Who the chuff is a Ten Ton Ninja I hear you cry? To conjure up a mental image of the game’s central character, simply merge Jackie Chan with Nanny from Count Duckula. You need more? Very well, then arm the resulting bingo winged assassin with a grapple hook and make him swing across the screen to collect an array of magnificent diamonds… I am of course referring to jewels, not Anne and Dominic. Granted it sounds like the product of a twisted brain but Ten Ton Ninja is a splendid little freeware platform puzzler from developer Addictive247.
It comes supplied with 22 devious levels, a dynamic worldwide top 50 leaderboard system and a comprehensive level editor for the creative types amongst you. The object of the game is to navigate each level by judging angles, distance and velocity to propel and swing our sneaky little slab cracker towards the diamonds he so desperately craves.
Initially all seems fairly generic but in an interesting deviation from the standard, the tutorial process highlights your inability to die. Instead of loosing health, pressure is applied, as the interaction with bad guys, lasers or missiles results in a reduction in time to complete the level. The difficulty curve is reminiscent of Super Meat Boy who’s relentless restarts quickly drove me to submission, but Ten Ton Ninja’s lack of instadeath really helps mitigate frustration and maintains the motivation to press on and try again.
The presentation is excellent and the game feels very polished. Graphics are colourful and sharp, with enough variety from stage to stage to keep you wanting to see what comes next. Menus are functional and controls feel tight and precise, this becomes especially important with pixel perfect targeting of the grapple hook becoming essential as the difficulty level ramps up.
A comprehensive level editor is included with the Windows download and feels immediately intuitive to use. There are very few restrictions on what you can do and in twenty minutes or so I had generated a fairly simple stage. With enough time and a little experimentation you can create some genuinely interesting puzzles which can then be shared with friends.
In summary I have to say Ten Ton Ninja took me by surprise. I don’t mean it tried to violently penetrate me as I picked up soap in the shower, but rather that trial and error puzzle platformers are not really my thing, yet I found myself really enjoying the challenge it delivered. It looks great, the soundtrack is first class, the challenge is firm but undeniably fair and the mechanics of the game are delivered wonderfully. Above all though its freeware. You can download the full game now and it won’t cost you a penny, so whether you like the genre or like me it’s not your usual tipple, it comes very highly recommended and is well worth a try!
MLG Rating: 8/10 Platform: PC Release Date: 14/03/2012
Disclosure: Ten Ton Ninja is a free-to-play game available here. The title was reviewed over the course of two week on a PC. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.