Hello, all you lovely people, and welcome to our Nindie Spotlight, where we talk about our favorite Nindies and why you should play them. Chelly will be back next week, so I will be substituting. My name is Jason, and this is your Nindie Spotlight of the week – N++.
N++ is the third title in a trilogy of N games by Metanet Software, and it is undeniably the best in the series in every way possible.
A little bit of background. N was released in 2004 and was consistently updated by the team until as recent as 2012. It is the game that started it all, and in many ways, it redefined minimalistic platforming in the modern age.
After N, N+ released in 2008, and it was an excellent upgrade from the original and provided some of the best soundtrack music I have ever heard in a game.
That is until N++ released in 2015 on the PS4. As good as N+ was in regards to its gameplay and music, N++ took everything good about the first two games and flew it to the moon.
N++ is the world’s best platformer. Period.
It is one of the most exhilarating games, and the controls are pure perfection. And thank the Almighty Super Ninja, it released on the Nintendo Switch on May 24, 2018.
You take on the role of a ninja in a sci-fi minimalist world inhabited by accidentally homicidal robots, and you have a sick thirst for gold. Your goal is to simply collect as much gold as you possibly can, hit the key, and make your way to the door. It is as simple a concept as it can get.
Stages are always one screen, so you are able to see every enemy, every piece of gold, the key, and the door at all times. It is in this brilliant design that N++ escalates itself in the flooded world of platformers. There is nothing like a carrot dangling in front you when it comes to motivation, and N++ does this in spades.
Each passing stage and episode gets more and more complicated, but because of the simple and minimalistic design, there is this sense of inner-strength that constantly says, “You can do this!” You will need this attitude, because N++ can be quite the challenge (You will die A LOT), especially in the bottom tier episodes.
I have never been so motivated by a game’s simplicity, and this is exactly what makes N++ amazing.
The way the episodes work is that you are presented with 5 stages you have to clear before you run out of time. Collecting gold earns you time, but clearing stages in the quickest way possible is also important. Learning to combine these two elements is what separates the casuals from the experts. For those who love leaderboards, N++’s are insane. The speed of which the top players are able to collect every piece of gold and clear the episodes is a marvel to watch. And guess what: You are able to watch any player’s run from the leaderboard, and this serves as both a motivator and a humiliator.
N++ currently boasts 4340 levels crafted by Metanet Software themselves. That is not even counting the user-made levels that you can freely access online.
And I have not even talked about the co-op yet.
N++’s co-op mode is stellar. You and up to three friends will be thrown into situations where you have to work together in order to clear the stage. This may require one player to survive a gauntlet of rockets and lasers while the other players traverse through long and bomb-infested corridors trying to hit the key so that the gauntlet player can get in the door. Sacrificing yourself is also common in multiplayer so that at least one other player can get to the door.
The amount of fun I have had in multiplayer alone is reason enough to recommend this game. It is absolutely awesome!
When it comes to platforming and gameplay, I would put N++ up against any of the greats. It is just that good at what it does.
And as much as I can rant and rave about N++’s gameplay, minimalist graphics, eye-popping colors, and superb level design, I could talk about its soundtrack for days.
This is, in my opinion, one of the greatest soundtracks in gaming history. There are 27 tracks that just pump your blood in a way that so few soundtracks can. Metanet Software got the hookups from a lot of different musicians to powerup N++ in the absolute perfect way, and each track is so full of life and power that it makes the excessive amount of deaths completely fine. You will want to keep playing so that you can finish listening to all of these bangers!
Some of my favorite gaming memories involve the soundtracks to both N+ and N++. When my wife and I first got married, I often played N+ with her sitting beside me. Every so often, we would both get up and just start dancing to the soundtrack, and it warmed my heart so much.
Fast forward to N++, and now my wife, my son, my daughter, and I frequently have dance sessions to the soundtrack, particularly our favorite song, I Left the Party. To see the joy that this game’s music brings to my family immediately puts this soundtrack in a category of its own. If you want to check out the soundtrack without playing the game, here’s the link to the Spotify Playlist.
But please do yourself a favor and play and enjoy N++ firsthand. You will not regret it one bit. There is just so much to enjoy!
And that is all I will say for now. That is it for this week’s Nindie Spotlight on N++. Check us out again next week when Chelly returns for another brief look into the Nintendo Switch’s best Nindie titles. What are some of your favorite indies currently available on the Switch? Let us know in the comments below!
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