hDSSingleCard.com - Ninjatown - Review
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DSSingleCard.com - Ninjatown - Review
Setup & Timing
Ninjatown was unquestionably designed with new players in mind. "Multiplayer" is on the main menu with "Single-Card Play" following on the next screen. The opening credits are reasonable, as is the download time (under a minute).
Menus & Navigation
Menu options are large enough to tap easily with buffer zones sufficient to help prevent you from tapping an unwanted option.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
Ninjatown straddles the line between being a turn-based strategy game and real time strategy game. Before the demons enter the stage, ninja huts are built where you want them at, and ninjas come along automatically -- specifically, the type of ninjas you choose for that location. In the sense that you have time in between waves of demons, it's like a turn-based strategy game. In the sense that you can rearrange ninjas, power-up ninjas, use Ol' Master Ninja powers, and effect the demons during the waves, it's like a real time strategy game. In both ways, the game is a simple, intuitive, and appropriate touch-based constol system, consisting of tapping, dragging, and blowing into the microphone that works exatly as was intended. Some of the icons are small and it's easy to forget to tap the on-screen "X" after positioning the ground ninjas, but the game does what it's programmed to do.
The gameplay in Ninjatown is phenomenally well derived. Most of the gameplay elements (including six of the eight basic ninjas and three enhancement buildings) are available for use. There are only three different boards available, but with the number of options provided, this is the perfect way for this game to present itself to guests as a game they should buy. The graphics are perfect for the game's mood and the sound lets you know know when anything is going on within earshot (translation = on (or near) what's visible on the lower screen. The one glaring omission is that the game provides no instruction to the guest on how to play and relies more on the host to tell the guest (also their opponent) how to play in an unbiased way. A "video" of a conversations between Ninja Consultant and Ol' Master Ninja on the game's basics (already in the main game) would make for a perfect introduction, even if it means downloading it separately and then downloading the gameplay. Also, for some reason, a single-player downloadable demo has been neglected.
I had a small problem with this game... I couldn't stop playing it! I played the demo several times, then I played the single-player game, then I played the demo several times more. This game is fun and wildly addictive. The gameplay is simple (once you learn it), and it would make a great way to introduce any player to strategy games (especially as a bridge to real-time strategy games). The game has a broad enough range to appeal to both core gamers and casual gamers, and I know both that own it and love it. Also, those ninjas are just SO darn cute!
Provide an introductory discussion between Ninja Consultant and Ol' Master Ninja informing guests on the game's basics (even if it's a separate download).
Offer a single-player downloadable demo.
Include a level editor (and allow the custom levels to be shared via Single-Card Download).
Category Score: 14.5 / 15
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 93 / 100 (a.k.a. 46.5/50)
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