Forest Jumper Ninja, available for Android through the Google Play store, is an interesting new game, and one that offers up a bit more than your average game of this type. The game puts you in the shoes of a cute ninja, and it is your job to guide him through a mysterious forest.
This may sound very much like an endless runner, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the ninja clings to the outside of a series of spinning, circular platforms, and you must tap the screen in order to get him to jump directly upwards, and to hopefully make him land safely on the next object.
The ninja always jumps perfectly vertically relative to his current position on each sphere. With every circle of a different size and also spinning at various speeds, it can be very tricky to get him to progress, and the initial few minutes of the game can be frustrating as you attempt to get into a rhythm with things.
Once you do get the hang of it, the game reveals itself to be a competent time waster, and one that is only limited by your own skill and timing. There are various different kinds of platforms, such as timed spheres, circles that grow larger and smaller (with a nice scaling effect), and a few others. The game keeps you best score, which you can share on Facebook and Twitter, and is integrated with the Google Play Games service for leaderboards.
When you die, you get the chance to continue exactly where you are. This is where the IAP element comes into play, as you can buy more instant respawns if you so choose. A quick tip is to share the game on one of the social networks, as this gives you a free retry. You can also purchase an ad remover for the irritating ads that pop up every few deaths or so.
The graphics are really nice, with impressive characterisations and a lovely look to the background.
The game is pretty well made, but suffers from a lack of an expansion of the core idea. The mechanics are crying out for some puzzle levels, weapons and even bosses. A puzzle mode with a few dozen, proper stages to go through would have complemented the endless mode nicely. The game as it is does feel empty. It is a shame, as I thought there would be much more to it. Surely a time attack mode with a simple countdown would be easy to implement? Hopefully the developer is listening, because they have got a great core game here.
Forest Jumper Ninja is a decent game with a lot of character and some nice, rhythmic gameplay that tests both your patience and timing. I just hope the developer has more plans in store for their plucky ninja.