Review: Ninjin: Clash of Carrots (PS4)

Review: Ninjin: Clash of Carrots (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Ninjin: Clash of Carrots
Format: PSN (218.6 MB)
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Publisher: Modus Games
Developer: Pocket Trap
Original MSRP: $14.99 (US), €14.99 (EU), £11.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E10+
PEGI: 7
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

On a rare occasion, a code lands in my inbox for a game I have never heard of, like Ninjin: Clash of Carrots. I had a few other titles that I was already working on and so I asked the other reviewers if they wanted it. After hearing nothing back but the sound of crickets I reluctantly added it to my list.

I’m ashamed to admit that at first glance it looked quite dull and peculiar. I imagined it to be a basic side-scrolling hack ‘n’ slash game with poor hit detection. I’ve played several just like it over my many years of gaming and this could have easily been just another broken and buggy mobile phone port. Fortunately, this wasn’t the case.

Gameplay:
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots delivers a simple but clever control scheme where quick thinking and well-timed strikes make for a fun and often funny beat-em-up. I played some of the game with my youngest daughter and will write about that later, for now, I’ll mention the single-player aspect.

Review: Ninjin: Clash of Carrots (PS4) Review: Ninjin: Clash of Carrots (PS4)

Some naughty animals, led by Shogun Moe, have stolen all the carrots from a little village and it’s up to two ninjas, one a rabbit called Ninjin, and other a fox called Akai, to hunt them down and get them back. A frantic side-scrolling chase ensues.

This game is full of surprises as I didn’t expect there to be humor peppered throughout the silly story of carrot thievery and ninja rabbits. It also includes loads of customization and a nice difficulty curve that allows kids and adults to enjoy the experience.

Your character can only strike to the right, meaning you have to position your ninja in just the right spot. If you have enough stamina you can perform a dash-attack in either direction and on a few rare occasions, your character stops running along like Usain Bolt, which means you can attack in the normal way.

You can aim and throw shurikens or a variety of other sharp and pointy things using the right analog stick. These come in handy for dispatching enemies who tend to explode when close enough or when something is blocking your path.

Each standard level consists of about nine waves of enemies and a boss. There are tweaks to the formula and these extend the longevity of the game while giving another little injection of comedy.

With no way to change the difficulty, it all comes down to the correct loadout for the troublesome levels or boss, and only the very determined will get the elusive Platinum Trophy. I must admit, I struggled on a few occasions and needed to spend some of the collected carrots on new weapons and even a shield.

Review: Ninjin: Clash of Carrots (PS4) Review: Ninjin: Clash of Carrots (PS4)

Visuals:
The simple, and quite frankly odd, visual style initially put me off this carrot chasing beat-em-up set in an anthropomorphic character filled feudal Japan. I’ve grown to enjoy the uncomplicated art style and feel bad that my first impressions were so misguided.

Ninjin: Clash of Carrots doesn’t have any speech and relies on plenty of text bubbles. Fear not as the developers at Pocket Trap keep it lively and entertaining. Enough that I, who generally skips the text, kept reading the often silly and humorous story.

Audio:
The music and sound effects are nice. I am reminded of some older titles from my childhood. For instance, the map area evokes memories of classic Zelda games. A few sound effects remind me of everything from Animal Crossing to Final Fight. The strange weapons shop music is worth checking out, and it fits well with the owner of the odd establishment.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is built for two-player local co-op and even offers online play too. Much to my disappointment, there is no lobby to see online players and the game only allows you to search for people wanting to play a particular level at the same time. So unless you invite a friend, the odds of selecting a level that someone else happens to select is nigh on impossible.

As you might have guessed, I couldn’t find any random players and none of my friends own the game. My daughter did grab a DualShock 4 to join me for a few levels. I won’t go into details about how she scored better than me on all but one level, but I will mention how we had loads of fun.

The screen did get quite cluttered on several occasions but we still managed to find our characters in the mayhem. We were both pleased and slightly annoyed to find that we shared the carrot currency collected during the game along with anything purchased from the store.

Review: Ninjin: Clash of Carrots (PS4) Review: Ninjin: Clash of Carrots (PS4)

Conclusion:
It might have been because my expectations were so low but I really enjoyed Ninjin: Clash of Carrots. It isn’t perfect, and a difficulty slider would make it more accessible for the younger gamer. A lobby system to find random players would make the online option very appealing. Aside from that, I heartily recommend this quirky and humorous adventure.

Don’t dismiss this little game as it’ll keep you on your toes and tickle that funny bone for many hours. Plus, it still has a great local co-op mode for a friend to drop in and add to the mayhem.

Score:
7.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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