OK I lied; it’s not Mario, but it’s bloody close.
Fans of the old school platformer Super Mario will find an abundance of similarities when they get their GameBoy-toughened digits on 1-bit Ninja.
At first glance this game looks pretty much like a complete rip off of the moustachioed plumber’s princess stalking adventure, with coin collecting, brick platforms and the favoured ‘Argh, jump on its head!’ style of turtle murdering. I mean come on guys, there’s even a flag pole to cling on to at the end of each level…
There are a couple of little tricks thrown in there that do separate 1-bit Ninja from Mario. The first being that you can only go in one direction, mostly forward, unless you happen to stumble across a spring, which will push your ninja in the opposite direction. This means that if you happen to miss some coins (called ‘Bits’ in the game, but we all know they’re really coins), you’ll have to replay the level to get that all elusive perfect score.
Another nice little touch is the ability to move the camera angle, revealing a hidden 3D world full of secrets that are invisible in the 2D mode. This adds an interesting dynamic to the game, each level is timed giving a constant feeling of being rushed, yet to get higher scores players have to stop, switch views and quickly scout around for secret passages. Take too long doing this and you’ll run out of time and have to start all over again.
The controls are incredibly simple: bottom left – forward, bottom right – jump, top – swipe to see 3D. Simple controls do not make for a simple game, 1-bit Ninja is all about timing; be prepared to play levels over and over again to complete them.
If you’re a fan of platformers, Super Mario or only having three fingers, show 1-bit Ninja some love.