Urban Ninja should get out of the city and do some more cardio

Oct 11, 2010
Games

I suppose it’s not a stretch, given both apps were made by the same developer, Donut Games, but Urban Ninja owes more to Cat Physics than any ninja-related app game available. The premise in Cat Physics was to have a cat push a ball that started off a Rube Goldbergesque chain of events, where the […]

I suppose it’s not a stretch, given both apps were made by the same developer, Donut Games, but Urban Ninja owes more to Cat Physics than any ninja-related app game available.

The premise in Cat Physics was to have a cat push a ball that started off a Rube Goldbergesque chain of events, where the ball would wind up in the paws of another cat. But the most crucial part of the game was choosing which direction and angle to release the ball.

In Urban Ninja, the most crucial moves of your ninja are determined by deciding where to jump your ninja using an on-screen arrow. And just like Cat Physics, you’re given a score by how efficiently you get from Point A to B.

Unfortunately, Cat Physics worked a bit better as a game because of its hands-off nature. Because Urban Ninja lets you control each jump of your ninja, it becomes quite frustrating that the jumps it takes feel so wooden and stiff. The lack of precise controls means a lot of jumping back and forth, which exposes another of the game’s chief problems: stamina.

Your ninja is labeled as an urban ninja, so I suppose he doesn’t go out jogging as much as most country ninjas do, but wow does he get winded fast. Urban Ninja has an energy meter that keeps track of your health/stamina.

Running into an enemy zaps it, as does each jump you take. I understand this is supposed to make you take more direct routes to the collectible stars, but it’s just frustrating that a trained ninja taps out of a level after a handful of jumps.

READ  The Quest for Quality Food Allergy Apps - #FoodAllergyAwarenessWeek

Gripes aside, the levels are well-constructed, and because you have to collect a certain amount of the stars that float all over the level before you can complete them, there is a pretty decent challenge here.

Overall, Urban Ninja is probably worth your 99 cents, but that doesn’t make the controls any less frustrating. I understand how the developers attempted to translate an idea from one concept to the next, but at times this feels like forcing a square peg into a round hole.

Search for more

Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

    Home Apps Games