If there is one thing Kinect users want, it’s more games that really take advantage of Kinect’s motion control capabilities. Mini Ninjas Adventures from motion control developer Side Kick and Square Enix lets you become a Ninja, literally! Through 21 levels, the player uses a variety of weapons and magic attacks to destroy enemies and save the fellow ninjas of their village. As a cheap $10 downloadable game, does Mini Ninjas Adventures have players throwing ninja stars with ease or waggling at their TV?
There really is not a story to Mini Ninjas Adventures. The main goal is to rescue all of the ninjas of your village from the enemies that attack you. The story is told through cut scenes which each last about five seconds each. It was easy to see that the story was not at all important to the game. Where the game shines is its controls and sheer variety of obstacles to overcome. Through the game’s 21 levels, you are gradually awarded with new weapons, abilities, and magic attacks. Each of these is also used to overcome different types of enemies and obstacles. What kept me interested in playing was that the game never felt repetitive as new gameplay mechanics were constantly added.
There are a lot of different controls to remember, each of which feel pretty natural to use. To move around from side to side on the screen, the player moves their body left and right. You will need some space to do this so make sure your room is big enough to play in and that it is clean. To use your sword, just make slicing motions with your right hand. To activate your bow, put your left hand behind your back. In order to use the bow, you hold it out with your left hand and pull your right hand backwards, as if you were pulling a bow and firing it. To use your ninja stars, hold out your arms all the way out. From there, the player uses a flicking motion to fire the ninja stars. I think you get the idea. Since each weapon is capable of killing different enemies in different areas on screen, you will need to constantly switch between all of them. There are also magic attacks, blocking and deflecting, and more. Some of the controls such as moving across the screen and using the ninja stars work great, but firing the bow or swinging your sword isn’t always accurate. They sometimes just wouldn’t register, even when doing the motions correctly. There is also a special ninja attack which when shouting “NINJA” gives you some allies who will do massive damage to enemies on screen. This ability activated many times when I didn’t want it to. Either I need to go into my Kinect’s microphone settings or the game is very sensitive to sound.
Each level lasts about seven to ten minutes. After playing even just three levels, I found myself sweating and out of breath. After a few days of playing, I even found my right arm was feeling sore from constantly making sword swinging motions. You need to be constantly moving to take out enemies. While playing, coins also appear on screen which you can collect. These coins are experience points which allow you to level up abilities such as health, magic, critical hits, and more. Even after playing all 21 levels, you can go back to beat your score in different levels and gain more experience points. There are also some mini games, but the mini games feel like they were a last minute add on. You use the different weapons and abilities you have acquired to defeat thirty enemies that appear on screen. There could have been more added to the mini games section. I would rather go back to the levels than play the boring mini games mode. The visuals in Mini Ninjas Adventures were very simple, yet fit the game very well. The game’s soundtrack was not half bad, playing catchy tunes that fit with the atmosphere.
Overall, I really enjoyed Mini Ninjas Adventures. Although the controls only worked about eighty percent of the time, the large amount of gameplay mechanics and variety of levels will keep you interested enough to play through to the end. For only ten dollars, I would easily recommend Mini Ninjas Adventures to anyone looking for a fun Kinect game that gives a great workout. If the game were any less than ten dollars, I’d recommend it in a heart beat to any gamer. For those still skeptical, try out the trial and you’ll be hooked.