Red Bit Ninja is a platformer that has you playing as a little ninja that wears a red ninja outfit. Red Ninja is on a tough mission, the mission is that our hero must complete sixty trails that are full of dangerous obstacles, he can only beat the trails by collecting all of the coins that are found in each level. Red Ninja must do the task without any kind of weapons but he is armed with a spear and rope, so that he can scale walls, get across gaps, and even latch onto things so he can swing just like the mighty Tarzan or George of the Jungle (watch out for that...). This sure does sound like a tough game but will it be worth going though the hellish trials? (Click on "Read More" to read the full review).
Story in this game is really left to your imagination as this game doesn't tell you the story, so you'll need to make one up as you go along. I really enjoyed that I had to think of the story myself as the setting will set your imagination going crazy. What I got from this game is that it is about a little red ninja doing some hard training to earn his black outfit, in the same way as earning a black belt in karate. Something unexpected happens as demons come in and are trying to rule Earth and the red ninja just thinks that this is part of his training and is unaware that this demon attack is the real thing. With that said, the story is amazing... I'm just kidding, what I came up with was generic Naturo meets Mr. Magoo, s**t (not that's a bad thing, that s**t sells).
Gameplay is ultra simple, all you do is run, jump, and use your rope to collect all of the coins in the level and get to the exit. Trying to get all of the coins won't be easy, the levels are very challenging as there are some tough obstacles in you way and they will kill you in an instant. The levels aren't impossible to beat though, training will help you get through those stages. Once you have beaten a stage, you'll find it easier to beat the second time around as you'd worked out your own working methods to beating those stages. The boss fights is what kills any enjoyment this game has, for many reasons too, to the point where it becomes a fatal flaw along with another fatal flaw. First fatal flaw is that the boss fights are very uninteresting and not very fun and makes the game not very satisfying. The boss fights are also near impossible to beat due to the other fatal flaw this game has.
The other fatal flaw in this game is the very odd game breaking save system. The game saves after each level which is fine, however the save system is thrown out the window when you reach the boss fights and when you die, it gets rid of the old game and starts up a new save. This will make people turn off the game and never go back as the only way to get better at the bosses is by starting over, which is a very difficult task and just ends being too much. This also makes the game feel unfinished due to the brokenness of the save system, it's like it was tacked on without being tested. One thing this game wouldn't have hurt to have is both options for continue and new game, you can't start a new game unless you've died on a boss. Another problem is that the tutorial level doesn't work, once you've selected it, you are forced out of the game due to a crash bug, again, this makes the game feel unfinished and untested.
Level design in this game is a mixed bag as there are some levels that are horribly designed but there are some that are decent in design. Some of the coin placement in the stages was a bit dodgy but not impossible to get to, however it did make the look quite ugly being placed the way they were and added to the rushed feeling of the game. Boss stages were hideous and uninspired in designed with badly placed platforms that looked rushed, this takes away the fun from the game.
Controls are very simple, you use the directional keys to move around, spacebar to jump, and hitting spacebar in mid-air will launch your grappling spear. The controls are responsive most of the time but they will suddenly lock-up every now and then and that is a bit frustrating and could use with some fine-tuning. The rope control is simple and fun to use and I did enjoy pretending to be Spiderman while swinging around the place. The rope physics aren't very realistic as the rope feels like a rod rather than a rope and that's not bad at all, I really did enjoy how the rope physics weren't realistic and were aimed at being fun instead.
Graphics in this game uses a retro 8-bit style that reminds me of games released for the long past, long forgotten, Bandai WonderSwan Color (2000), due to the bulky pixel art. I am mixed on the art, I did like the design for the main character, he looked adorable due to how short and red he is (insert the penis joke here), I also liked some of the platforms just purely because of the retro look and nothing more. The designs I didn't like were the enemies and the backgrounds as they were very uninspired and the coloring made them look very dry to where it looks like that it belonged in an unlicensed black cartridge game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (1985) or the Nintendo Game Boy Color (1998).
I wasn't much a fan of the animation due it being all over the place, some animations were floaty, some very stiff, and others were glitchy. The floaty animation came from the jumping, the stiff animation came from swinging on the rope and also from enemy projectiles. While the animation wasn't top notch, I found most of them to be forgivable with the exception of the enemies projectiles as it was very painful to look at. The glitchy animation that happens is from when you are firing your rope, it would glitch out to where you'll see multiple ropes at one time. The multiple ropes might sound "cool" but that would only be cool if those extra ropes did something neat, sadly the extra ropes did nothing, it was actually more funny (in a sad way) to see than anything else. Music in this game had a nice sounding Asian theme in the main menu but the rest of the music was very a generic sounding 8-bit soundtrack that did not stick with me what so ever.
Overall, this is a game that I can not recommend due to this game feeling rushed, broken, and unfinished... A bit like this review (kidding). I recommend that the developer to go back though this game, fix up all of the problems and fine-tune this game, there is still time to save this game as there's still some potential for this game. Hopefully I've got better things to say when this game gets patch, then I can re-review this game.
Game: Red Bit Ninja
Developer/Publisher: Seven Sails Ltda
Price: $4.99 (Steam)