There are games that you instantly know you will enjoy. It’s like meeting someone for the first time and you can tell from the beginning you’ll get along. Be it their demeanor or funny quips or sense of style, there are clues that give us a gut instinct. Ninja Pong had a similar effect on us. It’s fun, cute, and easy to pick up. It lets you know right out of the gate that you’re going to have fun.
Like the name implies, this game is a descendant of grandfather Pong, patriarch of the paddle game. In this version, you use a paddle to bounce ninjas across a gap, propelling them to the other side and, we presume, towards their victims awaiting a silent death.
We’ve got some Cleveland fans in the house.
While moving your paddle beneath the ninja hoard, you must also watch out for enemy weapons. Fiery arrows and bombs are launched your way. A bomb means instant death, and a fiery arrow means a slow one. On the other side, bonus fly toward you, too. Some lengthen your paddle to catch more ninjas, while others slow time time or double your points.
You move the paddle by sliding your finger across your screen. If your paddle is struck by an arrow and lit on fire, you must rapidly move your finger back and forth to put the fire out. This simple control scheme allows you to focus on saving ninjas and not worrying about onscreen buttons.
Ninja tidal wave.
In each level, you can also rescue coins that you can use to purchase fun add-ons, like a gladiator’s helmet or a ball cap. If you’re more focused on winning, you can spend your hard-earned coins on upgrades that increase the power of your paddle or add more points to your score.
Ninja Pong also gives you several game options. You can play in Arcade mode in normal or expert difficulty settings; it gives you 60 seconds to save as many ninjas as possible. Your other option is Endless mode, which allows you to keep playing until you run out of life. Your life meter is determined by how many ninjas you have regretfully let fall into the deep chasm.
While Ninja Pong has plenty of unlockables, it’s important to remember this game is very casual. There’s not a lot here to keep you playing for more than twenty minutes at a time. Each round only lasts a minute or two, and the gameplay becomes stale if you play repeatedly. But the small price point fits, and we’re excited to see what the developers will come out with next. Ninja Pong is a wonderful, simple game that’s great in small doses.