An evil samurai warlord has captured all the woodland creatures and is using dark magic to turn them into an army to take over the land. And the only ones who can save the day are six pint-sized mini ninjas! Help Hiro and his ninja pals rescue the animals and thwart the evil warlord’s plans in this 3-D action adventure available on all gaming consoles (360 version reviewed here).
As Hiro, you’ll do everything a 3-D video game ninja is expected to do: run, jump, attack bad guys with your sword and throwing stars, etc. By collecting secret scrolls, Hiro can cast powerful ninja magic spells that let him take control of animals, detect hidden secrets, conjure up fireballs, and more. You can also sneak in the grass, mix herbal remedies, run up walls, among other things.
As you play, you’ll rescue your ninja friends and can then switch between them at any time. Each mini ninja has his or her own skills. Chunky Futo uses his bulk and giant hammer to bash the bigger baddies, while Suzume plays mystic melodies on her flute to lure and hypnotize enemies. But most of the time you’ll play as Hiro to use his cool magic spells. Play control is solid and responsive, but since there are so many things you can do, sometimes it’s hard to remember which buttons does what!
Graphics and audio are simple and cartoony and have a Samurai Jack vibe to them. While the game doesn’t do anything too terribly original or groundbreaking, it sets out to do what it does pretty well and has a polished feel to it. Mini Ninjas is a cute little 3-D action adventure the whole family can enjoy.
Mini Ninjas is rated E-10 for Everyone 10 and Up, with ESRB descriptors of Crude Humor and Cartoon Violence. I’d be OK with any age playing it, though. There are some fart jokes here and there for the Crude Humor. The violence is mild and cartoony, and defeated bad guys just poof into smoke and turn back into little woodland animals and scamper away, so there’s no killing. While most of the game has spoken voice, reading skill is helpful for sifting through the menus. Goals are always clear and you can check to see where you need to go at any time. Three selectable difficulties mean that players of all skill levels should be able to enjoy Mini Ninjas.