This game was Provided to Nintenhub by the publisher Sometimes You.
Save The Ninja Clan is a 2D platformer developed by Willz and published by Sometimes You. You play as a ninja whos friends have been kidnapped by another evil ninja. Your goal is to find your way through creative levels using only your climbing, jumping, and throwing knife skills, as well as to collect scrolls.
After a very brief introduction, the game gives you a quick glimpse of things ninjas cannot do, before throwing you into the tutorial. The game walks you throught the first level. Some of the obstacles found in these levels include wooden boxes you cannot climb, moving saws, evil ninjas with guns, lazers, bombs, and water (yes water, ninjas cannot swim!).
There are 3 worlds in this game meaning 3 bosses, one for every 10 levels beaten or one world. Each has its own challenge to overcome although they all follow a similar run/chase format. At the end of each boss fight you free one of your friends and gain the ability to play as them. Each character has its own specific skill set to help you get through certain obstacles.
One of this games stronger qualities in the ability to interact with the environment. You can interact with almost anything, including some clouds, and even flying birds. This is done by keeping everything simple, but with enough moving parts that it makes a full cohesive environment. Everything has a role, and many things which could be purely aesthetic are not. It gives an enticement to explore properly and challenges the player to push themselves to the farthest corners of the levels.
In terms of actual gameplay, the configuration works smoothly in handheld, table top, or TV mode as there are few actual buttons to use. However if you don’t like the controls there is no way to change button assignment. There is also a slight delay in moving the joystick and the character moving on screen. This means if you don’t let go of the joystick soon enough, you may find yourself hurdling off a platform or cliff, into the dangers below.
The art style of this game is very different from what the cover art suggests. I do think the in game art is an improvement of the cover art. The characters look something close to lego characters in design, with more blocky features. The colours chosen are mild browns, greens, and blues, which all work nicely together. Despite the mild colours nothing looks dull, and everything blends into a cohesive environment.
Music is something very important in video games, and games without good music suffer. This is not one of those games. The music is calming, but interesting and helps give focus on those more difficult levels. I think it’s a good choice for this game as it helps set the tone to be patient and calculating. The music is always appropriate in whatever levels you play. They also add ambient noises from the environment which really adds another layer of depth to the audio.
For those who like a little more than just reaching the end goal, this game has something for you. Each level has collectables, being a yin-yang symbol which can be used to later upgrade your throwing knives. This is completely optional but really makes things interesting later on. Another very interesting addition to the game is that each level (not including boss levels) have a secret ending. By being observant or just lucky you may find one of these. Most let you skip to the next level saving you some more difficult platforming. They also include the “developer” talking criticizing you through a chat window. It is quite humorous to see the things he has to say.
One thing I find lacking in this game is the actual story. We know our friends have been kidnapped but otherwise have no more information. You go through the levels collecting these scrolls for seemingly no reason that the game gives, and a third of the way through the game more story still is not given.
Unlike Save The Ninja Clan on other platforms, the nintendo switch version of course, does not have achievements and runs a little more expensive than the PC version at 4$ USD. However if you prefer playing with a remote instead of a keyboard and want to take this game on the go, this is the version for you. The total game lasts about 3-4 hours depending on if you collect everything, or just play the game. Speedruns can most likely be done in under an hour. There is also a convenient timer on every level for you speedrunners to keep track.
Overall this game is challenging, funny, interesting, and has a charming art style with a beautiful soundtrack. I think the character movement could use a little refining, and even though it is a platformer, it could have a few more story elements. Overall I rate this game 6.5/10