Jul 042011

Played on: iPhone 3GS
Developer:Kode80 LLC

Finally after a long waiting period, one of the most challenging games has been releases for the iOS, the game is of course 1-Bit Ninja. Is it worth the wait or should this ninja stick to being non-existent?

The story of 1-Bit Ninja is forgettable, well there really isn’t one, either way you won’t really care. The Ninja finds himself in a “strange land” and is seeking his game toy. Thus the adventure begins. It is a nice change considering he’s not saving anyone just a Gametoy and to be honest we’d all do the same thing too.

We’ll find it!

1-Bit Ninja has been compared to Super Mario Bros. although it does take the same graphical approach as Super Mario Land for the Game Boy I can assure you that’s where the similarities stop (that and the way you kill enemies).  The style obviously is a call back to Super Mario Land but it’s the modern touches that make the game stand out. With the monochrome color scheme and the size an appearance of some of the sprites. This is a beautiful looking call back.

To say that this “rips off” Mario or is a clone of Mario is truly taking away the uniqueness of this title. The gameplay is the biggest change. You control your Ninja by just touching the screen, there are no buttons involved. If you touch the left side he will run and if you touch the right side he will jump (this can be altered in the options if so desired). This simple control option is thankfully easy to use. The character moves with pin-point precision and this is very important for a game where the sprites are the size of  skin cells, (OK not that small but I’m making a point here).

Nothing Like Mario–awkward

There are many things that make 1-Bit Ninja stand out of the crowd. First it offers an interesting perspective on a 2D landscape in which you can view around the surrounding area making it 3D. Think of it as Super Paper Mario for the Nintendo Wii. In switching to this perspective you can view secret entrances that will usually lead to the Big Bits. Big Bits are giant “coins” for you to collect, there are 5 hidden through out the level. If you collect a hundred regular bits you get an extra life. The goal (besides reach the ending) is to try collecting all 5 hidden throughout the level. They are not easy to get.

This Looks Completely Different From This Angle

Speaking of easy, this game is hard. It’s a very challenging title mostly due to the game play mechanics it chooses to sustain. Like mentioned, there are only two moves: running and jumping. Notice there is no way to move left, because the option to go backwards to grab a speeding jump or a Big Bit that you might have missed is not available. Your character only moves in one direction all the time (unless the game forces you to go the other direction via springs). This is a fantastic way of making a challenging game more challenging. 1-Bit Ninja definitely is a hard game. You die if anything touches you, and the enemies get tougher as the levels progress.  Some will end up shooting things and others will show up in groups, there are a lot of pitfalls and precision jumping that must be done, reaching the end always feels rewarding. If you’re thinking you’ll just go slowly and take your time, there’s a timer in the game as well usually two minutes so you have less than two minutes to complete a level.

That’s A Lot Of Baddies

There is a neat option to save footage of a level you’ve already completed, it’s an interesting idea but not executed right, not being able to share online is bizarre. Why would I only want to watch what is already done? The lack of OpenFeint is a disappointment because I really would like to see other people’s footage of them playing the game. Even seeing how fast someone completed a level and to try beating it on leader boards would be nice as well, as for the footage, it’s a nice option but for now pretty useless.There is a lot of replay value on 1-Bit Ninja, not only finishing the levels but also grabbing the big bits along with exploring all the areas. There is also an option called “old school play” which carries over your score and uses extra men. If you lose all your men you go back to regular play with infinite lives. Challenge yourself this way too. 1-Bit Ninja is begging for OpenFeint and achievements.

I really do recommend 1-Bit Ninja, it definitely is one of the hardest titles available due to its style and gameplay. The looks and feel are welcomed and the 3D perspective adds a new layer of innovation on an old looking game. There are enough levels to keep you busy and enough replay value for now, it is however very hard, not frustratingly hard but you’ll replay levels over and over again until you beat them. There is no reason for the absence of achievements and OpenFeint, but the actually gameplay is strong. Challenge yourself now with this new Retro game.



Great Style,Music and effects
Controls are perfect
Very Challenging


Lack of OpenFeint
Not able to Share Footage
Very Challenging

Download HERE



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