Developers Metanet Software have released N++, the third game in the Ninja speedrunner series after having huge success with the first title N, ten years ago. N++ is a sequel/ definitive edition of sorts. It is N+ with double the content, and for those that have played N+, you will know that that title already had a shed load of levels and other content.
If you’ve played Super Meat Boy, you will be familiar with the mechanics. Get from A to B, the quickest way possible by running, jumping and bouncing off walls. However in N++, since you’re essentially a ‘ninja’, so there is a bit more skill that is required. For example, if you jump too high, falling down could cause you to explode and die, but the key is to land on slopes to allow safe descent. Also, as you’re running up a slope, depending on whereabouts you jump, will determine how far or how high you can reach, so precise jumps is key to gaining great time.
There are over 300 levels and those are divided up into categories of difficulty. From there, each category has a block of stages, and in each stage contains five levels each and you must complete them in order to progress. However, once completed, you can go back to individual levels to gain better scores. The first category will take you a couple of hours to complete, but once you start moving up to the more complex categories, you’ll find yourself dying like no tomorrow. Never fear, because it’s an instant restart, and you can choose to restart mid-level with the push of the button if you make that rookie mistake.
There is also a hardcore mode and a co-op option with its own set of stages, adding to the replay value of the title. Not only that, but N++ has a level editor included giving you endless replayability, especially if you’re skilled enough to have completed the main game. The level editor has all of the objects and enemies that the main game has, so if your mind can think of it, you can conjure it up. Once a level has been created, you can test it out and upload it for the whole world to have a go at. Which means there is a level browser for you to look through with countless levels created by other ninjas, with various categories including best weekly levels and developers picks. Of course, you’ll need to filter out the unhealthy portion of levels that are neverending. The developers could have implemented a way to force you to complete the level before uploading, but this doesn’t detract from the overall experience.
In addition to the vast amount of content, there’s a plethora of customisation available at your disposal, from changing the appearance of your ninja and the type of explosion they create to the ability to change up the colour scheme for every level, which can even be set to randomised between each stage. There are also plenty of secrets and unlockables for you to discover, so considering the price, you definitely get more bang for your buck.
N++ is available to download from the Xbox Store, sneaking in at £11.99.
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N++ is both addicting and frustrating. It has the ‘just one more go’ element. Graphics aren’t anything spectacular but with a title like this, it really doesn’t need to be. With great mechanics that is quick to learn but difficult to master, this title brings a lot of fun that you just can’t put down.