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N++ Review


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On 09/19/2016 at 12:15 PM by Catherine Hauser

Stick figure parkour.
RECOMMENDATION:

Platform gaming at its best - try it for yourself!

One of my favorite things about being a gamer is that most games expect me to assume an identity outside of myself; someone or something that is capable of amazing and impossible feats, powers or talents that are beyond anything I will ever grasp in my actual life. N++, the platformer sequel to the popular N and N+ games, bestows a unique new persona upon us: you are a ninja with an accelerated metabolism. You are able to use momentum to run, jump, climb, collect and pass through a series of five levels like a boss. What’s the catch? Your lifespan is only 90 seconds.

Normally I hate anything that times me. I have enough stress in my everyday life that I certainly do not need the pressure of a judging and unforgiving human construct. In N++, however, the challenge of time is secondary to the challenge of figuring out the puzzle before you. Each level is different, and with over 2,000 to unlock, I cannot see this game ever getting boring. The simplistic design lends itself perfectly to the concept of live fast and collect everything, taking nothing away from the gameplay experience.

N++ is extremely easy to learn how to play, with tutorial levels helping you “jump” right into the game. Rightfully so, as feeling the physics of it all is the only way to truly appreciate your ninja persona. The mechanics of gameplay are meticulously planned out, to the point that you can feel when you’ve made the perfect move to grab that last piece of gold that had seemingly been out of your reach. Without having to worry about complicated button smashing moves, N++ gives you the sense of challenge without the feeling of frustrating impossibility.

Progressing through the game is straightforward: solve your series of five puzzles within the 90 second time frame while collecting enough gold to meet the completion requirement. Collecting gold also serves to give you more time on the clock, something that is appreciated when you meet a particularly challenging level with a tricky door lock location. Each stage has a unique shape that presents a test in its own right, as falling from too high of a height without using a wall to control your fall will spell end for little Ninja. I love the added touch of animating the stick ninja’s death, complete with pink and blue streaks and limbs flying to make you feel bad that you took a flying leap without proper consideration. A nice reminder that even in 90 seconds, there is still time to slow down and give thought to every action.

Of course, other elements in each level will help speed you to your doom. A few of the many include pink spikes of certain death, blue orbs of electrocution, and my favorite, the heat-seeking missile of mass destruction. There is nothing like frantically running for your life while being chased by a missile but still feeling greedy enough to try for that perfect gold score. Just make sure you unlocked the door for yourself before wagging your finger at the missle. 

As you play through, introductions are made to seemingly friendly elements of play. Be wary, though, as even the most well intentioned friend can still fling you into a wall of pink spikes. To me, this fact further demonstrates the careful planning of each hand-made level. Should you open the gate completely, or just enough to get through? Can I jump off a high cliff to perfectly land on a spring set in the middle of a minefield to get that piece of gold? The designers at Metanet deserve the highest praise for daring us to try.

With 60 color theme-changing options and over 60 tracks from various electronic artists to choose from, N++ can be given a new look and feel any time you wish. If you find yourself stuck on a level, the grid stage system makes it possible to try another set of rooms and continue in the game until you are ready to pick back up where you were stumped. Moreover, if we were not spoilt enough for choice, there are both Local Co-Op and Local Competitive modes and a Level Creator with sharing abilities available to show off your newly acquired ninja skills. 

So go on, check out N++ for yourself and discover your inner ninja for endless hours of puzzle solving entertainment. No nunchucks, throwing stars or touches of death required; just incredible feats of parkour action from a stick figure with a very stylish haircut and a lovely taste in music.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:


All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.


These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.


This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.


Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.


Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.


A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.


 

Comments

Nick DiMola Director

09/19/2016 at 01:21 PM

I freaking loved N+. Played both the DS and PSP versions of the game and have been looking forward to this for a while. Not surprised to see that this came out so well.

Super Step Contributing Writer

02/19/2017 at 03:52 PM

I'll probably finish my copy of Super Meat Boy before getting to this, but good to know there's a similar platformer with couch multiplayer. 

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