Ninja time fun!
Southpeak Games' Ninjatown is a strategy game based off of the Shawnimals stuffed toy line. Right from the start you will recognize the familiar, 'cutesy' appearance of the famous children's toys. Whether this is a plus or not depends on the individual. If you are a fan of the toys, welcome to heaven.
Despite the super sweet, sugary exterior, Ninjatown is a well made and entertaining game that any hardened strategy fan will enjoy. Infused with fun gameplay and laugh-out-loud-funny dialogue, this 'kids game' is more than capable of wowing adults.
The first thing you will notice upon putting the game in your DS is the slick and convenient menu system. There you will find the challenging single player campaign that introduces you to hilarious protagonist Ol’ Master Ninja. The story commences when Ol’ Master Ninja is notified that a strange, sinister man named Mr. Demon has sent troops to Ninja Town to steal a recipe for specialized ninja cookies. The Mayor of Ninjatown seeks Ol’ Master Ninja's aid and asks him to lead the town's defense against Mr. Demon and his troops, also known as Wee Devils.
Following the introduction to the story you will be introduced to the first map and a few character types/troops. You will start with basic ninjas, such as a slow but hard-hitting ninja and a fast but weaker companion, with which you will be tasked to employ in defense of the town. As you progress to later stages you will gain new specialist types of ninjas focused on killing air units rather than ground soldiers or ninjas that slow down the enemy by freezing them for a short time. It is up to you, the player, to dictate which types of Ninja's are used and when they are employed. New ninja types are available for purchase as you play with tokens that are dropped after defeating enemies.
In the name of journalistic honesty, Ninjatown is essentially an improved, more enjoyable Desktop Tower Defense style game with a few added features to help the title feel more unique. Ninjatown does differentiate itself from other similar strategy games by infusing Ol' Master Ninja with certain special powers that enhance your ability to win battles and raise the fun.
Let us take a look at the game itself to help you better understand what it is that I have been trying to explain. At the top left corner of the bottom screen you'll find a stick that fills gradually during play. When the stick is 'full' you will be able to use one of Ol' Master Ninja's special powers mentioned previously. Said powers include unique effects and controls such as blowing on the mic, an action which blows enemies back in game. Other powers are also fun and original, but I am going to let you find them out for yourself by playing the game.
Ninjatown's graphics are simplistic and get the job done. The Shawnimals design is strong throughout and by the end of your time with the campaign the sugary sweetness of the presentation will have become tolerable, if not strangely appealing. The same goes for Ninjatown's music as well. You are not going to find any moving concertos, but the quirky music fits the captivating gameplay and visual style.
In conclusion, there is more to Ninja Town than just a Desktop Tower Defense game because of funny dialogue and genuine innovation, but it remains true to its roots. If you are looking for a decent strategy game for your Nintendo DS than Ninjatown is the perfect fit.
A bizarre story that will appeal to gamers of all ages. The menu system is cleanly presented, simple and easy to navigate. Controls work pretty well.
Not great, but not bad either. The game sticks faithfully to the Shawnimals design, which, if you are a fan of said brand, will please you. Everyone else will have to learn to look past the cutesy visuals and focus on the fun gameplay and dialogue.
Some quirky music. Nothing to funky or groovy, but good enough to accompany you while you are playing.
Although the title's gameplay is not completely original, the funny dialogue and addictive style make Ninjatown a great buy!