Ninjatown: Trees Of Doom!

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Ninjatown: Trees of Doom!™ is now FREE, Universal, and still cute as ever!

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Ninjatown: Trees of Doom Review

While the list of games that are known for that ‘one more time…’ quality is slowly getting larger, not many can dispute that Doodle Jump is right up there on that list. Simple and deep at the same time, we’ve killed many hours trying to push our high scores into the stratosphere. We mention this because now there’s a new game that conjures those same ol’ snuggly feelings. Meet your next timesink: Ninjatown: Trees of Doom.

Not to be confused with Shawnimals’ Ninjatown for the Nintendo DS, this is a completely new game built from the ground-up for the iDevices. The basic premise puts your Wee Ninja up against a couple of prickly trees that must be scaled, by any means necessary. Of course, treacherous obstacles get in the way, but every so often ninjas need to prove their worth. The higher you ascend, the higher your score. Once you’re hit, the game is over. Simple stuff.

Super Ninja doesn’t let a volcano disrupt his flight patterns.

What makes this game amazingly fun to play are its perfect controls and mechanics. This is a 2D game, and Wee Ninja jumps back and forth from the two trees lining the edges of your portrait-oriented iDevice. The built-in tutorial gets you acclimated to the controls quickly, and with some time, you’ll be ascending those trees with great speed and grace.

As alluded to earlier, there are obstacles that make things tricky, including flying ghosts, slippery tree segments, and grape jelly-like goo. Pickups grant abilities like temporary shields or boosts to get past especially tricky areas.

Completely random layouts for each play attempt make Ninjatown: Trees of Doom seem fresh every time. This means that you can’t predict or memorize the environments. As you ascend higher and higher, the tricks and obstacles become more frequent and formidable.

Ngmoco’s Plus+ network brings the achievements and online leaderboards, so it’s great to see some level of online connectivity. It’s not as brilliant as Doodle Jump’s real-time score climbing, but that is the gold standard.

Return of the Balloon Boy.

Using a kid-friendly aesthetic, Ninjatown: Trees of Doom has a cute look and feel to it. It’s not unlike what you’d see in a typical Saturday morning cartoon, and the whole effort is consistent. Stylized graphics tend to look and animate better than realistic ones on the iDevices, and this game completely demonstrates that point.

Will Ninjatown: Trees of Doom take over the vertical platforming genre popularized by Doodle Jump? We’re not sure, but this is one amazing game that deserves as much attention as it can muster. With a clear emphasis on putting perfected gameplay and mechanics first, Ninjatown: Trees of Doom earns our highest recommendation.

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Hands-On With The Upcoming Ninjatown: Trees of Doom Updates

One of our favorite things about the App Store are the frequents updates. Games can be retooled and given fresh content with ease. At E3, Venan Entertainment invited us by their booth to show off some of their updates for Ninjatown: Trees of Doom.

We’re big fans of Ninjatown here at STP. The game received our illustrious Game of the Month award in May and earned a “Must Have” status in our review. Needless to say, we were pleased to see that Venan plans to add more content to the game over the summer.

The update will bring with it a new skin for the game that will change the visuals completely. The new skin is a sort of doodle version of Ninjatown that we were told feels more like the concept art provided by the creator Shawn Smith.

There is also a new game mode in the works that will be released sometime this week. It’s a time attack mode, where you have 25 seconds to climb as high as possible, gaining just 15 seconds for every hundred feet.

When you’re not taking your time to climb, the game becomes much more frantic. However, if you get hit by an enemy, you only lose a bit of time, not your entire progress.

We also tried out the iPad version of Ninjatown. Check out the video below to see it in action with Time Attack mode. The iPad version seems to run smoothly and the visuals are crisp. It will released sometime next month.

    iPhone Game of Month, May 2010: Ninjatown: Trees of Doom!

    When we’re picking our iPhone Game of the Month, we often look for a great story, lots of levels, and tons of gameplay variety. Our pick this month, Ninjatown: Trees of Doom!, doesn’t have any of that. But it is one of the most addictive and attractive high-score games in recent memory.

    Based on a line of stuffed toys, Ninjatown: Trees of Doom! was developed by the expert gamesmiths at Venan Entertainment, who brought us February GOTM runner-up Space Miner. Ninjatown is a high-score game where you have to scale two tall trees, avoiding obstacles and enemies.

    What makes Ninjatown stand out from the hundreds of other Doodle Jump imitators on the App Store is the charming character design, intricate obstacles, and highly addictive nature. There’s something spectacular about flinging yourself from a tree branch over some deadly purple goo, then grabbing a “mustache ride” past flying devils and catching a brand new view of a bubbling volcano in the background.

    Ninjatown: Trees of Doom! isn’t normally the type of game we would expect to become our Game of the Month selection, but when quality and inspiration collide, we feel it should be recognized.

    Our runner-up is high-quality, too, but wears its inspiration on its bloodstained sleeve. Zombie Infection is an unapologetic Resident Evil 5 imitator. You control a heavily armed hero who can pinpoint zombie extremities with a laser sight, racing through sun-soaked shanty towns. ZI does manage to surprise, however, with locations like a zombified zoo. Great graphics and natural-feeling controls led us to really enjoy this game, but it still left us waiting for Gameloft to show their originality some more.

    Congratulations to Venan Entertainment and Gameloft for creating the top two iPhone games out of hundreds that hit the App Store this month. And for the iPad, check out top picks Dizzypad HD, Dominion HD, Gomi HD, and Saving Private Sheep HD.

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