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Review: Parachute Ninja - Just Yelling "Geronimo!" Isn't Enough

July 2, 2010

The Overview

Confession time: My name is Michael... and I am a Casual Gamer. That's right. I just play for fun. I don't play for high scores. I don't play for achievements. I don't try to beat my friends (or enemies). I don't keep trying a level over and over again because "I MUST GET PAST IT." When a game frustrates me to the point I want to throw the controller across the room (or in this case the iPhone), I just quit playing it. And that is what happened with Parachute Ninja. First off, this is a GREAT game. There is a reason why it has a 4 star rating in the App Store. (Actually, it should have a 5 start rating, but it has some low ratings given to it by people with the same frustrations I have - however, I don't blame the game, I blame my skill level.) In the game, you bounce on trampolines, shoot yourself skyward with rubber band platforms, float down on your umbrella-parachute, and drop on enemies from above, Mario-style. Your score depends on how few times you can hit dangers and how many fireflies you collect as multipliers. The higher your score, the more hash marks for completing the level (showing what a stud you are).

The Features

Parachute Ninja has two modes: Story Mode and Survival Mode. Survival Mode acts like Doodle Jump or any other Casual Endless game - you go up and up and up trying to gain the highest score possible before dropping into the drink. Story Mode has 30 different levels in 4 different regions. You must complete each level in order to move to the next one - though there is no minimum score required to do so. That is one of the things that bothered me - no way to skip a level if it was too hard to finish. Parachute Ninja uses Plus+ for high scores and achievements. There are 20 different achievements for a total of 750 points on Plus+ ranging from the easy like "Drunk Style - Master" which requires you to fall into the water 100 times to "Dragon Style - Master" where you have to get the maximum score on all levels.

The Breakdown

The Good The gameplay is fantastic. This is one of those games that you never want to stop playing. The fact that you can finish a level then go back and try to get a better score makes for high replayability. The graphics are gorgeous and the music and sounds don't suck (trust me, that's high praise from my quarter). Parachute Ninja takes full advantage of the accelerometer and the multi-touch display. You tilt, tap, drag, tap somewhere else - all at the same time. The Bad There is nothing actually bad about the game. The biggest thing has to do with my confession at the beginning of the article: I am too much of a casual gamer to make it past certain areas. I got extremely frustrated trying to tilt and maneuver everything at once - completely my failing and not the game's.

The Verdict

Quick and dirty: Parachute Ninja is definitely worth the $0.99. Even though I couldn't complete the entire game, the parts I could get through were extremely entertaining. With tons of checkpoints on each level, it can be played as a Pick Up and Play game. Or you can play it hardcore and push yourself to complete every level with the maximum score. Either way, you need to play this game.

Mentioned apps

Doodle Jump
Doodle Jump
Lima Sky

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