Flick Ninjas ($0.99) by T-JAM Studios is a new 2D side scroller from Toby Youngberg that uses an intuitive control system rather than the more traditional arcade-style controls. It features integration with OpenFeint and Game Center, and it offers 30 levels of action.
The storyline of the game is actually based around your 8-bit protagonist. He's a ninja, who can't seem to find his way in the clunky world of 90's games, so he fast forwards to the slicker touch screens of today. He travels through levels collecting gold coins and avoiding obstacles, you control him using a series of flicks, touches and swipes. Want the ninja to jump to the top of a nearby cliff? Just flick him in that direction and watch him soar. He can make mid-air maneuvers, instant plunges and jumps off vertical surfaces, 'cause that's what ninjas do.
The game is a little frustrating at first, but feels rather natural after awhile. Still, the controls aren't perfect no matter how many levels you burn through. The levels are very short, but this can be good or bad, depending on your perspective. Comparing Flick Ninjas to caloric sustenance, it would be found in the snack department. In the beginning, just finishing a level feels like a great accomplishment. But, as the new controls become more familiar, the levels progressively get harder, and you have to make more concerted efforts to collect the coins along the way. If you just finish a level you get one of three possible stars. If you finish collecting all the coins you get 2/3 or 3/3 stars, depending on how fast you do it.
Toby says that an update is coming soon, and it will help improve performance. He hopes to add more levels as well. It would also be nice to see deeper gameplay including features like power-ups and/or formidable foes, as this is currently a lonesome journey.
Flick Ninjas is a charming little game that you should try if you want a quick side scroller with a twist. The length, depth, and graphics can't directly compete with more popular dollar games, but in a few updates it could be a solid new platformer