1-bit Ninja Review – A very odd & good old-school platformer

On June 24, 2012

App Type: Uncategorized

1-bit Ninja Review – A very odd & good old-school platformer

Our rating:

By: kode80

Version #: 1.21

Date Released: 2012-04-19

Developer: kode80

Price: 2.99

User Rating:

1-bit Ninja. Probably the less glamorous game I’ve played in my iPod Touch, EVER. So, how come I’m giving this game 5 stars? Well, it’s easy. The story starts with downloading the Lite version, which allows you to play the first 5 levels, the whole of World 1. I played once and thought “Meh”. Went and did something else. I happened to pick my iPod again… And opened it, played again, “Meh”. Repeat: did something else, opened again my iPod Touch… and played more. Hooked, I bought the full version.

What is 1-bit Ninja? In some sense it is a clone of the very, very old school version of Super Mario. You could even drop the “Super” with it. In 1-bit Ninja you play as, well, a pixelated ninja, and you can only move ahead (by pressing the left area of the screen, but this can be changed) and jump (tap the right area). Not even go backwards! Well, there’s a way to go backwards but it involves jumping in carefully placed (by the level designer) springs. You run, jump and smash bad boys in the head while avoiding pitfalls and collecting bits (akin to Mario’s coins) and special treasures.

What’s the extra twist? Well, you can slide your finger over the top, and the dull, 2-dimensional game space turns out to be 3-dimensional, now your 1-bit Ninja is a 3d 1-bit Ninja! With this you can see how to get to the devilishly hidden treasure areas. There are also extras and hidden easter eggs… That I have yet to find. But the game is so stupidly addicting I’ll probably find them. Oh, and one more thing… There’s a “hidden” level designer! Check the developer blog here to find out how.

In short: 1-bit Ninja is one of the best retro platformers, even if you set aside the awesome 3D twist of the game.

Quick Take


Would I Buy Again:Absolutely

Learning Curve:Medium

Who Is It For:Retro platformer lovers

What I Like:The retro feel, the high (and stupid!) addictiveness of it

What I Don't Like:Not going backwards!

Final Statement:One of the best retro jump games ever, with an innovative 3D twist

Read the Developer's Notes:
"sublime", "it's already becoming one of my favorite games on the iPhone" - Kotaku, Game App of the Day

"you'll find yourself sucked into this addictive vortex in which you want to keep playing a level over and over again" - IGN, Editors Choice

"1-bit Ninja is a truly unique and rewarding experience" - 148apps, Editors Choice

"the finished product is a flawless, iconic game that proves what single, indie developers can achieve" - iPhoneAlley

"It’s the best example of a retro platformer on iOS yet…and I’m hooked!" - TouchGen, Editors Choice

"Must Have Game Of June 2011" - Robin Rhys, AppAdvice Daily

Best Retro Game 2011 - TouchGen
#8 iOS Game 2011 - iPhoneAlley
Best iPhone Game 2011 - ArcadeLife

Article By

Ruben Berenguel is finishing his PhD in Mathematics while writing in mostlymaths.net about being a 'geek of all trades'. He also happens to be the senior editor in the What's on iPhone network: any complaints go to him!

ruben has written 174 awesome app reviews.

You can read other great content from ruben at https://www.mostlymaths.net