Ninjin: Clash of Carrots
Developer: Pocket Trap
Publisher: Modus Games
Review Platform: PC, Steam
Release Date: Sept. 4, 2018
Also available: Switch/PS4/Xbox One
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots is a side-scrolling beat'em up action game.
The evil Shogun Moe has stolen carrots from the village and its up to Ninjin and Akai to take them back. With their ninja skills these heros fight against waves of Shogun Moe's armies throughout feudal Japan and retrieve the stolen carrots.
Ninjin - charasmatic rabbit
Akai - fiesty fox
Ninjin brings the player back to a traditional beat'em up game: side scrolling, 2D, and large numbers of enemies. The heroes and enemies are moving in constant speed with limited directional movement (left/right/etc).The game will start simple, basic dodge and slash, then every so often a new enemy will be introduced with a unique skill. After a new enemy is introduced the player needs to adapt, figure out how to defeat the new opponent, and learn its pattern. As the game progresses the enemies become more challenging. When the player is unsuccessful the game will start over at the beginning of the stage. There is no penalty but the player willl have to play through the stage again.
Attacks are Sword (slash) and Shuriken (projectile). Sword is most effective when the hero is behind the enemy. Dash is a skill that lets the character faze through enemies without any damage. Dash is really helpful when the hero is unable to run behind the enemy but it does require stamina. Pressing Sword + Dash enables the hero to Dash-Attack at a group of enemies. Dash-Attack is powerful and effective but also uses stamina. The player will need to be mindful of the stamina bar because its easy to Dash/Attack in between enemies then all of a sudden run out of stamina at a crucial moment.
Weapons and accessories are acquired/upgraded by either picking up loot or purchasing from the Corgi Shop. Later in the game the player will encounter the Shady Shop selling special weapons. Currency is by the carrot, defeated enemies release carrots, the player collects the carrots, and the carrots are used to buy better equipment.
Anime inspired * Colorful * Bright * Wacky * Humorous
The graphics are bright and pixelated giving off the retro game vibe. Fortunately gameplay is up to the modern times where movement is smooth and fluid. Background design is a mixture of geometric designs: for example the trees' foliage is drawn in circular shapes and colored from green to orange, purple, and different shades of pink.
Characters, except for the heroes, have a humorous quirky style. There are characters shaped disproportionately: a slim shaped head with a large round body. The Shogun's little minions wear helmets that look like buckets. This game reminds me of Samurai Jack and Adventure Time.
Up beat * Humorous * Feudal Japan
The music sounds like it could be from an old school retro game but the use of wind instruments make it modern. There is also a melody that seems to be from a koto (string instrument) which matches perfectly with the game's setting in feudal Japan.
Sound effects are in sync with attacks and movement. For example, Dash has a "woosh" sound and damage received from the enemy sounds like glass breaking (like a light bulb popping).
This game can be addictive. The game starts off simple and easy but when new enemies are introduced the player has to find other strategies to defeat the enemy. It gets frustrating but the player KNOWS there is a way to victory and thats how it can become an obsession.
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