Crazy Carpenter released Ninja TD for the iPhone not too long ago, and I was absolutely blown away by the screenshots. It looked like an improved version of Fieldrunners along with everyone’s favorite theme implemented: ninjas. While the whole idea sounds absolutely crazy and awesome, the game itself is more of a nightmare than strategic tower defense game.
Visuals: From the moment I saw the game in the App Store to the moment I stopped playing the game, I’ve always absolutely loved the visuals. Artwork is very well laid out and very well done, and the gameplay areas are all well implemented. The field designs are wonderfully rendered, and the artwork is some of the best I’ve ever seen. Menu designs are also very well done, and it makes good use of the available screen space.
Variety: With 5 different worlds and 4 levels per world, the game is far from short as you will find yourself battling through. Enemy variety, while not as significant, is a factor that is present along with many different types of ninja magic and towers. I found the experience with different backgrounds to be a lot more varied than other TD games, and the variety came as a pleasant surprise.
Gameplay Balancing: The balancing in this game in terms of difficulty is absolutely horrendous, and even the LV 1 difficulty was hard for me to pass. Sure the game can be difficult, but the level of difficulty in Ninja TD is more than I would have liked. It’s extremely hard to pass areas even on the lowest difficulty setting, and most TD fans will find themselves becoming more and more frustrated with the game’s difficulty.
Nothing New: With the exception of ninjas, there’s really nothing new in Ninja TD. Magic attacks are features that we’ve seen in previous TDs like Sentinel 2: Earth Defense, and the ninja towers are no where near “different”. Other than that, it’s basically just another fixed-path tower defense game with beautiful backgrounds and ninjas.
As much as I wanted to like Ninja TD, I can’t bring myself to enjoy the game. Sure the visuals are absolutely phenomenal, but the gameplay balancing and the fact that nothing new is added is a little disappointing. Unlocking towers and magic attacks take quite a while also, and there’s really no reason to keep unlocking. For most iPhone gamers, the level of difficulty will turn you away, and really, the only people that will benefit from this are the 1% of people that have beat every other tower defense game.