Mini Ninjas iOS review

Mini Ninjas iOS reviewWell, it’s not every week you get two spanking new endless runner reviews. Er, just every second week. Tuesday I took a look at Sega’s mostly excellent Sonic Dash, and today it’s time for Mini Ninjas from Square Enix.

I admittedly sighed when I learned I’d be tackling yet another runner (must be well into double figures now), but Mini Ninjas is – somehow – hugely endearing.

While Sonic Dash throws the camera behind its protagonist, Mini Ninjas is a side-scrolling affair. Think Jetpack Joyride, Ski Safari, Time Surfer

All the familiar endless runner elements are here, so you’ve got the leveling system, the missions (collect X coins in one run, kill Y enemies in total, buy and use item Z…), the power-ups, the magnet (where would we be without the magnet?), the alternative attire… And so on.

However, while I was all set to give Mini Ninjas 1/5 and scream: “WHAT’S THE POINT?!” – I came away thinking: ‘What a lovely little game.’

Mini Ninjas iOS review

That’s possibly because Sonic Dash left a seriously sour taste in my mouth. I might sound incredibly petulant here, but I don’t expect to have to pay extra money to play as Tails or Knuckles. Screw you, Sega. I’m still in a bad mood. But still playing Sonic Dash.

Anyway! We’re here to talk about Mini Ninjas, and now I’m about to list the many things I enjoyed about it.

Firstly, there’s little to no sales pitch when it comes to the in-game currency. Yes, you can pay real money to speed things along, but it’s really not necessary.

Mini Ninjas also boasts four unique environments. Even the top-tier endless runners often seem happy to have, like, one or two zones. Here we have grass, snow, nighttime and a kinda stormy dusk, and there are tons of little things going on in the backgrounds. A lot of thought has gone into the design side of things.

The game also has four characters with different attributes – not just different skins. Suzume attracts junk, Kunoichi can jump like a mother crusher, and big Futo can smash rocks.

Oh, and not forgetting Mini Ninjas’ wall run feature, which is handy for avoiding sets of spikes. Nice.

Am I done yet? No I’m not. I also love how the samurai laugh at you when you fail, the fact that fallen enemies inexplicably turn into little animals that follow you, and the ability to create power-ups with ingredients scattered around the landscape.

Really my only gripe is that Mini Ninjas is yet another endless runner, but it’s definitely up there with the best of ‘em.

Pros

  • Four areas
  • Four characters
  • The potion making

Cons

  • Yeah, it’s another endless runner

Summary: Mini Ninjas enters the crowded endless runner market and instantly stands out as one of the best we’ve seen to date.

Price: 69p @ App Store

Developer: Square Enix

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 5.1 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Mini Ninjas iOS review

Read more about: iOS

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 1 comment

ryangiggs  Mar. 22, 2013 at 10:30

Gameplay (yawn), graphics = lovely!

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