Ninjaman


NinjamanTake three (3) complementary University students, all with strong backgrounds in Flash; pour in their hearts and souls and mix well. Add a year's worth of caffeine and just a touch of obsession, and then bake for long hours and many long nights. The result is this very impressive ninja-fighting 2D side-scrolling platformer that performs as only a ninjaman can.

Ninjaman is old-school style classic gaming goodness and it looks just as beautiful as it plays.

Controls are customizable in this game that features attack, defend and jump moves for the little blue ninjaman in addition to the standard arrow keys for movement. Default configuration is: [D] for attack, [S] for defend, and [space] to jump. A double-jump can be performed by pressing [space] a second time while in the air. Attacks can be combined with arrow keys for some spectacular special moves and abilities:

  • [up]+[D] = Uppercut: smack enemies into the air
  • [down]+[D] (in the air) = Sacrifice: dive down onto enemies sword-first
  • [down]+[D] (on the ground) = Whirlwind: slice and dazzle enemies with a series of circular slashes
  • [up]+[right or left]+[D] = Ballista: hurl enemies with a powerful smash
  • [down]+[right or left]+[D] = Sonic Slash: thrust enemies away with a devastating force
  • [D]+[D]+[D]+[D] = 4-Hit Combo: unleash a flurry of slashes

NinjamanIt is probably needless to say the gameplay is a tad violent, though it's really not bad for a ninjagame. Enemies splatter green goo when hit, which contrasts nicely with the red splatters from Ninjaman.

Make your way through each of the game's two levels, the Beach and the Forest, by killing enemies, avoiding traps, climbing ropes, activating switches, jumping platforms, and raising flags that represent spawn points. If you lose all your health you will lose a life and return to the last flag you raised in the current level. You have five (5) lives to make it through the entire game. Click.

Analysis: It is clear by how the game looks and plays that these three guys, Adam Searle, Jason Chow, and Johnny Jei Le, have created a fun and original game of their own design that they can be proud of. The graphic style is charming and visually appealing, containing a level of polish that is rare to find. The gameplay is typical hack and slash with some classic platform level design to make it interesting. I liked the way the confrontation music comes in as Ninjaman approaches an enemy, and the cessation of it once the coast is clear.

All things considered, the game has a few weak spots. First, and even though each is considerably long, there are only two levels to the game. Second is the relative ease with which enemies can be dealt with, and the fact that you can simply run from and avoid enemies throughout each level. These issues may be addressed in a more "complete" version promised by Adam on his blog.

Still, if you play the game simply to have fun with it (and you don't try to 'game the system') then there really isn't much to complain about. Ninjaman is a great little Flash platformer with charm, character, and panache.

And for those with really fast computers, the team has created a 50 fps version for your enjoyment. I can't play that version because my Powerbook is only half-fast.

Cheers to Garrett for suggesting the game! =)

27 Comments

completed using only 2 lives :D
great game very well done

sweet... got through on full lives first try... booyah... 6% on first level, only 4% left for the entire 2nd half on 2nd level... heaps of fun :D

I was not any good at it, but it was great fun to play!

I did notice a couple times I got "stuck" and couldn't turn back around after my enemy jumped past me. But I was so bad that didn't seem to matter much!

Anyone having any problems with the page not loading or not being found? I tried all the links on the page with no success.

Figures, all I had to do was post the problem and it would work. :-)

i clicked on the Options button, but when i was done, i couldn't find the button to go back to the main page. same with the instructions button

you might wanna let them know about that

Isn't the white dressed enemies in a way the toughest. They know dosens of their friends are dead but they refuse to ware armour and use only their hands as weapons.

i sent you the link for this a week or so ago

This game appeased my desire to interactively sit in front of the computer and make things happen. My most used technique seemed to have been the jumping up and falling down on the enemies from above with sword. Like in RAF global Rescue, I found one move that worked well (turning the helicopter to face the player and holding the fire button continuously while pushing left or right caused the copter to maintain vertical firing even as it was moving, making it less neccisary to fly low and get into close combat with the tanks and missile launchers). One of my favorite old games like these was Metroid. Not the flashy new one but the old Nintendo version with the creepy sci-fi music. Makes me want to go hunt around pawn shops for it. When I was a kid I lived in an apartment complex and my father used to yell at me to go outside and stop playing Metroid.

Cheers, Garrett! =)

I thought I had seen the game's name before, but a search through my email produced nothing. I didn't mean to leave you out, I just couldn't find who had mentioned it first! I've updated the post accordingly.

its ok. i was going to review it but i never did. the best feature of the game is how fair it is...your enemies can do nothing that you cant. if a trap hurts you, it hurts them. if you cant pass through a wall, neither can they. its nice to see a game without invulnerable enemies

I enjoyed the game, although one of the first things I noticed was immediately when you begin, if you climb the chain then double-jump backwards, you can fall off the level. Kinda neat, at first I thought it was an easter egg. It wasn't, you just die.

