One of the funny side effects of being a broke little kid growing up during the heyday of arcades is that I probably spent more time watching video games than actually playing them. I mean, once you run out of quarters that’s kind of it, you know? So how would I spend that extra time at the arcade before mom said she’d pick me up? I’d just watch. Sometimes I’d be able to watch an actual live human being playing a game, but more often than not I’d just check out each game’s attract mode. Video games, and especially arcade games with their superior (at the time) visuals, were mesmerizing to me, so I found great satisfaction just watching them in motion even if it was just a short demo mode. I have a great fondness for attract modes due to that, and even as my gaming turned more to increasingly powerful home consoles, I’d still just sometimes kick back and watch an attract mode just because it entertained me. Heck, even as a nearly forty year old a game’s attract mode can still make some great background noise while working. Maybe I’m just weird.
Anyway, back in the day one of the coolest attract modes around was that for Sega’s 1987 action platformer Shinobi. The platforming parts were just so-so, but the attract mode also featured the game’s bonus stage, which was a first-person ninja star throwing game that was the absolute coolest thing to me. This was the late eighties and ninja stars were the epitome of awesome to little 7 year old boys. Thanks to the marvel that is YouTube, you can even watch the Shinobi attract mode and see exactly what I’m talking about in the above embedded video. So I took an extra keen interest when I saw the latest game from prolific mobile game developer The Frosty Pop Corps posted to our forum as it’s directly inspired by Shinobi’s bonus game. Yes, you’ll be maniacally throwing ninja stars from a first-person perspective, but Frosty Pop also wondered “If Hunter S. Thompson was head of the art department at the Sega Corporation Ltd. in the early 80s, what would the bonus round in Shinobi look like?" The answer to that question is their upcoming Ninja Attack!
Besides throwing ninja stars at horrific creatures in drug-induced settings, you’ll also have the chance to upgrade you weaponry and make it rain by launching paper money, bullets, and other strange items at them. In addition, there are 30 different psychedelic skins to unlock, and the game will even have an Augmented Reality mode which will let you blast out ninja stars (or whatever) in the real-life setting of your choosing. There will be “hundreds" of in-game quests to complete and leaderboards to compete on. Given my weird fetish for the Shinobi attract mode I’m really excited for Ninja Attack!, but it also just looks like the type of game that’s perfect for the iPhone. Its planned release is this coming February so in the meantime feel free to drop by the forum thread to leave your thoughts on the trailer and maybe keep an eye out for some random promo code giveaways ahead of the official launch.