Ninjas are internet royalty. At some point in the long forgotten youth of the internet the concept of a Ninja fighting a Pirate was introduced, and everyone went giddy. It’s quite refreshing to have a ninja game without pirates in, or aliens, zombies, robots or anything else. Ten Ton Ninja is a platforming/puzzle game based around ninjas and their insatiable love of gems, and there are no pirates.
Ten Ton Ninja (the name coming, I assume, from the eponymous ninja’s inability to walk) is a freeware game very much in the same vein as N. You play a ninja who is in possession of a swanky grappling hook, amazing gymnastic prowess and a cast-iron stomach, and your purpose is to collect everything shiny in a given level by swinging around like a madman and touching the floor as little as possible.
To thwart you in your quest for gems are various enemies, including other ninjas, walls, rockets and lasers, which will all come after you with vicious abandon just to stop you, you greedy little ninja!
And that’s the entire concept of the game. It’s one of those games that is simple in design, yet complex in effect. The simple design of swinging around a level and dodging lasers and rockets sounds simple enough, but then you remember that swinging around is the only way you can move. If you want to reach an out of reach gem you have to launch yourself at it, which means getting the angle just right, the velocity spot on, then reattaching yourself to a grapple point before you hit the floor and lose your bonus.
It’s tricky, and for someone like be it can be bloody hard, but it doesn’t pretend to be anything else. From the very beginning of the tutorials you have to perform some rather cool flips just to grab your gems, and it only gets better (and more complex) from there. You may get frustrated, in fact you almost definitely will, but the game is very lenient with you, which should help to curb your annoyance. Your ninja cannot die, for instance, each hit he takes merely chopping away at a clock in the corner of the screen. Run out of time and you fail, but it’s a much less infuriating way than dying. Likewise, the cute visual stylings will go a long way to calm you down and stop you hurling your mouse across the room, trust me on this one.
It’s not always easy, but it is always fun and charming and entrancing, which is what you want from a game really. I don’t ordinarily like these sorts of games, but Ten Ton Ninja just endears itself so well with how it handles itself, complete with some rather dry wit, that I can’t help but enjoy it. The fact that it has leaderboards, a map editor and is free only help to strengthen how amazing it is.
Even if you don’t ordinarily enjoy these sorts of games, give it a shot. What have you got to lose?
You can get your hands on Ten Ton Ninja from this website, and it’s totally free!