We’re often impressed by an iPhone game here or there, but we’re rarely legitimately surprised by one. Ninjatown: Trees of Doom!, however, managed exactly that. See, the minute we heard “you’re a ninja, and gameplay consists of vaulting yourself ever-upward, bouncing into the towering treetops, avoiding enemies along the way” we thought we knew exactly what kind of game to expect. Clearly, this is another Doodle Jump clone, right? Wrong. As it happens, Ninjatown sounds similar but plays completely differently.
Forget motion control and that automatic bouncing. In Ninjatown:ToD! You control your chubby little stealth warrior completely with your thumbs. Tap the right side of the screen, he’ll leap toward the tree trunk on the right. Tap the left, and he leaps back to the trunk on the left. Hold down either side, and he’ll scurry up the trunk like a rotund, black-clad squirrel. And if you come across a hanging branch, he’ll automatically grab the end, waiting for you to pull it down and release, catapulting him up the tree.
That’s pretty much the gist of it, though there are a ton of added obstacles, from slick patches of trunk and purple goo to floating devils and spear-thrusting natives, as well as the rare power-up (one thing the game does have in common with Doodle Jump) such as a super-hero cape. True, you’ll get a little tired of the bottom portion of the trees, but the higher you go, the more driven you’ll be to see more and more of it.
Oct 6, 2010