The ninja will respond to the user's touches by springing into different actions. Launch ninja stars from the swipe of an arm, with the iPhone in hand. A toned-down tennis serve motion seemed to work best, though I can't assure the quality of my tennis serve. Swipe up to jump, swipe left or right to roll left or right. Sitting is encouraged by a swipe down and tilting your device will cause your Amazing Ninja Buddy to lean in that direction. Tap his body to set off a smoke bomb and disappear/reappear, tap his face to make him speak. He grows angry when the screen is pinched and can also demonstrate impatience when he is idle for more than 5 seconds.
Once familiarity with his moves is established, Ninja Buddy can be initiated into playing two demanding mini-games. Five consecutive rolls, which are induced by swiping a finger to the left or right, or five jumps from a flick straight up, start a tough Memory Game of the user watching then mimicking the ninja's actions in order. Success rewards the ninja with a new move, the ability to sit Lotus-style and levitate with blue flames in his palms. However, before the unveiling, the user is reminded that this new skill must be earned again with each new game. "Ninja must always keep their skills sharp," he warns.
Tossing three throwing stars at the ninja challenges him to a sort of pitching competition. Utilize the swing method and follow the directional arrows on the screen to send throwing stars at your Amazing Ninja Buddy, which he staves off with his sword. Imagine my surprise when he battled one right back at me and and it "shattered" and "stuck" in my screen. Talk about breaking the fourth wall.
The reward in the ninja star game is supposed to be a jump strike move, but I couldn't earn a victor — despite the tiny ninja's verbal abuse regarding my performance. (Though, my favorite ninja quip occurs when the little guy gets bored when he sits idle: he musters up some attitude and delivers, "Niiinja pleeease.") My Ninja Buddy warned me after failing each round that I needed to try harder, to which only one button is available: "Hai." It is supposed to mean "Agree" or "Correct," in Japanese, which is humbling.
An Asian inspired musical loop plays throughout Amazing Ninja Buddy, rolling and twinkling in time with the dark clouds float past a big, bright full moon beyond the dojo. The dojo's moody palate of dark greys and purples even underscores the "seriousness" of your ninja training. Ninja Buddy's movements and graphics are quick and the sound effects precise. Essentially, each aspect of this game compliments the others and builds an entertaining application.
Omegasoft's site promises additional dialog and content updates soon, which could really amp up Amazing Ninja Buddy. Additional games, especially a web based multiplayer, could make it a hit. Hai?