Real Talk By: Sully
I don’t play platformers very often. Sometimes I get nostalgic and play some classics on the Super Nintendo, but I think my playing habits have been warped by all the big blockbuster triple-A games. So when I turned on N++ for the first time, I was having serious flashbacks to my days in high school when I was supposed to be using the computer for research instead of playing Flash games on Newgrounds or Ebaumsworld. For years now, I have spent most my time playing Battlefield, Halo, Uncharted, and so on. N++ reminded me that gaming doesn’t have to be about the story or graphics. N++ goes back to the roots of what makes gaming so much fun: the gameplay.
The game mechanics are fairly simple. You’re a Ninja and you must hit the button that the locks the door to reach the end of the level. However, being a ninja can be quite difficult as we all know. There will be enemies to avoid and puzzles to solve. You must use your ninja-like agility and master the physics of each level by running, jumping, and collecting gold to extend your time limit. It may sound simple enough but as you progress you will discover how difficult ninja life can be.
N++ is typically played with face-paced momentum, relying on timing and speed. Sure, you can try to take it slow and steady, but you must be a Ninja and flow like water to move up the leaderboards. Flowing through levels does get super addicting. In fact, this game does leave you wanting more and more. Good thing the guys at Metanet Software deliver over 100 hours of gameplay for you to indulge. For 15 bucks they’re giving you your money’s worth.
It’s actually a pretty chilled game though. I don’t know if its the music, the minimalist landscape, or sound effects. It may be all of it combined but it’s actually pretty relaxing. If you are like me, when you die countless times, you typically spiral into a rage and give up. Not with this game though. The sound of the Ninja you play as splattering over and over makes you feel like dying is all part of the game. And I’m okay with that.
With over 1200 levels to play, it will be difficult to get bored or ever beat the game. Plus, the option to create and submit your own level design is pretty rad in itself. I enjoyed the time I spent playing N++. It was even better when playing co-op with a friend one Friday night. We spent hours trying to tackle each of the 5 levels to get through the countless chapters. You must complete all 5 levels in the chapter to move on to the next chapter. If you get stuck on the fifth level and quit, you have to go back and complete all five over again. Which can be super annoying and definitely the biggest drawback. There was one level we were stuck on for a good hour, quit, then had to do them all over again. Having to rely on each other adds another layer of difficulty. Trust me, there are plenty of moments where you finally finish and you can allow yourself to exhale and breath again.
This platformer has a ton to offer. You’re allowed to customize the game’s look with different color palettes and select music from top electronic artists. The single player has thousands of levels to choose from. Go ahead and team up with 4 other players locally and try Competitive mode, where it’s a race to get to the door before others do. There’s nothing friendly about it either. Typically, someone will have to be the sacrificial lamb to get the door unlocked. It will cause a ruckus that’s for sure. Plus, watch out for those ghost ninjas. They are the absolute worst thing in this entire game. They will mirror your moves causing lots of pain and suffering as you try to get away from them.
N++ is a master level platformer. It’s been quite some time since I’ve picked up the sticks to play one of these, I immediately shot back in time and fell in love with the genre all over again. Metanet Software really focused their attention to detail and created something special for fans of the previous game N+. I would recommend this game to anyone that enjoys playing those old-school flash games from back in the day, and really to anyone that has roommates and friends that you enjoy playing games with as well. Plus, who doesn’t love playing as a Ninja?
N++ Ultimate Edition gets:
4 out of 5
+Beautiful Level Design
+ Fun Local Co-op
+ Great music and Sound design
-Can’t skip levels