Game Review: Ninjatown (DS)

In the peaceful land of Ninjatown lives a band of cute yet honorable ninjas. But one day, a horde of wee devils from the forest came to steal Ninjatown’s secret ninja cookie recipe. Can you help Ol’ Master Ninja lead his ninja troops and defend Ninjatown’s honor?  Ninjatown is a real-time strategy (RTS) game. Normally I HATE these kinds of games. Maybe it’s the cute characters or the easy to understand gameplay, but Ninjatown has won me over. How good is Ninjatown if it converted an RTS hater like myself? Read on to find out:


On each level of Ninjatown is a different map and waves of various enemies march from one side of the area to the other. It’s your job to defend the town and make sure most of the baddies don’t make it to the other side. By tapping certain squares on the touch screen, you can build ninja huts that house a couple of ninja fighters. There are various fighters you can choose from. Some ground troops are stronger yet slower, and others, like the wasabi pea shooting ninjas, are best against flying enemies. You must select your troops wisely and strategically to win.

Each time you build a ninja hut, it’ll cost you a few cookies. Earn more cookies by defeating enemies. Tap ninja huts a second time and you can upgrade them so your ninjas will be better fighters. But that costs cookies, too. Defeated enemies also give up Happiness Points. Collect enough to power one of Ol’ Master Ninja’s skills, such as blowing into the DS microphone to shoo enemies off screen. Later on you can win coins that give you an edge in battle, such as a baby ninja to slow down enemies or ninja poo that drains the baddies’ energy.

The graphics in Ninjatown are cute, colorful, and functional as the big, fun visuals make it easy to tap on huts and troops when needed. The game also does a good job of easing you into the gameplay, making it perfect for RTS newcomers. You can even do multiplayer with a nearby DS user in single- or multi-cart play. Ninjatown just goes to show you that you don’t need a big license or familiar characters to make a fun game!

Kid Factor:
Ninjatown is rated E for Everyone with ESRB descriptors of Mild Cartoon Violence and Crude Humor. And the violence really is very mild. Ninjas punch, kick, and shoot cute enemies who only disappear when defeated. And ninjas low on energy just poof back to their huts for a quick nap before venturing out to battle again. And the crude humor comes from the ninja poo item, although it’s the cutest little pile of ninja poo you ever did see! Reading skill is a must as everything is text based. Very young kids may be overwhelmed with the multitasking gameplay, but if you fail a map three times you can play again on easy mode, so kids shouldn’t get too frustrated with the challenge level. And of course kids (and the young at heart) will love the cute and whimsical characters. Family friendly RTS games are few and far between, and Ninjatown is one of the best in that category.

OK folks, it’s comment time! Who is YOUR favorite video game ninja? Mine would either be Ebisumaru (Goemon/Mystical Ninja), or Taki (Soul Calibur).

No Responses to “Game Review: Ninjatown (DS)”

  1. Wario

  2. Wait a minute…Wario’s not a video game ninja! –Cary

  3. Strider Hiryu!

  4. Of course he is!

  5. OK, how is Wario a ninja? –Cary

  6. Er, he’s fat a pudgy.

  7. Strider! Yay! I remember when this game came to genesis it was something like $75; Wasabi Pea Shooting Ninjas, that’s all kinds of awesome. I like how your prose takes us into these small-scale yet cool secret niche game memories.

  8. @ Wampa
    Er, he’s fat a pudgy.

    Ah, your favorite is Chris Farley from Beverly Hills Ninja. I know he’s not a Ninja but my fav is probably the Jackie Chan baboon from Kung Fu Panda. I like a cartoon character who obviously does his own stunts.

  9. I rented the Kung Fu Panda movie this weekend and wasn’t very impressed. I was expecting it to be funnier. –Cary

  10. Anyone here seen HOUSE? the movie in theaters. I wanna know a bit on the content on it.

  11. So, this sounds a bit like a “tower defense” game then?

    – build defenses with resources
    – enemies attack
    – defeat enemies to earn more resources
    – use resources to build more defense and/or upgrade current defenses

    I guess one of the more “defining” parts of a tower defense is the fact that your defenses aren’t mobile… do you control any subordinates in this game or just a main character (if any?)

  12. Yeah it’s a tower defense game. I tried not to use that term because I didn’t think everyone reading would know what that meant. So I tried to describe the game without it. You kind of play as the Ol’ Master Ninja and dictate where to put the Ninja Huts and what kind to build. The game takes care of the rest.

    Another thing I didn’t mention in the review is that the ninjas are based on a plush toy line called Shawnimals. Since I had never heard of them and the license didn’t affect the game any, I omitted mentioning that in the review, too. Didn’t feel it was very important. –Cary

  13. My favorite ground Ninja is the Wee Ninjas, because they’re fast, cheep and cost little.
    My favorite ranged Ninja is the White Ninjas, because they slow and freeze devils.

    By the way the Wasabi Pea shooters are called in the game, Sniper Ninja…
    Whoever thinks Wario is a Ninja must be thinking about WarioWare Touched. You know, the two Ninjas on the game.

  14. I put two cheep things about wee ninja… whoops.

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