Hmm..

1. Very nice graphics. They flow well with the gameplay and everything looks nice and smooth even on 25 FPS (I haven't tried 50 yet).

2. No regular level music = bad bad bad! The shift to combat music is not as cool because of this, even though the combat music is good. The music also could have been made a bit more repeat-friendly.

3. Some combos you may find somewhat helpful (in spoiler tags for those who like to come up with combos on their own):

Up + D, Down-Left + D
Jump, D (at enemy head level or lower but before touching ground), D, D, D, D (after touching ground), D, D, D
Down + D, Up + D, Down-Left + D
Up + D, Down + D, Down-Left + D

4. There should be some kind of law for games like this that forces people to put bosses in them. Not that I think this game is a real cakewalk as is, but boss characters tend to add a good contrast to the normal enemies, and I felt the lack here.

5. As it is, I felt as though I was taking a ninja's version of a vacation. Not a bad thing in the slightest, but I wish it had felt like I was in more peril.

My take

First the goods - graphics are adorable, controls (most of the time) fluent, sounds quite satisfying, level intro animations pretty and professional-looking, gameplay quite satisfying, especially first time around.

Now the bads. Well, not really the bads, but "things that really should be improved".

1. No in-game music. As someone allready said, the transitionts to combat music sound unpolished and..well.. lousy.

2. Combat is too easy. The opponents NEVER counter jumping attacks. Never. You can kill every opponent in the game by jumping and slashing. There is absolutely no need for defending or using ground moves except to artificially up the challenge.

3. Like Jay said, you can pass the stage just jumping over everybody. If the game is so fight-oriented, it should not let you pass further without killing off everybody.

4. Level design. It needs some heavy work. There are strange platforms that are totally out of the way and lead up and up but instead of a cool bonus or secret there is..well.. nothing. You just drop down. And all those switches and pulleys that don't make sense.. anyway, some of the creativity that went into graphics and presentation should definitely go to level design.

5. Control issues. I am surprised noone noticed this. If you hold one key it will stop working while doing some moves. For instance, hold down, jump and slash, and ninjaman will do that cool "sacrifice" move. But continue holding down, do another jump and slash and it will do a regular move. This is very counter-intuitive, especially in a combat-oriented game. Also, there is no way to look down so jumping down into the unknown is regular issue.

6. Long and boring levels. While fights are fun, the levels just keep going and going with no new stuff being introduced. Gimme some jumping puzzles, fireballs, anything, let the pulleys sleep already!

Well that's it. While it seems I was light with praises and hard with reprimands, it was not my attention. It's just that I think if so much work went into the game development, adressing this issues I mentioned should not be that much of a problem. Other than that, very good work indeed.

Yeah, my favorite games for online, the one's I spend the most time on, are the puzzle games like Return to The Archipelago, The Dark Room, White Chamber, etc...these are the one's that keep me up all night. But games like Ninjaman are boring after the first run through. I remember when I first learned how to synchronize the bells in Return To Archipelago. I was practically jumping up and down. I got through The Dark Room with only one hint (The Red Room was tricky).

Requires Flash 8.

This game is way Toooo easy.. It isnt hard at all.. i finished this game in 5 minutes.. I didnt die once.. There should be a condition limiter, because i jumped all the time.. I didnt used my sword once...

Biggest beef? I've gotten stuck a couple times behind objects and had to restart the game. Like, there'll be a moving stone opened with a switch, then I'll jump over it and end up embedded in the ground, unable to move out.
Real bummer.

A couple of things that would help this game are bosses and items. If you had to collect a certain number of, say, scrolls, there'd be a lot more reason to flip all the switches.
Something else that might be a nice change? Take away one percent of life every time you do a special. That would increase the difficulty by a bit, without making drastic changes to the game.

They seem to have listened to me... or at least someone that said what I said, you can no longer jump off the level backwards.

YES! I won finished with all my lives! (5)

I've only seen this today and it's not working for me. I've checked my flash player is up to date, but it still keeps looping me to the title screen (game apparently loads to title screen, I click "play", it tells me "next up: beach", I click play again and get a few seconds of "loading..." before coming out at the title screen again). This happens on both versions :-\

Has it just colapsed under the weight of it's own success? Or am I missing something really obvious?

Hey Laura,

There does seems to be a problem with it. I just tried and, though I didn't return to the menu, after seeing "The Beach" and clicking Play, the "Loading" screen never changed and my status bar was stuck on:

Looking up ninjaman.stephenmok.org...

Hmmm, it is working for me now, maybe they fixed it. Also, it had to download the game again, so it wasn't just in the cache or anything.

lol....just jumped my way trough after realizing a could do that
39% first level 29% second, no lives lost......

i played before in miniclip link: http://www.miniclip.com/games/samurai-sam/en but whith the name "samurai sam" hahaha i'll play again now

I beat it with 1% health left XD

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