GoNinja by Hiptic icon

GoNinja (Free) by Hiptic is a fast action-packed game that has ninjas and demon samurai. Really, do you need more of a reason to check it out?

In a nutshell, Go Ninja! is basically another endless runner game. However, this one is made with Corona (no, not the beer), which is a cross-platform SDK, used by over 120,000 developers. Corona is becoming a standard in app development, with other titles such as Cannon Cat and The Lost City. It’s nice to see new tools available to help make developing games a bit easier — game development is hard work, after all.

GoNinja by Hiptic screenshot

In Go Ninja, you are a [chibi] ninja that has been summoned by his lord. You find out that demons have taken over his army of 50,000 samurai, and you are given a simple mission: eliminate them all.

If you have played other endless runner games, then you should know how this game works already. Controls are simple: since your ninja will constantly be running, all you have to do is tap to jump (the longer you hold the higher he jumps), tap twice to do a double jump, and swipe up to go on the roofs of buildings (or their multiple floors). To get back down, you will have to swipe downwards quickly — otherwise, you will perform another jump.

While you play, there will be demon samurai standing before you. But don’t worry, you don’t have to do anything — when the ninja runs into them, he’ll slice them up automatically. Easy peasy, right? Of course, if that was all this game had, then it would just be too easy. So there is some variety in what you will come across — bomb traps (these will flash red so you know of them ahead of time) and armored spearmen. Coming into contact with either of these will kill you, so be careful! While you normally slice up your enemies, the armored spearmen will pierce you if you come too close.

There is also the opportunity to get power-ups. While you run, a circle on the left hand side will “fill up.” Once the yellow ring completes, you will be awarded a random power-up. To use it, just tap on it. The process repeats itself once the item has been used.

The game starts out a bit slow in the beginning, but as you go through “waves” of enemies and terrain, you will pick up speed and face even more foes in your way. So far, I’ve managed to get past wave seven or so — the game moves very quick the more waves you get through.

Eventually, your ninja will meet an untimely demise against this 50,000 demon samurai army. You will be given “ninja points” depending on how well you did, which can be used in the shop for upgrades. Your ninja can get various visors that allow you to run faster and make the game harder, while earning more NP from each game. Upgrades are available for your jump ability, as well as specials, such as the explosion and hyper run moves. Finally, you can also use your NP to get various wallpapers to use on your iPhone.

GoNinja by Hiptic screenshot

From what I notice, it seems a bit hard to get a good amount of NP when you start playing. The “Open Visor” is the medium difficulty, and requires 10,000 NP to unlock. This is when Hiptic utilizes in-app purchase options for players to get more NP. I get annoyed with such practices, so I will just continue to “grind” my way towards getting more NP to unlock the next difficulty. I just wish that they didn’t make the cost so high.

Go Ninja also features Game Center support for leaderboards and achievements (called “Missions” in the game). Getting achievements will also net you some bonus NP, so it’s good to try and get them all.

The game is fun and fast-paced, though I wish that the demon samurai would do something, such as try and attack you, rather than just stand around doing nothing. I mean, what kind of samurai just stands there? The music also got a bit irritating after a while, though there is an option to turn it off, fortunately. I wish that there was also an option to permanently turn off the opening sequence though — it appears with every new game — I’ve seen it once, isn’t that enough?

Regardless, this is a fun little title that will definitely be good for killing a few spare minutes during your day. Also, how can you resist a cute ninja like this one? Make sure to check it out in the App Store.