Reviewed: May 13, 2010
Released: May 7, 2010
App Store Price: $1.99
In all my years of reviewing games I don’t think I’ve ever come across a title so misleading as Ninjatown: Trees of Doom. Just the words, “ninja” and “doom” spark all sorts of sinister imagery and then the splash screen opens with some doughboy ninja napping under a tree with red and purple title graphics and even a pink heart. What the…|
After recovering from the shock and horror of it all I slipped into my ninja PJ’s and mounted my first tree and my iPhone gaming life would never be the same. How fiendishly clever…how delightfully simple…how charmingly cute…how impossible to put down.
You play as Wee Ninja, the most adorable assassin since Eidos released Mini Ninjas on the console. Under the tutelage of Ol’ Master Ninja who supervises from his hot air balloon, you are challenged to climb the Trees of Doom, going as high as you can. It sounds simple until you start coming across all the unique threats and obstacles that are determined to keep your ninja grounded.
Gameplay is as slick as it is simple. You tap on the left and right edges of the screen to jump from side to side, avoiding obstacles and gaining altitude. If your immediate path is clear you can simply touch and hold to climb up the side you are already attached. You’ll also frequently come across tree branches you can use to catapult yourself upward and to either side of the screen or even to a second or third branch. Chaining branches as well as bouncy mushrooms will increase your altitude quickly and safely.
Power-ups vary the gameplay such as the hourglass that will slow down time and the movements of certain enemies, bubblegum shields, or the cloudlike moustachios that will propel your Ninja upward. There is no clock or timer, so you are free to take your time and solve these elaborate navigation puzzles at your leisure.
Trees of Doom is perfect for the iPhone with pick-up-and-play gaming suited for the gamer on the go. Each session only lasts minutes, yet encourages frequent replays to better your previous efforts and post those results on your linked-in Twitter and Facebook accounts so you can brag and compete with your friends.