There have been plenty of excellent retro platformers released for iOS over the years, and the upcoming 1-Bit Ninja is one that has really caught my attention. Developer Ben Hopkins and his studio Kode80 wanted to create a platforming game that was an homage to the Game & Watch and Game Boy platformers of his youth, and it’s immediately apparent that 1-Bit Ninja is just that. It features monochrome-style graphics and simple 1 pixel animations, but it’s also hiding a high tech secret under the hood.
Anytime during play, you can touch and drag the upper portion of the screen to reveal the world in 3D and get a new perspective on things. If you follow console gaming at all, the effect is somewhat similar to the upcoming title Fez (I highly suggest watching the gameplay video for that game) or even the Paper Mario series. Changing the perspective is not only very cool looking but also affects the gameplay by revealing hidden paths and giving you a broader perspective down the level so you can plan your actions better.
But talk is cheap, check out this developer gameplay video to see what 1-Bit Ninja is like for yourself:
In addition to this interesting gameplay mechanic, Kode80 is also dedicated to creating a game that controls really well on the touch screen. The game has been designed from the ground up for two button controls - touching the left side of the screen makes your character run and touching the right side makes him jump - and that’s it. Players in our forums who are fans of iOS platformers like League of Evil [$2.99/Lite] and Mos Speedrun [$1.99] are skeptical about not being able to move to the left, but I’ll keep an open mind about that until I’m actually able to try the game.
That won’t be too long of a wait either, as 1-Bit Ninja is scheduled to hit at the end of this month. We’ll definitely be taking a look at this interesting looking title then, and check out the forum thread for more information.