10 SECOND NINJA X / Curve Digital / PC

Welp, it's not a hentai game. Though that would probably be a pretty funny concept. Someone should pick that up and run with it.

It's actually a pirate vs ninja thing, though amazingly done with enough restraint that it doesn't come off as obnoxious (they're kinda just there and that's the way things are). The pirate is an evil futuristic scallywag who apparently takes pleasure in trapping ninjas in Saw-like puzzle rooms, forcing them to solve their way out in 10 seconds.

This involves a lot of jumping, slashing and shuriken-chucking that feels a bit like the NES Ninja Gaiden games. You are given some small leeway to diddle around a little in each level and still clear the timer, but getting the highest rating on each level will involve sussing out the very particular series of steps needed to complete it in minimal time. So it's a rather OCD puzzle platformer, and one that will likely appeal to the speed-runners out there.

It's clearly going for the bite-sized addictive (and repetitive) play style of a Super Meat Boy, but to me this sort of game is just tiring and off-putting. If you've followed this site over the years, this shouldn't be a surprise as I'm pretty sure I have a long track record of decrying punishing fiddly-jumper platformers of the Mario Maker lineage.

Which is too bad as it actually manages to have an appealing colorful presentation (within the usual limitations of Flash graphics and a small budget), solid sound work and a good premise with a little humor thrown in. It's definitely a niche title for the hardcore repetitive platformer crowd, however. I feel like it's one of those games made more for YouTubers to scream at and speedrun than for the average person to actually enjoy.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video