Ninjas Rising is a fun, though recycled, text-based RPG throwback.
On the face of it, Ninjas Rising is a text RPG in which you are a ninja and fight other ninjas through means of flipping out and killing people. What’s actually going on with this game is a little devious, though (as befits a ninja game). You might remember that a few months ago, Digital Chocolate began publishing games called Vegas City and Hollywood City that were pretty much just new skins and gameplay tweaks applied to its older game, Millionaire City. Ninjas Rising similarly is a variant of the game engine Digital Chocolate also uses for Epic Fighters and MMA Pro Fighter.
Taken on its own merits, Ninjas Rising is quite entertaining. You can customize your ninja by picking his or her weapon type and secondary weapon, along with a costume and a special ninja name. Once you begin training, you can power-up your ninja by completing training exercises or fight other ninjas. The game offers quests to fulfill in order to give your time as a ninja a bit more structure. Otherwise, it’s quite similar to playing a more graphically rich Mafia Wars, though Ninjas Rising doesn’t use a game mechanic where having tons of friends makes you stronger.
Your ninja is defined primarily by three basic stats: Stealth (which factors into fights), Health (which is like hit points), and Chi (which is basically energy). You can spend money to learn techniques, which represent your ninja’s fighting style. Some techniques focus on doing lots of damage while others focus on evading. A balance of two is required to win fights, whose outcomes may not always go as expected. Even an opponent of lower level may be able to one-shot depending on which techniques that ninja happens to have learned.
Your weapon type primarily reflects which lines of techniques you can use, though you can opt to spend a cash-based currency called Gems or a time-based currency called Yen to buy additional weapons or other helpful sorts of equipment. There are also the usual sorts of items you can buy in text RPGs, like automatic energy refills. You don’t get many Gems without spending real money, but Yen is plentiful. You can gain Yen by completing missions, fighting rival ninjas, or training at the dojo. Sadly, the plentiful Yen seems to translate directly into sky-high prices for certain items.
Ninjas Rising runs well and has a big enough player base that finding enemies to battle isn’t difficult. The worst that could be said of the game at this point is that it’s a bit repetitive and menu-clicky. RPGs once made up the vast majority of Facebook games, but now social gaming has largely moved on to more graphically rich and interactive genres. Playing one now, even a really good one like Ninjas Rising, feels like a bit of a throwback. Still, if you’ve ever dreamed of attaining total sweetness or re-enacting your favorite Japanese comics, you might have some fun with Ninjas Rising.