Ninja, Ninja… Slash! Go Ninja, go Ninja, go!
Endless runners have a tendency to be rather same-y, even despite aesthetics. Sure, a few twists may be integrated, but they tend to run into the same general problems. And while Ninja Slash may not successfully evade all of them, at least it makes an honest effort to keep things fresh.
A common occurrence in most games of the genre is to have the player running from something or someone, but in Ninja Slash, it’s just the opposite, as you take the fight to the enemy– which just happens to be an army of zombies, because why not? For the most part, no special action is needed, as your ninja of choice (provided you unlock the others) attacks each enemy automatically as they come.
Certain enemies need to be handled a certain way, however, with a leap to take out their unarmored top half or a slide to cut them down from their vulnerable lower half. Others must simply be dodged as they make their unstoppable charge towards you. It works pretty well, except that all of the enemies share the same color scheme, which makes distinguishing them rather difficult at a glance– a slight problem, as you often have time for little more than a glance before action must be taken. As a result, you can expect to occasionally crash and burn during more hectic portions due to not recognizing what you’re up against.
Perhaps the strongest point of Ninja Slash, when pit against other endless runners especially, is the variety in the stages. Progression is mission based (cut down x amount of y enemy, etc.), but each time you restart, you’ll be randomly placed in one of a handful of different environments. What’s more is that these types of stages aren’t just for show, but each has its own unique obstacles and hazards, such as running and jumping along rooftops, slashing your way through a forest, or progressing through the holes torn in the paper walls of a dojo by rampaging giants.
The touchscreen controls work like a charm for the most part, too, though in a few rare instances, we did attempt to perform one action and saw another happen as a result, but this might simply be chalked up to simple clumsiness on our part.
Ninja Slash does a few things different; not enough to necessarily redefine the genre, but a little goes a long way. And those few things may very well help add a bit more longevity to this title than others of its ilk. If you’re a fan of endless runners, then this one is definitely worth a look.