think it is safe to say that the ability to download games over Xbox Live Arcade is one of the greatest features of owning an Xbox 360. Yes, I know, sometimes the games we get (not to mention other marketplace wares) are not nearly worth the amount of Microsoft points needed to purchase them. And yet we have seen some great Arcade games released lately such as Undertow, Commanders, and Rez HD. N+ is among these titles.
Easy to learn.
Not so easy to wear out.N+ is the story of a small but agile stick figure ninja who must hop, skip, and jump (mostly jump) his way through a staggering amount of unique and challenging rooms. You'll bounce off walls, spring off trampolines, and fling yourself across gaps trying to escape each room. Games like N+ are a wonderful way to take a break from more complex and involved games. However, don't let the fact that it is an Arcade game throw you; N+ is not without challenge. The single-player game has over 300 levels, all of which have creative ways to distract and kill your trapped avatar.
In N+ every five rooms make up a chapter. For each chapter your ninja has a time bar that will continually count down. If you don't complete each room fast enough or fail to collect time extenders sprinkled throughout each room, your time bar will expire and you'll have to start that chapter over. Time is really your only adversary in this game as you have unlimited lives, so feel free to experiment with each room at your ninja's expense. The game is paced very well. Some levels are a breeze, and you'll complete them in less than ten seconds as you pick up numerous time extenders, while other levels will press you for time. On the outside N+ could appear very simplistic and repetitive — yet on the inside, it is anything but.
Not only is N+ a challenging game, but it is a stylish one as well. Your ninja protagonist is a simple black stick figure who sports a flowing red bandana and wears what appear to be bellbottoms. The great thing about this character is how much movement and personality he exudes, even though he is so simple. The entirety of the game reflects this ideal; an uncomplicated premise and with endearing details. The levels are built using crisp clean lines and shapes with just a few touches of color. Red dots are actually land mines that, when touched, send your little ninja flying across the room in little ragdoll bits. Ragdoll an operative word — the ninja's death animations are rendered with some hysterical results. Little robot enemies in N+, while cute, are quite ruthless. The game's unique design, coupled with a fun (but repetitive) techno beat, make for a great game.
Flatter sincerely as you
design your own levels.I sometimes wonder how many Xbox 360 owners make use of Xbox Live Arcade. I know many gamers are jaded to the idea of spending additional money to download pictures and extra levels when they are already spending in excess of $60 for games. For only 800 points you can get a game an extensive single player campaign, multiplayer support, and a level editor. For an Arcade game, N+ goes the extra mile. My only real complaint with the game is that I felt like some of the levels you could only complete through sheer luck as opposed to skill. So, if you've grown tired of Ninja Gaiden or Naruto, give the ninja in N+ a try. While the name of the game may be inexplicable, the fun you'll have won't be.