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Everything About Cube Ninja Game

by UrgentRCM
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Unlike many portable 3DS games, Cubic Ninja relies on the console’s gyroscope for movement. It’s a shame because it makes the game hard to play, even with its level creation tool and robust communication features.

Tilt your way through 100 eye-opening levels, saving the princess (and her ninja friends) from lab-coated bandits and their traps. Unlockable characters with varying physics qualities add to the challenge.

Gameplay

It’s easy to see how Cubic Ninja was an exciting prospect when it was first announced, a game designed from the ground up for the Nintendo 3DS that aims to eliminate buttons by using gyro controls. Using the system’s depth to highlight your blocky hero’s positioning, you tilt and turn to guide him through over 100 eye-opening levels.

From soaring towers to raging waters, you must avoid holes and obstacles while racking up a high score. Throughout the story mode you’ll also find unlockable characters that alter your ninja’s weight, friction, bounce and size; giving you different ways to approach each level. It adds an interesting twist to the game, but isn’t enough to stop the game falling flat, especially once the challenge wears thin.

AQ Interactive has attempted to make the game as engaging as possible, offering challenges and rewards for completing each level, including a ghosted replay of your best time for sharing online. However, the basic control scheme is just too fiddly to hold up to repeated playthroughs. It isn’t the most difficult game, but even when you don’t die too many times it can feel like an endurance test. Despite all of this, the basic gameplay concept is cool, and would be even more fun with better physics. But even with a few extras, it’s hard to recommend this for a full retail release.

Graphics

Cubic Ninja takes advantage of the 3DS gyroscope to allow players to move a squat ninja cube around a series of maze-like levels. Unlike the ninja-themed platformer n+, which requires fast reactions with buttons, Cubic Ninja is all about physical control. The game features bumpers to bounce off of, spikes and electricity to dodge, and more.

The graphics in Cubic Ninja are very well done, with an impressively fancy feel to the menus and a solid aesthetic to the environments and characters. The sprites are also surprisingly detailed for a handheld game. However, the game is plagued by some rather annoying visual bugs and slow down when moving the ninja.

Despite the interesting gameplay concept and some solid graphics, the lack of content and unimpressive controls hold this game back from being anything more than just okay. The game includes a level creator and a few other modes, but these extras don’t add enough to the experience to justify the $40 price tag for what could have been a $5 iPhone game.

It’s interesting to note that Cubic Ninja was the first Nintendo DS retail release that didn’t display in stereoscopic 3D. This is probably due to the fact that it was designed less with motion control in mind than the other motion-based games, and more with a traditional control system.

Controls

The controls in Cubic Ninja use the 3DS’s built-in accelerometer and gyroscope to move the character. It’s a neat concept and works well enough at first, as sliding your block creature around the screen is quite fun when you initially get a handle on the mechanics. But the novelty wears off quickly, as you find yourself struggling with your physics-based movement through levels that require an incredibly high level of precision to pass through comfortably.

A few different modes, a level editor and the ability to output QR codes for sharing your creations all help to keep this mediocre puzzler from falling too far into obscurity. But the focus on gyroscope controls limits the game’s level design and prevents it from ever reaching the heights of other similar handheld titles that work well with the Circle Pad, namely the ninja-themed n+ and its sequel n+ HD.

Despite attempts at character through a cute script and the title’s blocky aesthetic, this is a very bland experience that never finds its feet. There are a few moments of fun, but each world hits reset on complexity, lending a sense of restraint to the 100 stages included here. Even if you can tolerate the frustrating tilt control, the game doesn’t justify its price tag as a smartphone title.

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Level Design

Cubic Ninja’s gyroscope controls are fun at first; sliding your cube-shaped ninja around the screen while watching him slide to the foreground and background is a neat way to experience some of the game’s early levels. However, precision control becomes a necessity when you enter later levels, where your ninja is faced with deadly obstacles that require fast reflexes. The punishing level design and sluggish controls clash to create an experience that is more frustrating than exciting.

The game takes place in a bandit hideout that is awash with unfriendly things such as traps, bombs, flamethrowers and spikes; and CC has to navigate them all while searching for scrolls that give him special ninja abilities. The jigsaw puzzle game also has restrooms, but over-using them can cause your ninja to become dehydrated. The game has 100 levels to complete, plus a Time Attack mode and Survival mode. It also features a level editor that can output QR codes so players can share their creations.

Cubic Ninja is an interesting attempt at using the Nintendo 3DS’s gyroscope, but it needs a lot more thought in its execution to reach its full potential. Frustrating controls, punishing level design and a short campaign make this unusual puzzler less than satisfying. It could have been much better if it were released at a lower price point as a smartphone game.

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