Review: 10 Second Ninja X
In an intro that feels somewhat reminiscent of Sonic, the nefarious Captain Greatbeard has kidnapped all of your animal friends and turned them into robots. Now he’s back for you, a little blue ninja, as he seeks to put you through a rigorous series of trials in order to test just how fast you can be. While on Captain Greatbeard’s ship there are just three rules to abide by; 1. No shoes, 2. No Smoking, and 3. No Ninjas. So that’s one rule broken and the game hasn’t even officially started!
The goal in 10 Second Ninja X is quite simple, destroy every robot in a stage, using whatever means necessary, within 10 seconds. Things start simple with just a small number of robots in each stage all positioned in such a way that makes the optimum path pretty clear. As things progress the robots get a little more complex (some can only be destroyed with shuriken) and new stage elements are introduced like portals, platform switches, ropes, and falling blocks. The fastest route isn’t always clear and it’s in shaving seconds off of your best time where the game feels most rewarding. A little thing that I love is that the timer in each stage doesn’t start until you begin moving, which allows you to study the layout of each stage and take a moment to plan out your attack. Executing on that plan and being rewarded with a three star rank feels really great and falling just short serves only as an even greater incentive to keep trying. Earning three stars on each level is tough, the later stages are quite demanding, and there’s really very little room for mistakes, however, 10 Second Ninja X is never frustrating thanks to the fact that it just controls so well. Every victory is earned and any failure never feels cheap.
Captain Greatbeard shows up periodically to mock the little blue ninja and as the story progresses there are some other characters on the pirate ship that are willing to lend a hand. 10 Second Ninja X didn’t really need a story, but the simple narrative that is there actually surprised me quite a bit. The writing is pretty funny and the late game twist actually kind of works. This easily could have been a series of challenging stages strung together and I wouldn’t have thought any less of it, but actual effort was clearly put into telling a goofy little story that gives context to everything surrounding the game and I really appreciate that.
Exploring the ship uncovers a costume room, a special mini-game, some new characters to chat with, and hidden collectibles. The mini-game, available from the start, displays a green check mark on a robot, shuffles them around, and then simply tasks you with finding the right one. If successful you’ll be rewarded with 5 hint tokens that can then be used to reveal the fastest route in any given trial. You can potentially do this mini-game multiple times, but it does get a little harder over time.
My only real complaint with the game comes in the form of an unfortunate bug that I ran into. After clearing every stage in the game I ran around the ship looking for secret areas and, at one point, found myself stuck in the wall. After closing and reopening the game I found that my current progress wasn’t saved and I lost about 30 stars. Even though I’ve really enjoyed my time with the game, that kind of makes it hard to go back.
After about an hour, 10 Second Ninja X really clicked with me and earning three stars soon came with ease. The trials are really well designed and the controls responsive enough to pull off the speed and movement required of you. A goofy little story, hidden mini-games, and unlockable costumes only help to round out what’s already a really enjoyable game.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Challenging, fun, rewarding
- Funny writing
- Mini-games, hidden areas, costumes to unlock
What I Dislike:
- Bug that caused me to lose around 30 stars