than an actual storyline.
Decent Gameplay with Little Variety
Gameplay is straightforward: fight through waves of enemies in an empty 2D space until all enemies are defeated and the path to the next area is unlocked. Nagato is a close-combat fighter who uses a sword. Yagami utilizes kunai and shuriken for long-range attacks. This provides players with the choice between melee combat or ranged attacks. The diversity ends there, as the game becomes rather repetitive early on.
Enemies range from flying bat creatures to hulking monsters with shields. Although the oni-inspired design for them does add a level of character to the game, their AI and variety leaves something to be desired. Foes come in hordes consist of only two to four enemies in the early waves. As players progress, this number increases to the point where hordes can quickly overwhelm them in later levels.
This is especially true for enemies with shields. Players need to position themselves behind shield enemies to attack them. Every time your ninja attacks the shield enemies, though, the character moves forward past them, placing them in front of the shield enemies. Maneuvering yourself back behind the shield warrior is simple enough thanks to the easy jump and dash controls. However, the constant repetition of your character losing its position after one or two strikes on the shield enemies becomes more than tedious.
Rewards Hidden by Ads
Stickman Revenge – Supreme Ninja Roguelike Game’s greatest sin is its promise of rewards, only to hide them behind video ads. Nearly every reward or powerup provided in the game is locked behind ads that players need to watch. Players do receive free powerups at the start of each new level, but these powerups are nearly inconsequential and require watching an ad to unlock the full powerup. For example, the game offered me an extra 4% of health for free but an extra 20% of health if I watched an ad.
Rewards and powerups hidden by advertisements are nothing new to mobile games. A balance has to be struck between rewards given for gameplay accomplishments and rewards given for watching advertisements. Stickman Revenge does not have this balance, instead only ever offering crumbs to players when the useful powerups are hidden behind ads. This becomes even clearer as players progress through levels and lose health. The only way to regain health is to obtain hearts off enemies, which are rare finds. It’s also rare to get a powerup that gives you back significant health over time. The free versions of these powerups rarely give back any substantial amount of health, meaning players will find themselves overwhelmed and killed by enemies a lot earlier than they would expect.
An Average Adventure with Pleasant Graphics
Overall, the game provides players with a decent ninja fighting game. Action genre fans looking to engage in mindless combat without having to worry about a story should enjoy the gameplay. The visuals of Stickman Revenge also hold up. The empty 2D planes that players fight enemies in become tiresome. However, the background visuals of traditional Japanese structures add some needed life to the levels. In the end, the repetitive gameplay and the rewards hidden behind videos drag Stickman Revenge down too much to make it a standout title.
Is It Hardcore?
Stickman Revenge is an easy enough game to get into, with decent visuals but not enough variety to help it move past its repetitive gameplay.