Title: Ninjin: Clash of Carrots
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS4 (Reviewed)
Developer: Pocket Trap
Publisher: Modus Games, Pocket Trap
Release date: Out now
tl;dr: Streets of Rage mixed with Ninjas whilst on acid.
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Set in the Japanese Feudual Era, Ninjin: Clash of Carrots is an orgasm on the eyes and it’s an incredibly fun beat-em-up with a heaping dose of customisation options to make each stage fresh and exciting. It’s up to the bunny ninja, Ninjin and her trusted fox pal, Akai to recover the village’s supply of carrots from the Shogun Moe who has an endless number of henchmen that stand in your way, so cut them down and return what is rightfully yours.
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots plays similarly to Streets of Rage but instead taking stages at your own pace, your character is constantly running forward with enemies running in from either the back or front in attempts to cut you down and prevent you from thwarting their evil plan of stealing carrots from your village. You either take these villains on by yourself or partner up with a friend locally or online, either way something’s gonna die.
The art style for Ninjin feeds off of cartoons like The Adventures of Gumball whilst giving it an anime colour palette. This translates well to the gameplay’s gorgeous pixel art, its stylish yet simplistic art fits the fast paced nature of the game perfectly and as I mentioned above, it’s an orgasm on the eyes.
Ninjin doesn’t do breathers or five-minute breaks. Instead you’ll hammer the square button to hack and slash your way through the enemy horde of monkeys, badgers and robots whilst using the X button to dash through charging foes and their assortment of projectiles. You can send your own projectiles hurtling towards the opposition with a simple flick of the right analogue stick in the direction of evil and watching the ensuing carnage is the real reward! Finally, you acquire elemental badges from defeating the bosses of each world, requiring you to build up your special meter before it automatically releases, for example, a massive flame dragon that engulfs your enemies with a single blow.
Each level plays out in waves of enemies progressively getting harder as you progress depending on the bads. Some enemies make the game feel like a bullet hell game, with the screen filling up with endless projectiles, whilst this can be easily dodged with your dash, sometimes you can get caught out if you accidentally dash into another oncoming projectile… Something I became all too familiar with.
Next, I’d like to mention the various customisation options you get in regards to weapons, perks and projectiles. Pretty early on in the game, you’ll unlock the Shiba Shop which owned by a dog because reasons. He informs you that the carrots you’ve acquired from slaying the enemies can net you some amazing new items to take into battle. These range from swords that are made out of bananas or just a simple baseball bat, then you’ve got the projectiles; shurikens, kunai or maybe even an exploding windmill shuriken, then finally you have the perks which can boost stats like health or stamina or you’ve got perks that give you a longer invincibility window after taking a hit.
You can also nab these items from treasure boxes that enemies occasionally drop after they’re defeated which then open after you complete the level or if you fail the stage. Another part of the customisation is different pieces of headgear which are just cosmetic, these drop from the chests or from the special shadt store which is secret! Shiba made me promise not to tell but you deserve to know.
After beating the fourth stage in world one, you unlock an endless wave mode where your equipment is dished out at random and you gradually get better stuff as you fight your way through. You see plenty of enemies you’ve never encountered up to that point so it’s a little strange that you unlock it so soon but the rewards it gave me were pretty amazing and it’s a nice change of pace for a game to get you a little overpowered so early on.
Overall, Ninjin: Clash of Carrots is an incredible game that deserves your attention, especially if you’re a fan of the old school side-scrolling beat ’em ups like Streets of Rage. The art style is charming and the soundtrack is amazing with an ancient samurai theme. If you love things Japanese like myself, you need to pick this up on your preferred platform and jump straight in either by yourself or with a buddy.
- Fast, stylish combat with incredible art direction.
- Hundreds of customisation options.
- Endless wave mode for hours of fun.
- It’s got that retro arcade difficulty at times, I have no more coins to give you game!
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots is rated E10+ for Everyone 10+ by ESRB and PEGI 7 due to animated violence.
Disclaimer: This review is based on a digital code of the game provided by the publishers for the purposes of this review.