Friday, October 20, 2023

Mobile Friday - Ninja Must Die - One of The Best Mobile Games I’ve Played!

For Mobile Friday this week i tried out Ninja Must Die on #iPhone14Pro. this game is from Pandada Games and is out on #android, too.

I've had this on my phone for a little while but i noticed it got updated a couple of days ago and it reminded me to play it. the screenshots in the app store did make the game look cool, but i didn't have high expectations going in. 

This game is one of the best mobile games i've ever played. there is soo much to praise with this game. let's start by saying that this is one of the most accessible games i've played. and they haven't done it in a patronising way either. it's very clever how they incorporated the tutorial into the level design. they show us how to jump, they let us jump, then they show how jump can be used in the level, in this example by having a coin trial. this smart use of a tutorial is felt throughout the game. sometimes the tutorial is just a text box, but that's often more than enough and more than what most games have done. 

If you've seen many of my other Mobile Friday videos,, how games advertise their own shops is a frequent criticism of mine. initially, i was wrong in my assumption when this game showed it's first advert. i praised that they had a video of the character in action, but wasn't happy that there were items also included that we didn't know about. But when the second advert came up, i tried touching the items and a text box appeared telling us what the item does. that's incredible and something i've never seen before. i'd like a symbol showing that the item can be touched, but the fact that the game shows a video of a character in action and has information about the other items in a bundle, is simply amazing and something i've been wanting games to do. It's OK to advertise to us, but soo often games advertise things we don't know the true value of, like for things we've yet to see in the game.

The game is also stunning. on my screen at a high brightness it's one of the best looking games i've played. there's soo much detail throughout the levels, plus smart uses of depth, shadows, and shading. as i have the iPhone 14 Pro, the video out is only 1080p so i feel like this video can't convey fully how good things look. the music is great, too. it's definitely a game i'd like to have the soundtrack too.

There are only two main buttons and two extra buttons. the main buttons are down, on the left side, and jump/up on the right side. it's another way the game makes itself accessible. the two other buttons relate to weapons and abilities and are on timers, but they are also quite big. the levels are smartly built around these controls in such a way it almost feels like a rhythm game. failing isn't punished and you're quickly put back in the game. it's also possible to replay levels and aim for a higher score or complete daily tasks.

In this video we saw a few other ways the game tries to get players back. one way that we didn't get to see the conclusion of was sending out our summons on patrols. this is how they gain experience and rewards. another way we saw in this video is Race Mode. in this mode it's our character up against the scores from 50 other characters in a map. the higher the score, the better placed you are. as you rank up, you can get better rewards but you'll also be up against stronger opponents. 

This game has a feature i've not seen before in any other mobile game, but one i many other games should copy. Ninja Must Die has something called "Pro Replay." This is a feature in Story Mode where you can watch someone else's level completion video. so if you're ever stuck, you can watch a video how someone else finished it. Or if  you're unsure was to which weapon to equip for the level, you can see what others used and pick that weapon or something else suitable. Be careful as this may use up your mobile data.

I didn't get to see everything in this game, but what i saw blew me away in how polished it was, how accessible it was, and how smartly designed the game in general was. it's clear the people playing the game are not an afterthought. simply put, i recommend this game to not just fans of ninja's or runner type games, but to those who have felt overwhelmed or intimidated by other mobile games as well.