If one thing’s for certain in 2017, it’s that ninjas are still as awesome as ever. I don’t care what anyone says about the Assassin’s Creed series – the stealthy secret agents from feudal Japan are far more contextually interesting, and also look infinitely more badass. Thankfully, the App Store has had a solid representation when it comes to ninjas, with Mika Mobile’s classic (and sadly only 32-bit) OMG Pirates! being one of my favourite sidescrolling action games in the tentative early years of iOS gaming, and recent efforts like Mr. Future Ninja ($1.99) and Breakout Ninja (Free) have also been a lot of fun. Ninja Scroller – The Awakening is the next such upcoming release, and as you may expect from the name, features a lot of the titular mercenaries in a beautiful auto-runner environment. In the lead up to its November 30th release, the developer has released a neat preview trailer for Ninja Scroller on our forums.
“But Rob", you wearily cry, “why do we need yet another auto-runner on the App Store?". It’s certainly true that the genre has been beaten to within an inch of its life with so many variations over the years, and it’s understandable if auto-runner apathy has set in at this point. However, my belief is that any such title that looks like it’s not simply a lazy copout should be given a chance, as I’ve been surprised by how developers have managed to invigorate the basic formula in recent attempts. I’m getting some strong SumiKen ($1.99) vibes from Ninja Scroller, and the game’s beautiful aesthetic design perfectly suits the ninja-fighting action that’s happening on the screen. The promise of a fair freemium monetisation model, lots of content in the form of missions, quests and endless modes, and dynamically varied environments emphasise how Ninja Scroller is a meticulously crafted experience and not simply going through the motions. Look out for Ninja Scroller on November 30th, and check out our forum thread for more information as it’s revealed.