The story is about ninja rabbit called NinJin and his friend Akai who is ninja fox. One fateful morning, an army approaches and turns their world upside down. Their master called them forth to protect the village. However the army was not after destruction; it was after carrots! Shogun Moe and his army of goons stole every carrot in the village and retreated soon after taking their stash with them. Without hesitate, Ninjin’s master beckoned for his faithful shinobi to heed the call of duty and bring the horde of carrots back to their rightful owner!
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots is an anime-inspired, side-scrolling, beat-em-up!
When you first start the game, you can choose between two main heroes: NinJin the ninja bunny or Akai the ninja fox. After you’ve picked your hero, you are presented with a large map, and each section is covered in clouds. The only way through is to complete each level and defeat the boss to unlock the next area. With each successful mission you will get a chance to buy new weapons to help you in your adventure.
You play on side-scrolling levels. You move anywhere on the playing field with the left analogue stick. You can attack with the Y button and throw projectiles 360 degrees around yourself with the right analog stick. By simply flicking the analog stick, you can throw it in the direction you’re aiming. The B button allows you to dash, and pressing the Y + B buttons together allows you to perform a dash attack to the front or back which is great for damaging multiple enemies at once.
As you progress through the adventure, you acquire over 150 weapons e.g. swords, hammers, daggers, spears etc. You can also acquire throwing weapons and a variety of special artifact’s that can change tide of any battle. Some weapons even come with unique traits like fire, water and electricity. Thankfully, you can check your loadout in between missions. Here, you switch weapons, projectiles, artifacts and once you’ve unlocked second shop, you can also change masks here, too. Changing weapons is essential to completing levels as each weapon may be more suited to certain situations.
As you progress, you come in contact with a little dog named Corgi. He sells a variety of goods including weapons, items and projectiles. These can be bought with carrots which you collect off your defeated enemies. There are also rainbow carrots that fall now and again. These can only be used in the night shop which unlocks later in the game. It gives you access to masks for your character which you can equip to add a little personality to your shinobi.
You can play through all of the levels in single player, local co-op or online co-op which is greatly appreciated.
Single player is definitely fun, but local co-op is blast to play. While online is an excellent inclusion, sadly I’ve not been able to find anyone online to try it out with yet.
The game plays like your typical beat-em-up but with a twist: you’re constantly moving forward. There are normally 8 waves and then a boss encounter, but this changes as you progress further through the game. Enemies come thick and fast, and each new enemy gets a little introduction before it first appears. Each enemy is unique and has different ways of attacking you, so learning all of their patterns is the first step to becoming a true ninja.
As you are constantly running forward, the best attack is to dash through your enemies with the B button and attack from behind because most enemies attack from the front. Also try firing off projectiles which can decrease your enemy’s health overtime and gives you chance to score the final hit. Each time you dash and attack, however, it depletes your stamina gauge. So using too much can leave you vulnerable to attack yourself. The best way to get back into the game is to wait as the bar fills up before resuming your attack.
However, weapons come in lots different categories with unique traits. For example, spears have long reach while daggers are smaller but may have a higher crit rate. Huge swords have higher damage but take longer to use because they are so heavy. Believe me, picking the right weapon is very important in NinJin.
I found certain levels required a little grinding to collect enough carrots to buy more powerful weapons at the shop. Replaying older levels that you’ve cleared can help you accumulate more carrots.
— Leigh Wynne (@leighwynne33) September 4, 2018
Once you unlock power stones, you can also access special moves which automatically activate once the purple bar fills up. These can be anything from turning into a fire breathing dragon or calling forth army of frozen chickens. It’s very satisfying see enemies run scared when the attack is active.
There is another mode which will unlock in from the beginning. It is a game show called the Oni TV Show which is an endless mode were you constantly fight waves of different enemies to survive for as long as you can. Surviving will net you some very rare weapons, so the longer you stay alive, the more chests you will hopefully unlock. You can also collect some weapon chests on the battle field. These appear from defeated enemies and boss battles. Each weapon has some rather amusing descriptions and some great designs which really made me want to collect them all.
The game is fast paced, so if you are not prepared or haven’t gotten the right weapon, you may struggle as some enemies are pain to kill. One such enemy that gave me problems was the sumo bears which were my least favourite part of game every time they appeared.
I managed to reach the final area of the game, and the difficultly steadily increased to the end. There were times were I had to change things up and not use my favourite weapon but rather one with higher damage output or one that had elementary advantages.
I have really enjoyed the game so far. My favourite aspect of the game has definitely been the huge weapon selection, and I love the masks as they add that little personal touch. I also like the core gameplay mechanics and the local co-op. I might also enjoy the online if I can ever find a match.
There also a combo and score system which keeps chains going and helps you to achieve the ultimate S rank which is what you really want to be aiming for. This is because you get graded on each level for your overall performance at the end.
While I haven’t been able to try playing online yet, it’s still a good feature to have in a game like this. The fact that you can customize character load-outs with weapons, unique artifacts and masks lets you personalize your online experience with others and I am sure that because it has hit the eShop now, the online servers should have filled up.
Audio is pretty funky and fits the overall style. It’s pretty upbeat which good for a game that’s pretty manic at times. And the sound effects all sound good!
Visuals and Performance
The visuals in NinJin are really nice. They have a simple yet vibrant aesthetic that looks very anime-like which I really liked. All enemies, even the annoying sumo bears, were animated well.
Performance works ok; however, when there were are a lot of enemies on screen, there was noticeable slowdown, but it didn’t happen in every level. It just happened in some of early ones which was odd. Other than that I’ve played 7hrs and just reached the end of the game; I did not experience any other issues.
The game also features video capture which is great to share your victories with the world!
The game is priced at £11.99, and what’s here is pretty great. It comes with a hefty adventure mode that’s 20+ levels and the ability play local co-op as well as on and off line. It’s a title that I think you would get a lot of mileage from. If you love beat-em-ups but want a change of pace, then this is a great place to start with an interesting mechanic and a plethora of weapons to wield. You would be hard pressed find anything else like it on the eshop.
Local, Online co-op
Fast Paced Combat
Oni – Survival Mode
Annoying Sumo Bears
Some Slow Down