Ninja Surfer (iOS, Google Play)

What could be cooler than a ninja…surfing on a missile…IN SPACE?  What sounds like an idea for a bored schoolkid’s notebook doodle is now a free-to-play game you can download on iOS and Google Play (reviewed on iPad here).  The game has a bit more of a complicated backstory, but all you need to know is that you’re a ninja riding a missile in space in this 2-D left-to-right continuous flyer.

To move your ninja up and down, just slide your finger up and down on the right side of the touch screen.  There’s also a button on the bottom left corner of the screen that you can tap to make your ninja swing his sword.  This makes a beam come out that can destroy spaceships and other obstacles so that your ninja won’t hit them.  If you get hit three times by an obstacle, it’s Game Over.  You can collect power-ups to upgrade your sword or give you a shield to take more hits, among other things.  Collect coins to spend on goodies in the shop.

There is a story mode where you go through pre-set levels to try and make it to the end, or you can see how long you can last in Survival mode.  In the shop you can buy new missiles, outfits for your ninja, swords, power-ups, and more.  You can also view achievement medals and artwork in a gallery.  Only problem I had with this game is that it feels a bit amateurish.  Hit detection is off and gameplay feels a bit dull.  Plus the levels are a bit too long for being on a mobile device.

Kid Factor:

Violence is pretty minimal, as you mostly just hit asteroids and spaceships with your sword, which just explode and disappear.  If you get hit three times, you’ll just fall off your missile.  Younger gamers may get frustrated and bored at the high challenge level.  Parental supervision is recommended for the in-game purchases.

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