Hey Ninja, a free jump and slice game for Android
Hey Ninja is a free game for Android that really puts your gaming skills to the test. In the game you control a nicely designed Ninja who can do two things: jump over obstacles and slice enemies and chests. At first I thought that the game would be very easy to play, however you need some training before you can master the controls. And even when the controls are under your … control, you still need to go through the 12 levels that increase exponentially in difficulty. So the challenging part of the game is there and is very well defined. Back to the controls, this is how you play the game:
- Tilt to move. Your ninja moves with the game as the scenes scroll automatically however most of the times you have to move forward or combine moving forward with jumping. You achieve that by tilting your phone/tablet, when you tilt it to the right, the Ninja moves forward, to the left it moves backwards. If your character remains “behind”, meaning the scene moved but it was trapped behind a block, the game ends.
- Tap to jump. You tap on the left side of the screen and the character jumps. If you double-tap it jumps higher and that’s one of the moves that you’ll have to master (combined with tilting) to jump over longer obstacles.
- Tap to slice. If you’re in the air or on the ground you can tap on the right side of the screen to use your sword. You have 3 slices that can be used consecutively without waiting for anything, however when those run out you have to wait 2 seconds before it is recharged.
Sounds easy, right? Well the problem is that most of those 3 actions presented above have to be done in the same time and that is difficult to do. You have to practice a bit before achieving mastery at using the controls of the game and once you know how to do that you’ll have to go through the difficult levels.
The story behind the game is simple, you control your ninja as presented above and have to complete levels that increase in difficulty. Here’s a brief presentation of the gameplay:
- If you die, you die. You only have a single life so if you die during one of the levels that’s it, you have to restart that level from the beginning. The only thing running out is your slice charges, as you can slice 3 consecutive times before waiting 2 seconds for your “weapon” to charge again.
- Jump over obstacles to collect coins. As you progress through the jungle-like scenes you have to jump over block tiles or deadly traps (spikes or explosive chests) to reach the end of the level while collecting coins throughout the game. Some jumps are very difficult to do as you have to tilt the phone to move forward while performing a double jump (double-tap), which trust me when I say it’s tougher to do than you’d expect. But with some practice you’ll get to it. If you miss one of the jumps and you’re trapped behind a block of tiles you die when the game-scene passes.
- Slice the enemies. There are 2 types of moving enemies in the game: skeletons and deadly spiders. You kill those with your sword and you can also destroy chests that you find throughout the game – you’ll see chests that have a sort of artistic skull on them, either jump over those or destroy them with the sword as they can kill you if you touch them.
- Maximize your score. Everywhere in the game there are coins, even in the places you’ll think it’s impossible to reach. You have to collect the most of them to gain a better score in the end and also to try to achieve mastery of that level, which is done in the classic way of awarding you 1 through 3 stars. If you collect most of the coins, when you get to the end of the level you’ll get 3 stars, if you don’t collect enough coins, well, you’ll get 1 star as I got through most of the first levels :). The overall score is important as you can share it online and compare yours with that of other players.
- Great graphics and soundtrack. I consider graphics and sound to be part of the gameplay as those can influence your perception of the game and thus how you play it. Hey Ninja has great graphics with jungle-like elements that look good on a small smartphone screen (as it’s the one of XPeria mini pro I’ve installed this on) or on a large tablet (as it’s the case on the Asus Transformer Pad TF300 we’ve installed this on too). It has a soundtrack that urges you to move, though I felt the need to reduce the level of the music but could’t find the option to do so.
Hey Ninja is a fun adventure that you can play either by going through all the 12 levels or by choosing the endless game mode. It’s quite popular on Google Play’s store, however I’ll never understand why some users complain is difficult to play, there are games that are fun just because they’re not as easy as others. You can get a feel on how the game is played by watching this video:
Hey Ninja is free to play however it is monetized through StartApp, which means that when you first start it you’ll get a License Agreement that sounds like this: “We have put a lot of time and thought into this application and hope you will enjoy using it. In order to keep the App 100% free, it includes a Monetization and Advertising platform by StartApp. You will receive the following: A search icon on your home screen to perform searches, a bookmark is added to your browser, your browser homepage will change”. If you Accept the agreement those changes mentioned will happen, however you can opt-out of this by tapping on Decline and you’ll still be able to play the game.
To download the app visit its page on Google Play and send it to your device: Download Hey Ninja.