One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi…
Back in 2014 the guys at Four Circle Interactive unleashed their PC hit 10 Second Ninja. It was a lightning-paced sidescroller where you played a blue ninja and had to make your way through forty levels destroying Nazi Robots and defeating a Robot Hitler. To top this off each level had to be completed in ten seconds or less. Now the blue ninja is back and looking better than ever in their follow-up title 10 Second Ninja X.
10 Second Ninja X, like its predecessor, requires you to eliminate all enemies in a level within ten seconds. Only this time Robot Hitler and his Nazi Robots are replaced with Captain Greatbeard and his army of robots, which looks more than a little bit like Dr Robotnik. To defeat these adversaries our lovable blue ninja is suitably tooled up with a sword, three shurikens, jump and a double jump move, which you unleash with square, circle, X and XX.
Now when you think about it ten seconds is a really short amount of time, so the thought of completing a level of a game in that time seems absurd. You can’t even make a cup of tea in that time (have a look on YouTube for the two Dans’ “10 Second Ninja X tea challenge trailer”). However there are lots of things that can be done in ten seconds like ‘the spoonful of cinnamon challenge’ or making love, twice, and once you find the perfect path in the levels you’ll find that you can complete them in ten seconds or even faster. (If you want to know just how quickly you can finish I managed to get one level down to 1.38 seconds) 10 Second Ninja X rewards your speed with a three star rating system, the faster you are the better star rating you’ll get which opens up more stages.
It is also one of those deceptive games because if you manage to ace each of the hundred levels first time the game can, theoretically, be completed in less than seventeen minutes. Don’t worry though not even Shinobi would be able to have a perfect run and finish the game that quickly. You will fail the levels plenty of times, but thankfully the restart is instant and if you find yourself really stuck on a level you can get hints by playing Kats’ minigame that unlock a ghost of the best run to help you on your way. 10 Second Ninja X is jam packed with extras: there are other modes and costumes to unlock and master including Marathon mode which times you across the stages instead of the levels, Legacy mode which is the original 10 Second Ninja game given an HD spit and polish, and if you can find all the CD pieces there’s a hidden game* to unlock. You’ll even find yourself trying to shave off milliseconds from your personal bests as you can try to become the fastest ninja on the global leaderboards.
With trophies popping for such things as completing the game, collecting stars, changing costumes, mastering marathon mode and playing/beating a target score on the secret hidden game, the trophy list shouldn’t put up much of a fight, if you can hone your inner ninja. It’s worth noting that there is a bug at the moment that affects saving so, until the patch hits, if you are going for all the stars its worth returning back to the ship after completing a few levels instead of going back when you’ve finished the entire stage.
10 Second Ninja X is one of the most enjoyable, ultimate risk/reward games I have played. I have no doubt that gamers and reviewers alike will heap praise upon it, and deservedly so. It looks great, the controls are tight, there’s loads of content and… well the list could go on and on. Seriously what’s not to like? It’s easy to pick up and anyone can play it, but if you want a challenge then getting three stars on each of the levels will require nerves of steel and some epic thumb ninja skills. So what are you waiting for? Go grab the game and get those thumbs ready – the ten-second timer is ticking. See you on the leaderboards.
NelMaNo Rating – 9/10
*(Want clues as to what the hidden game is? I’m giving you nun!)