1-bit Ninja to bring Super Mario Land inspired fun to the iPhone

Sometimes, it’s the simple things in life that are also the best things. Case in point: 1-bit Ninja, a new platformer for the iPhone that is making a serious effort to both keep it simple and kick it old-school.

The game is the brainchild of Ben Hopkins, a talented young man who also created the iPhone game EatWillGrow. For 1-bit Ninja, however, Hopkins made a point of doing lots of “scientific research” with classic action platformers (according to him, this includes playing lots of Super Mario Bros. as well as a few other games).

Looking at the gameplay trailer, it’s obvious this is a title that was heavily inspired by Super Mario Land for the first Game Boy. Players control a simple ninja who runs through blocky levels, stomps Goomba-like enemies, and finishes levels by jumping onto flagpoles. But when the title’s camera comes into play, this becomes a whole ‘nother ball game.

At first glance, this is a simple 2D platformer with “1 bit” graphics (which look far simpler than the 8-bit graphics of the Nintendo handheld). However, dragging on the screen will rotate the camera and show off some decidedly 3D graphics.

The 3D perspective shift offers a couple of neat play advantages: players can see farther into the distance, and there are hidden paths that will only become obvious when the camera is rotated.

1-bit Ninja is expected to launch for the iPhone sometime at the end of this month. That said, Hopkins has less than a week to pull this off, so we’ll totally understand if the game doesn’t hit the App Store until sometime early in June.