I’ve honestly never been a big fan of time-trial styled games. Running against oneself never struck me as particularly exciting. My excitement over Ten Second Ninja came as a surprise to myself- something about the game appealed to me, and I couldn’t quite put a finger on what it was. Having played a preview build of the game, I can now say what it was that initially drew me to Ten Second Ninja: the game is as fun as it looks.
The goal of Ten Second Ninja, as the name suggests, is to clear each level in ten seconds or less. You play as a blue-clad ninja who’s trying to defeat a robotic menace- in each level, you’re granted three shuriken and your trusty sword. The robots (in the game’s current state) do not attack- you simply have to hit them as quickly as possible, dashing from platform to platform, jumping and tossing shuriken and swinging your blade. That’s it, really. The game’s dead simple, and for that reason I adore it. It’s not burdened down with complex systems or tons of dialogue- it’s a very arcade-styled thing.
The game’s clean, simple pixel art is bright, and seems to suit the gameplay- you won’t spend more than a couple milliseconds looking for robots- that’s crucial to a game like this. The game’s main theme is quick,cheerful, and suits gameplay well- it’s upbeat and Asian-influenced, fitting the game’s ninja theme.
Since Ten Second Ninja is still a work in progress, it’s a little too early for criticism- we’ll have a full review of the game once it’s ready. Right now, however, I think it’s safe to say that this is a game to keep an eye on- it’s easy to get into, addictive, fast-paced, and well designed. Though it’s an “action” game, it feels like a puzzle in many respects- I kept replaying levels, looking for faster ways to get through them- it’s surprisingly cerebral for such a simple game. I had trouble tearing myself away long enough to write this preview. Ten Second Ninja will be coming out on March 5, 2014- stick with us for further coverage, and be sure to follow Dan Pearce, the game’s creator, on Twitter.