If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the makers of Temple Run must be feeling pretty good about themselves right about now. It seems like every week there’s a new game coming out that seeks to capture that Temple Run magic. Banzai Blade by the Cartoon Network is a new contender in this arena, and it succeeds somewhat by mashing up a few different types of gameplay to mix things up a bit.
Just like in Temple Run, in Banzai Blade you run, run, run. In this game you run through a Japanese countryside that has been besieged by a powerful demon and his horde of otherworldly fiends. It’s your little ninja’s duty to try and defeat the demon and his minions. While you’re running, enemies pop up and, a la Fruit Ninja, you swipe your finger across the screen to slice them with your blade. Every so often you’ll come across a temple that’s been taken over by the demon, and it’s your job to slice, slice, slice him in a one-on-one battle to cleanse the temple.
Slice ‘em like Raphael.
Defeated enemies drop rose-petals, the game’s form of currency, and you can go into the game’s shop to upgrade and change your weapons, clothes, and health and buy some other items that will enhance your chances at success. The game is free, so of course you can buy more petals with real money if you really feel the need.
And that’s pretty much all there is to it. These type of games are best played in small doses, and Banzai Blade is no exception. It’s incredibly fun for a few minutes, but then running through the virtually never changing landscape and fighting the same monsters over and over again gets boring really fast. Sure, the gameplay changes up a little the further you run, like having to avoid swiping bombs that float in the air or deflecting certain enemy projectiles, but after a few minutes you’ll wonder why you’re bothering.
Banzai Blade is a nice change of pace from the typical Temple Run template. The inclusion of battles and the ability to upgrade your character in ways that are more than just aesthetics is pretty cool. And it is really fun for a tiny fraction of time. However, if you play it for more than a few minutes, you’ll find yourself getting bored quickly.