I love Backflip. So much so that I once penned a feature titled I love Backflip. But it’s been a good couple of years since I’ve savoured their delights.
One title that passed me by was the much-loved NinJump, and upon firing it up yesterday I was almost immediately presented with an ad for an even newer Backflip thingy called NinJump Rooftops. Which brings us here. Hello.
NinJump Rooftops is – yes – another endless runner, but it’s pleasantly accomplished compared to, say, the humble Paper Toss. Nice work, Backflip.
While the original Ninjump saw our protagonist defying gravity by running up between two towers, jumping from left to right and avoiding hazards as necessary, here we’re running in plain old left-to-right fashion.
Like before, boosts are awarded if you defeat three identical enemies consecutively (you automatically attack when you jump), whether it’s squirrels, bees, birds, or ninjas.
Activate a boost, and you’re essentially whisked forward a few hundred metres, sucking up coins as you go.
Speaking of coins, NinJump Rooftops invites you to buy stuff in the shop. You can invest in both the frequency of particular power-ups, and their duration. Those enhancements apply to the sushi (invincibility, basically), the obligatory coin magnet, and the triple jump.
Being a freemium game, NinJump Rooftops also predictably plays host to a secondary currency, one that’s more difficult to come by, but absolutely available to buy using real-life moolah.
Having said that, while it can take a while to save up coins and whatever the secondary thingy is called, there’s actually a pachinko-style bonus game with fairly generous rewards.
Personally, I managed to unlock the spanking new Acolyte costume (25,000 coins) after a few hours’ play, while I’d also invested heavily in the frequency and duration of power-ups.
But much like I can feel the words here drying up (I’ve got one eye firmly glued to the word count; are we there yet?), that’s where NinJump Rooftops seemed to fizzle out. Why was I playing? What more was there to do and see?
Ultimately, NinJump Rooftops doesn’t offer much – or indeed anything – that we haven’t seen before in dozens of other endless runners, but that’s not to say it’s not enjoyable.
And presumably Backflip Studios will give NinJump Rooftops the same post-release TLC it afforded the original NinJump, with additional locations (there’s only one here) and character skins.
Four hundred words? Yep, four hundred words. Phew.
- The boosts
- The pachinko bonus game
- Fairly easy going, as far as freemium goes
- Only one location
- Not very original
- Fairly shallow
Summary: As an endless runner in a rising sea of endless runners, NinJump Rooftops does little to stand out. But that’s not to say there’s no fun to be had. Indeed, against all logic, I actually really like it.
Developer: Backflip Studios
Price: free @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad Wi-Fi (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini Wi-Fi, iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini with Retina display, iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPod touch (4th generation), and iPod touch (5th generation). This app is optimized for iPhone 5.