Hanzo is one angry ninja, as he finds his family kidnapped and village pillaged upon returning from training camp. Most of us would break down and cry, but Hanzo has got the power to cope and the skills to do something about it. Perhaps not the most original story, but considering this is a game called Draw Slasher [$4.99] it will do just fine.

As the name implies this is a slasher game where you draw to execute moves. Or rather you swipe, but Swipe Slasher wouldn’t be that great of a name. Hanzo can slash in all directions, and the only limitation is his stamina. The more stamina he has the longer slashes you can perform. If you swipe on the top half of the screen he jumps, and dashes. Controlling Hanzo is highly responsive, and you can even queue moves by doing multiple swipes. Mind you if a move is blocked by an enemy the queue is reset.

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Draw Slasher is an arcade brawler at heart, and most levels are all about eliminating all enemies. This can at times feel a bit repetitive when you face the ordinary monkeypiratezombiegoon. It gets much more interesting when the barrel monkeys turn up, and even more interesting when grotesque armored Frankensteins enter the fray. Timing, and aiming your slices is quite fun, and the game turns into a blood-filled precision slasher. Almost as if Fruit Ninja started pelting you with severed limbs to slice.

From time to time you encounter levels where you have to avoid getting burnt by napalm. These are quite simple, and you just tap to move Hanzo to a safe spot before moving on. To me these levels just feel like filler material, and don’t bring anything exciting to the game.

The controls are great for slashing away at enemies, but when the game forces precision jumping to avoid incoming projectiles it all turns into a hot mess. This leads to a lot of frustration, and yearning for some virtual buttons instead of swipe controls.

There have been different Draw Slasher-games on the App Store since 2009. This version is a port from PS Vita, and it looks and sounds much better than previous iterations. It is always enjoyable to see games transition between platforms, and especially when they return bigger and better to iOS.

With three levels of difficulty, a quite lengthy story mode, challenges, unlockable arcade mode and Game Center achievements there is certainly a lot of content. That being said the gameplay doesn’t evolve that much it just gets more intense. The upgrades for Hanzo are limited to health, stamina and a couple of special moves. More cool upgrades, and customization would have given the game more variety, and reason to keep playing after completing the story mode.

Draw Slasher is the ninja game for the ninja not keen on being stealthy. Hanzo did not go to the same school as the main character in Mark of the Ninja. In that school Hanzo would have been a dropout only completing the initial killing classes. That's ok though because the action is fun, making this latest iteration of Draw Slasher on iOS a game worth checking out.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarNone
  • H4nd0fg0d

    Slow day?

  • repapermunky

    It's funny because even when Eli played this live, everyone pretty much agreed this game was a pass; including Eli, himself. And here this reviewer is saying its a darn good game... Hmm.

    • Andy C83

      I know, right? How dare Torbjörn have an opinion of his own! Bad Torbjörn!

      • repapermunky

        Touché, my friend. Where was my mind... How silly of me. But believe me, I never meant he should not have his own opinion. Came out wrong, forgive a fella.

  • Chris Brady

    Isn't this... I know I played this game or something very like it two years ago.

    • Chris Brady

      Yes, I did. Draw Slasher: The Quest.

      So what's different about this one?

  • Themostunclean

    I had a problem with the jumping at first, too. I don't think it's due to poor design because after a little trial and error I realized I'd been doing it wrong. It's a case in the game where you actually are drawing, not swiping- you start by putting your finger at the top of your jump-arc and quickly draw the rest of the arc down to precisely where you want to land. After I figured this out, I had perfect jumps almost every time. Hope that helps some people!

Draw Slasher Reviewed by Torbjörn Kämblad on . Rating: 4