Platform: iPhone - iPad
Music and Dance games can be quite the entertaining pastime, but so often it feels like you must be restricted to standing in front of a console to enjoy them to their fullest. It doesn’t always have to be this way however, since developers around the world are always working furiously to provide us with new and innovative experiences dipped with music and dance that fit right in the palm of our hand in the form of apps for our phones or mobile devices.
Innovative, refreshing, and pleasantly familiar are just a few descriptive terms I would use about the stylish Audio Ninja, an app that promises to mix two of the greatest things ever: music and ninjas. If you feel you’re a little tired of the usual Plants vs. Zombies or Angry Birds nonsense, it might be worth your time investing your time and a tiny quantity of money to purchasing this rhythmical game that involves timing, skill, and the willingness to experience something a little bit different.
Audio Ninja is blessed with a slightly cheesy but rather amusing concept and a great gameplay mechanic to match. The game involves guiding Ninjipu across the screen whilst being attacked by a variety of clone-like enemies, but instead of simply ploughing forward Streets of Rage-style, you are given some headphones to wear and two buttons to press along with different parts of the music. These dance/attack buttons consist of a dark and a light button, with the former making you perform a flying kick and the latter resulting in a swipe of your sword. This mechanic results in some frantic tapping for both of your thumbs in the later levels, but as long as your tapping is in time, you will find yourself progressing without too much peril, and with twice as much enjoyment as rival music-based game Beats of Fist.
Like all classic games, your ninja is restricted to three lives (represented by the hearts on the screen) which spell the end of the game for your ninja if they are depleted. The action unfolds over a total of three songs, with each of the songs possessing sixteen stages for you to battle through in (hopefully) perfect rhythm. Of course the levels get progressively more difficult as you make your way through them, though to facilitate this process and ease the transition from easy to difficult and difficult to even more difficult, you can collect power-ups and bonuses along the way, or even purchase some if you feel like committing your money to this game. Power-ups include different kinds of headphones that slow down, speed up, or even traverse the laws of time altogether by allowing you to return to previous sections to retrieve lives and items you may have let slip by you. It’s ok though, since there are checkpoints in each level so that failing doesn’t mean complete failure, simply a momentary blip in your progress.
Once you’re done with the games 48 levels, developers Brainz SAS also included 9 so-called super levels to make your way through at increased difficult to yourself, as well as a survival mode to test your endurance skills. Even with these extras however, it feels a little unfortunate that the game isn’t longer than it is because I really enjoyed the concept in general and wish it could have gone on for a bit longer. That said, what you do get to experience of the game is pretty impressive, and it is difficult to conclude without factoring in the graphics, which have a pleasant cartoon style that is colourful and distinctive, making the experience memorable even though you may have completed it in way less time than you were expecting. This rhythm game is recommended for music lovers and simply proponents of originality in mobile gaming as well, since you don’t stumble upon games like this every day.