Published on July 12th, 2016 | by Scot Mackay0
Preview: 10 Second Ninja X
There are a lot of things that can be completed in 10 seconds or less. Usain Bolt can run the 100ms, I can devour a pack of chocolate Hob Nobs and a young man’s love life can all be done in that modicum of time. So what could YOU complete in that time if you really put your mind to it?
The world of 10 Second Ninja X lets you find out.
Being published by Curve Digital and developed by Four Circle Interactive, 10SNX (worst abbreviation ever!) gives you a fairly simple set of controls, and an even simpler mission statement: complete each level in 10 seconds or quicker. The quicker the better.
My little ninja somersaults across the Lemmings 2D styled stages with the seemingly simple task of destroying the Capt. Greatbeard’s robot lackeys, avoiding any shocking obstacles and looking cool whilst he does it…all under 10 seconds.
The first time I play this game, I complete the first level in (literally) 6 seconds and whilst everything looks pretty and is so simple to pick up, I’m still struggling to spot anything that looks remotely challenging…that is until the end of level score card comes up. It gives me a single gold star out of three and promptly tells me that I have to be 3.46 seconds quicker to get 2 gold stars.
*Cracks knuckles* Ok motherplucker, its on!!
Restarting the level, I bounce around using my little ninja sword and shurikens to take out the robots. This time I am quicker but yet again, the single solitary gold star flashes on screen. Its taunting me, telling me that its possible, I just need to be 1.17 seconds faster. You are dam right I am going to try it again. Again and again, I change my tactics, change my direction of travel, a nudge here, a twist there, BOOM!!! That second gold star lights up like Christmas when I was five and I’m opening my first Sega console. A bead of sweat is now working its way down my face and creeping towards my eyes but I don’t have time to worry about that now, level 2 has appeared.
A different configuration of the level and a few more robots scattered about. It hasn’t passed unnoticed that there are now a few more of them and I really need to plan out what I need to do to get the quickest time possible. Thankfully before you start each level, you can move around the level to see where everything is situated. This is particularly helpful in the later levels, oh, did I mention there we over 100 levels? I didn’t? oh, well there’s that to keep you busy for a while.
All of a sudden, this game has left the realms of a simple platformer behind and the cleverly disguised puzzle element comes to the fore. With limited shurikens at my disposal, I need to work out what targets can be reached at close range and which one need that essential projectile attack for. It needs to be planned carefully, performed quickly and most importantly with a level head. I noticed that as the giant timer on screen counts down, my thumbs turn to jelly and I end up bashing every button on the controller in a frantic attempt to make that last manoeuvre, that last jump, that last throw of my shuriken just so I can get as many gold stars as possible.
Another great provider of much needed challenge comes from the lovely leader board situated on the right hand side of the screen. After each level, it highlights where you are versus your friends or more importantly globally. Now, I am pretty chuffed to say I managed to get into the top 20 for a few of the levels and I consider this a bloody good effort…. BUT….and this is a big but and I cannot lie. When I am .2 of a second behind someone on that leader board, I can guarantee you, I will be revisiting that level with the sole intention of crushing their time. Sometimes I managed to do it, other times I’m pushing myself into the realms of madness retrying each level 15+ times without break or pause.
Each error I make begins to frustrate me. A mistimed jump here, landing to close to an electric trap there or my personal favourite, throwing one of my very few shurikens by mistake at an easy target only to find I need it for an unreachable enemy at the last moment begins to grind my gears. Practice makes perfect, repetition breeds familiarity but doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is the definition of insanity.
10SNX will put you to the test but it will also give you an electric feel of urgency. Everything in this game is designed to move along swiftly, without holding you back. I learned the controls in mere seconds. One button makes you jump, one button makes you slash with your sword and the last throws your projectiles. Destroy the robots to stop the timer, do it anyway you can but just learn to do it fast. Put yourself into that Zen like state to give yourself the best chance but I am telling you now that there is nothing wrong with missing a target by a full second but there is everything wrong with missing a target by a millisecond.
I’m not scoring this game at the moment as it’s a preview but I can tell you that it would get a very decent score from myself. It has a cheeky humour to it that is evident from that start, it has a beautiful design that pushes me back to my retro days with similarities to Sonic and Lemmings and it has a frantic charm to it that is appealing and addictive. Its finding its way to console but I cant help fell that there is a perfect opportunity to get this game into more players grubby paws by making it a mobile game as well. It has the perfect quick addictive gaming fix that we all crave for some reason when we are on the toilet.
With this being a sequel of its PC older brother, 10 Second Ninja X really refines itself with satisfyingly slick, simplified gameplay that will put a big grin on even the most casual gamer and at later levels, put a grimace of determination on the face of the more hard-core elite games.
Keep an eye out for this little beauty on the 19th of July. It will be available for Playstation 4, Xbox One, PS vita (does anyone still use this) and Steam.