Given they’re probably best known for games like Hitman where you stealthily throttle people to death with a strip of wire (if you could ever get that damned garrotte to work that is), IO Interactive have taken a step back with Mini-Ninjas, and created something a little less dark.
And although the game’s charming, artful simplicity won’t be to the liking of every gamer, this is still an original, entertaining little adventure game which has been competently done, and which certainly doesn’t lack for enthusiasts (it might also be worth pointing out this is definitely not a game just for the kids). So if a bit of light hearted adventuring is the kind of thing you go in for to whittle away the winter evenings, Mini-Ninjas is currently going for £9.99 from Shopto. The next cheapest deal comes in at £12.95.
Mini-Ninjas sees the player assuming the role of Hiro who, on a quest to rescue his four friends, finds himself battling hordes of evil samurai. And unlike Hitman, a game which (I’ll be honest) only seemed possible to do properly if you were one click away from an online walkthrough, Mini-Ninjas is a fairly straight forward affair. The environments and levels are quite linear, but superbly rendered, and criss-crossed with paths and little short cuts which take you to hidden shrines and enemy encampments, and which- a bit like Hitman - give the impression of a much larger open-world.
The combat system consists of a series of different heavy and light attacks which can be blended into various combos – although, unfortunately, it is possible to just button bash your way through the entire title. You can also carry out magic attacks after discovering shrines - one of the more memorable being the ability to manipulate various wild animals which populate the environment, such as boars, and send them into enemy encampments.
The game also has a stealth element to it but curiously (especially since this is game from the makers of Hitman) stealth gains you no reward, and if that’s the approach you choose throughout the game, you do end up with an under strength set of characters. Overall however, if you're into games which are more tongue-in-cheek than serious, you'll get around ten hours genuine enjoyment out of Mini-Ninjas. And for a tenner, that's certainly good value for money.
Thanks to Edinburgh Canary from Hotukdeals.