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Save The Ninja Clan (PS4)

Developed by Willz and Sometimes You, Save the Ninja Clan, previously released on PC and PS4 NA is available now in EU on PS4 for an absolute bargain at £3.29!

Save the Ninja Clan is a 2D platformer where your friends have been kidnapped by the evil white ninja and it is down to you to rescue them, no pressure! It would have been nice if there was more of a story about the fact that your friends had been kidnapped, as the only reason I even knew about it was because of the press kit.

Sound effects are functional with explosions and the sound of your body being squished but overall it is just a bit too quiet for me, considering just how long you can potentially spend in a level, doing it in near silence gets old quickly. I honestly thought there was no background music at all and it wasn't until I turned up the music settings to max (it was automatically set to mid range) and then turned my TV up significantly that I began to hear the faint sounds of music. I've never had to physically change a game's sound settings to increase the volume before, usually, they are far too loud. Hopefully, this is something that could be looked at and adjusted accordingly because the music is actually really pleasantly calming outside of the levels, giving you a chance to calm down before its ramped up again once you're back doing your ninja thing!  

Save the Ninja Clan is colourful with well-designed levels and although the requirements are pretty much the same from level to level; they don't feel too repetitive. I looked into the game before it was released in the EU and there were quite a number of reports of severe screen tearing and framerate drop issues but I actually haven't had any experience of this so looks like it's been fixed!

Controls are really easy to pick up and you are eased into the game with a tutorial level followed by a few simpler levels and then the difficulty is ramped up somewhat! I have had a few issues with how responsive the controls feel, there are times when I've died because the game didn't recognise me pressing the button to shoot, which does get pretty frustrating to be honest, especially when you're currently on attempt number 47!

Another frustration is the game's lack of consistency, sometimes I could jump through a block, sometimes I couldn't. I also tested the jumping and each time I managed to jump (and get killed) a different way even though I was doing the exact same thing each time. I even had my partner try a couple of levels to prove I wasn't imagining it!

With 30 levels split across 3 worlds and then 3 boss fights, there really is certainly a decent amount of content for you to get through! I have found that timing is critical and a poorly timed jump will often mean the difference between your success and your inevitable demise. Thankfully, if you find you are struggling then there is an option to slow down (or speed up if you're a ninja yourself!) the game speed in the main menu; I was thrilled when I discovered this.

You can progress through the game however you choose (or your capabilities allow), picking up the collectibles along the way. You collect the scrolls at the end of each level, essentially submitting your completion and earning you a grade (the best is A+) so you can move on to the next level. You collect the Yin Yang style collectibles in order to purchase upgraded knives- trust me, you'll need these!

You can also play through irritating the overseeing "Game Manager" by finding secret bugs in each of the non-boss levels which I thought was a nice touch, adding humour and a reason to go back and play through each level again and even find the secret ending...

The boss fights are fairly straightforward, they are after levels 10, 20 and 30 and you may fight the boss once you've obtained the scroll from 9 of that world's levels. You're up against the white ninja and you must complete the level before he does and rescue your friend... each boss fight is harder than the last, naturally, but it is very satisfying once you manage to succeed!

There are 3 ninjas available for you to play with their own special abilities (double jump, sprint or dash) which you can play as you progress through levels. During some of the levels, collecting the coloured ball of energy changes you into the same coloured ninja as the ball, but it's not always a good idea to change!

Something I love about Save the Ninja Clan is that on completing a level, you are shown a replay but it includes your previous failed attempts! I found it quite funny just how many little ninjas were running around on some of the more challenging levels- it definitely helps to alleviate some of the stress that had built up through multiple failed attempts.

Overall, Save the Ninja Clan has been really fun (and at times, pretty exasperating) to play and if I had to give it a score it would be 7/10. It's cheap and cheerful and will certainly keep you (or the kids) entertained for a long time (depending on your level of skill) so for £3.29 I'd definitely recommend getting it!

Save the Ninja Clan has 31 trophies available to unlock with varied requirements, including progression based trophies, as well as some which are more on the creative side which is great and will certainly keep you busy. There are a couple of really tricky ones (not dying for 5 and 10 levels) which will likely prevent me from obtaining that elusive platinum trophy!

A game code was provided for the purpose of this review. Thank you!
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