Save The Ninja Clan is a side scrolling 2D platform game that could be described as being rather similar to the very popular Super Meat Boy and to a point, that comparison would be fairly accurate. The gameplay styles are very similar except that Ninja Clan is no where near as difficult although it still provides a hefty challenge, especially the further in to the game you get. The main aim is to rescue your kidnapped ninja buddies and to do this you have to complete each level filled world with a boss battle at the end of each one. It starts off fairly simple in the early levels and it is around six levels in that the game starts to become a bit more challenging. You have to time your movement and jumps to make sure you get through each level unharmed otherwise you will find yourself being shredded by rotating blades, impaled into rows of spikes or blown up by a bazooka wielding enemy. Timing is key in Save The Ninja Clan and a lot of patience is required along with quick thinking and even quicker reflexes too as each level will present you with some infuriating yet satisfying platforming puzzle mayhem.
Visually Ninja Clan is a very basic looking game, but the art style certainly suits it, especially with the type of game that is on offer here. Level design is well thought out with a good variation in the challenges that the levels present and there are also some very clever puzzle scenarios that are thrown in there too but there is one disappointing shortfall that lets it down very slightly. With this being a pretty basic looking game, I expected it to run smoothly with no issues consistently and it does for the most part, except for some fairly major screen tearing that can occur on certain levels. This was something that was quite noticeable and not something that could be overlooked, especially in a game of this style where there shouldn’t be much processing needed that would cause such an issue due to not a lot going on at any one time to cause it, but it was there none the less and somewhat disappointing that it was even happening. That minor criticism aside though, Ninja Clan has an appealing look to it that certainly goes hand in hand with the gameplay style perfectly and will appeal to fans of side scrolling platform games of old. The audio is pretty basic and a little underwhelming but it adds to the retro feel of the game with its humorous squelch and splat sounds, which will no doubt become a common thing with the amount of rotating blades and laser traps that you will inevitably get caught on regularly.
Where Save The Ninja Clan really succeeds and stands out though is in its wonderfully challenging, yet satisfying and addictive gameplay. There were more than a few occasions where I found myself saying, “just one more go” then before I knew it, I had lost track of time and two more hours had passed me by. There are three ninja abilities that can be utilised throughout the game that consist of sprint, double jump and a ninja style teleport move and each one has its uses, especially as you progress further into the levels. There are also some clever environmental items that you you come across in later levels which you have to use to get through them including tornados, moving platforms and portals which are very cleverly used in each of the levels that they appear in. You really have to rely on your timing and patience throughout this game and more so with the boss battles that mostly contain a chase scene that’ll really test your reflexes as you have to think quick but act even quicker to get to the end of the battle. For the small price of $2.99 you really can’t go wrong with the amount of game that you’re getting here and with each level grading and timing completion of each level, there’s certainly enough replay value to go back and better both your finishing time and your completion grade on each level.