A martial arts game that scales down the violence
Ninja-based games have traditionally been bloodthirsty affairs, but Mini Ninjas bucks this trend with a more child-friendly approach to the subject matter.
The story revolves around an evil Samurai warrior who is capturing innocent woodland animals and magically transforming them into an army of mindless drones in order to take over the world.
As newly graduated ninja Hiro, it’s your job to stop him. Along the way, you meet various fellow ninjas who join your party. Each has his or her own special abilities – such as heightened strength or the ability to use a bow and arrow – and you can switch between the different characters at will. Hiro also has magical powers that grow with him as the game progresses. New powers can be unlocked by uncovering special scrolls hidden in sacred shrines.
Mini Ninjas is a fairly straightforward third-person action game dressed up with an added layer of cuteness. There’s plenty of combat, for example, but there’s no blood or flying body parts. Quite the opposite in fact, since defeating an enemy results in them magically returning to their original fluffy animal form. As well as fighting, there’s a lot of exploring to do and plenty of items to find.
The controls were simple to get the hang of and the charming cartoon art style works well.
The nearest equivalent would probably be a Zelda game, though the comparison is slightly unfair: it isn’t anywhere near as deep or imaginative as any entry in Nintendo’s classic series.
But while it lasts, Mini Ninjas is a pleasant, if somewhat lightweight diversion for younger players.
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A lightweight but diverting game for younger players
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