Based on a free online flash game developed by Megadev and published by Adult Swim Games, Super House of Dead Ninjas makes its debut on Steam. Full of retro action and platformer goodness, this version of the game has more levels, new customization options, and various extras that improve on the original flash game. Question is whether this game deserves your money or should you stick with the free version?
Fast-Paced Fun - The tactic that immediately springs to mind while playing is to take your time, stroll through each floor, idly wave your sword at the bad guys and half-heartedly hop over a couple of spikes. This would be a solid tactic if not for the timer that you have to be keeping your eye on the whole time. If you neglect to collect the necessary upgrades that increase the timer then death himself will pay you a visit leading to a rather untimely death for you. As a man that loathes timers with a passion, I was immediately quite irritated at its inclusion. However, this mechanic makes the game as you have to sprint through each level and you realise the game is designed to be played at a very high pace. It becomes very fun and makes a game that would be very boring and repetitive, exceedingly fun and addictive.
Fiddly Floors - Each time you go through Super House of the Dead Ninjas, the layout of where the enemies will be placed and floor structure will be different each time. This means that you are never stuck with the feeling that you are actually just playing the same few floors over and over again and makes dying a tolerable experience. Not only that, but it means that the game has a certain bit of extra life to it as no matter how many times you play you will never end up with the exact same structure to deal with.
Reliably Retro - The artwork and the music are both reminiscent of games of old and because of using a tried and tested means of presentation, the final product is very satisfying to look at and listen to. The way the game is laid out before you match the way you will be playing the game. Although the scenery is good to have and pleasing to the eye, there is nothing much to stick around for and your eyes will be almost certainly on the prize.
Comfortable Lodgings - After each run you will be taken to a lodging run by a sweet old lady who will give humorous comments on your equipment and power-ups, the ones that you have and the ones you just quite haven’t gotten around to unlocking yet. Although most of the power-ups, upgrades and costumes will eventually be unlocked after you play the game for a certain amount of time, they are a welcome addition and it is good to have the option to pick the gear that matches your play style.
Level Editor - The level editor on Super House of the Dead Ninjas allow you to create your own levels and download the towers of others to play through. This is a great touch which allows you and others to customise your own experience and tailor your perfect level, or test just how good you are against the sadistic levels that other players have made.
Oh…You Again - Every enemy in the game will pretty much go down with one hit and once you realize that most of them really are not so different from each other. Aside from one or two who may run faster or flop occasionally, you really do begin to stop appreciating the enemy and you will never really be forced into making a tough decision about how to approach a situation. You run in and cut. Over and over again
Short Lifespan - The double-edged sword that comes with a fast-paced game means that the title tends to be completed rather quickly. Although there are numerous attempts to elongate its lifespan and keep you playing as mentioned throughout, one must really question just how desperate you are to sink the hours into the game just to unlock that costume that requires 10,000 kills.
Super House of Dead Ninjas is a title that is very much a rush through in every aspect. The tower is designed to make you sprint, the artwork is something to be appreciated but not dwell on and the music gets your blood pumping in the way that you would like it to. In the end this frantic experience is a lot of fun in the short time you will spend with it. What the title needs is that little something extra to keep you playing especially towards the later levels. The level editor does inject a bit more playtime into your purchase but the enemies to just feel all the same and the bosses are not difficult to overcome and at most require two attempts in most cases.
After you have slayed the final boss, you do lean on your katana and wonder what to do now. But you lean with a smile on your face and a quick glace up to that almighty tower you just descended. If you love the original game, then spending the $6.99 for this version is a no-brainer. If you're not sure, go play the flash game real fast to see if it's your liking then splurge a bit on some ninja action.
*This review was based on the PC version of the game with a review code provided by the publisher.*