Slice your way through the city streets in Hiptic's endless-runner.
If there's a genre on the App Store that relies less on storytelling than any other, it has to be the endless-runner. Nevertheless, GoNinja's particular shtick is that a terrible army has overtaken the game's never-ending town. You must travel through it, ripping through every enemy with your blade, while also avoiding the flashing red traps and enemies that randomly appear. Run smack into one of those and you'll receive a tally of the points you've earned from the run before being sent right back to the very beginning.
A flick to the right gives the ninja a jump that corresponds to the size of your swipe. Push up on the screen and he'll leap up onto a rooftop, while a double upward-flick gives him an extra jump. As you race through the endless city streets that are lined with gently lit pagodas, you'll need to continually evaluate not just the safest route through the city, but the most murderously profitable too.
It's these pathing choices within the environments of Ninja Go that make the core gameplay just a little bit more interesting than the average endless-runner. You can play it safe and stay on ground-level, but then you might miss out on the juicy clump of silhouetted soldiers that lay hidden within a building. You'll need to get up on the roof and then crash through with a downward swipe if you're to take them out.
As you slice your way gorily through these city-sieging soldiers, a meter to the left of the screen gradually fills up. The first time it tops up completely you gain a bomb ability that obliterates everything around you. Next you'll receive a special shield barrier that will save your skin from one errant jump into an enemy, and then there's the turbo-charged mode which allows you to slice through everything on the screen with complete invincibility, for a little while at least!
Over at the inevitable in-app purchase store, you can grab an assortment of upgrades using the ninja points you acquire every time you kill an enemy. Different visors for your ninja give you a speed boost, a ninja point boost, or a head-start on attaining the special powers that you earn during each run. Other upgrades might give add an additional boost to your double-jump, or extend the duration of those powers. If you want to get ahead a little quicker, you can of course purchase extra ninja points for real money.
It's certainly true that there are a huge number of endless-runners vying for everyone's attention at the moment, but Hiptic's GoNinja offers up enough variety (just) to make it worthy of checking out. If you've become utterly exhausted by the genre though, it's unlikely that the game will give you a second wind.
What's Hot: Beautiful artwork, entertaining gameplay and upgrades, and a pretty well-balanced in-app purchase system.
What's Not: On rare occasions, our ninja was unfairly clipped by enemy sprites.