Developer: Jormy Pty Ltd
Price: $5.99 Download on the App Store
iDodge: Space Ninja - If you’re confused about what the heck a Space Ninja is, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Typically ninjas tend to do what they do over in the Eastern Hemisphere, not north of the Ionosphere. Jormy Games has essentially ignored those pesky realities and forged ahead with the release of Space Ninja, a top down space adventure that impresses in a variety of respects.
To be clear, the game iDodge: Space Ninja takes place in space, but there are no ninjas in the conventional sense. A snazzy little space ship that leaves red residue as it moves is Jormy’s interpretation of a Space Ninja. I just wanted to be clear for those of you that were literally expecting a human ninja kicking butt in space...like me.
Every ninja has a mission, and this Space Ninja is no exception. You use the accelerometer to control the spaceship to navigate around a treacherous landscape filled with little space critters shooting at you from all angles. Luckily the ship is extremely nimble as you can turn and whip around the iPhone to maneuver. This is the core objective that is progressively intensified over the course of Space Ninja's 40 missions.
The missions have an average length of about a minute each which is great for making progress in common five-minute downtime scenarios. Besides the 40 missions found in the main gameplay mode, iDodge: Space Ninja has two additional modes called Ski and Challenge that are good time wasters.
iDodge: Space Ninja has a special gameplay gimmick that doesn’t feel forced or out of place. When the going gets tough with bullets and lasers flying all over the place, you have the option to activate the Bullet Time inspired mode made famous by the Matrix Trilogy. With the press and hold of the screen, the action slows down to a crawl enabling sharper and more refined movement of your ship. After the fifth mission, this feature becomes a necessity to make it through subsequent ones.
The graphics and sound are nothing special to write home about in iDodge: Space Ninja. There isn’t anything going on terribly sophisticated that presses the iPhone’s hardware. Jormy decided to execute an approach that brings back memories of classic arcade games like Galaga and Defender. I couldn’t help but wish for more sizzle based on the bar being raised by games like Rolando and Payback.
While I dig the game a lot, it’s my unshakable belief that Jormy Games wants people to die frequently and, in turn, curse profusely. I’ve lost count on the amount of times I’d almost completed a level only to get blown up by a scripted bullet that comes in with a perfect angle. It’s a hard game that is tailored towards the hardcore audience with no difficulty settings built in. For some, the difficulty is a great thing as it’s a nod to the throwback games of old.
Despite the head scratching title that doesn’t make sense on any logical level, I consider iDodge: Space Ninja a great game. With several gameplay modes, tight controls and tough as nails difficulty; this Space Ninja deserves a spot on the homepage of any gamer that likes a good challenge.