It seems like there's a new challenging 2D platformer with single-screen stages every week. 10 Second Ninja X may not reinvent the genre but it does provide some fun times for the ninja in you.
10 Second Ninja X is played by controlling a miniature ninja to slay all of the robots in each stage. However, you have to be quick because every single stage needs to be completed in less than ten seconds. You control the ninja by running, jumping, double-jumping, slashing a katana, and throwing shurikens. Not only do you have to be swift, you must also conserve shurikens as you only have three at your disposal. Before you start a stage, you can scroll the camera around to come up with a plan of attack. Of course, whatever you think up often doesn't work out so replaying again and again while shaving off time to climb the leaderboards and achieve more stars can be rather rewarding. Acquiring stars allows you to unlock further areas of the campaign so doing the best you can rightfully pays off. Overall, the simplistic yet challenging gameplay is easy to pick up and play and fun to master.
One thing that 10 Second Ninja X accomplishes very well is provide a layer of puzzle elements into the equation. Not only do you have to strategize the fastest way to complete each stage, additional gameplay mechanics slowly get introduced to mix things up. A couple different kinds of robots eventually show up such as ones that take two hits and others that absorb shurikens. Speaking of which, you'll encounter surfaces that you can ricochet shurikens off as well as points that you can grapple to. Finally, there are platforms that extend or contract according to how you flip switches. As you can tell, all of these aspects add a welcome amount of variety to the otherwise basic gameplay and make it a lot more noodle-scratching than you would initially think.
The entire campaign consists of 60 stages which is quite short. However, you also unlock 40 additional stages that are from the original 2014 10 Second Ninja. On top of this, you can play a shell game-style mini-game to earn coins that show you ghosts masterfully completing stages upon redeeming them at whichever levels you're stuck on. As you start to master the campaign and gather a wealth of stars, you'll unlock additional costumes and marathon mode for extremely hardcore ninjas. All of this being said, the best extra is a hidden mini-game called "Nunnageddon II: Think of the Children" which is a follow-up to the developer's 2013 PlayStation Mobile game Nunnageddon. I played this mini-game for far too long due to its addictive beat 'em up gameplay where you kill zombies as a nun. Right now, I'm actually #4 on the leaderboard! Anyway, the extras are fun to play around with after you finish the campaign.
Although it's great to see the extra content, there really isn't enough to keep you busy for long after the campaign is over. Seeing as it will merely take a couple of hours and replaying stages is only fun for perfectionists, the lack of content is quite disappointing. Additionally, the basic core gameplay doesn't really change much from the start. Therefore, the repetition of it all is even more reason to put it down after you beat the story mode. My final complaint is that the presentation is incredibly unmemorable. I enjoyed the charming character artwork, but everything from the generic environments to uninteresting audio is easily forgettable.
10 Second Ninja X is an enjoyable yet short-lived challenging platformer. If you give it a download then you won't be disappointed but you also won't remember your experience for much longer after you put it down.
- + Fast-paced platforming that's easy to pick up and play with simple controls
- + Puzzle elements add welcome variety
- + Nunnageddon mini-game is great fun
- - Extremely short with replay value that only appeals to perfectionists
- - Basic gameplay gets repetitive fast
- - Unmemorable presentation