Mini Ninjas

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Mini Ninjas
Minininjas.jpg
European cover art
Developer(s) IO Interactive
Magic Pockets (Nintendo DS)
Robosoft Technologies (Mac OS X)
Publisher(s) Eidos Interactive
Warner Bros.[1]
Feral Interactive[2] (Mac OS X)
Distributor(s) Square Enix
Valve Corporation
Designer(s) Jeremy Petreman
Henrik Hansen
Composer(s) Peter Svarre
Engine Glacier
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, OnLive, Mac OS X
Release date(s) Windows, Nintendo DS, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360
  • NA September 8, 2009[3]
  • EU September 11, 2009[3]
OS X
WW 20100708July 8, 2010
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Mini Ninjas is a 2009 action-adventure game developed by IO Interactive and published by Eidos Interactive for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360.[4] A Mac OS X version of the game was released on July 8, 2010, by Feral Interactive.[2] In December 2011, it was announced that the game will be also made available as a browser game for Google Chrome.[5]

A Kinect/Xbox Live Arcade spin-off game Mini Ninjas Adventures followed in 2012. Another Mini Ninjas spin-off game, an endless runner titled Mini Ninjas Mobile, has been released for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets in March 2013.

Gameplay[edit]

Wii gameplay screenshot with Hiro

The game is a linear action-adventure game viewed from a third-person view perspective. It is featuring six playable characters - each with their own unique abilities, weapons and skills that can be switched between at any moment once they have been rescued. Special weapons and equipment to collect and use include caltrops, shuriken, different bombs and fishing rods, and a multifunctional ninja hat, as well as a variety of potions and food items. Magic can be used by the main protagonist Hiro, his spells, including fireball and lighting attacks, camouflage and time manipulation. Only Hiro can possess spirits, such as animals, for a short amount of time. Hiro can use his Ki energy for the Kuji arts, which replenishes from collect enemies' Ki or drinking potions.

The Mini Ninjas have to defeat many enemies in the game. They can be samurai swordsmen, samurai archers, samurai spearmen, samurai clubmen, samurai captains, hatted samurais, and monks. After each defeat, the samurais turn back into animals. Some of the animals have moves which are useful against enemies. For example, brown bears can use their claws, warthogs can use their charge move, and panda bears can stomp the ground with their bottoms. All animals have a keen sense of smell for spotting ingredients and collectables in places that are easily overlooked, and enemies will have a hard time spotting Hiro.

Throughout their journey, they can collect coins and ingredients, such as mushrooms, flowers, and ginseng roots. They can exchange the coins for weapons (bombs, shuriken, makibishi caltrops, etc.) and recipes from Tengu in the world. The ninjas can receive quests and advices from other Tengu. Hiro has a ninja hat which can be used as a shield against arrows or as a boat. There are altars scattered throughout the world which the player can use to save their progress. Fruits found on trees or bushes can be harvested by shaking the bushes or the trunk of trees, which will restore their health. Other foods like sushi does the same thing.

Scattered throughout the world are ancient shrines, which each contains a scroll. Each scroll contains a spell in the Kuji arts. Hidden near each shrine is an anemone which is used to activate the shrines. Only Hiro can active the shrines and use the Kuji Spells.

There are also various ingredients and 100 hidden Jizo statues scattered through the game, that can be collected for special achievements or trophies, which encourages level exploration. The game contains no graphic violence, as defeating an enemy only sets an animal free from an evil spell.[6]

Plot[edit]

Development and release[edit]

Mini Ninjas at the E3 2009

Mini Ninjas was announced on January 19, 2009, along with the first official trailer.[7] The game's origin lies in the developers' desires to make a game that they could "play with their kids".[8]

Reception[edit]

Mini Ninjas was well received by game critics. As of April 2011, its average review scores according to GameRankings are 80% (Wii), 61.90% (DS), 75.52% (PlayStation 3), 72.56% (Xbox 360) and 75.67% (PC).[9]

GameSpot review rated the game an 7.5 out of 10, saying: "Whether you're big or small, there's a lot to like about these little ninjas and their lengthy journey."[10] IGN gave the PS3 version of the game an 8 out of 10, finding this "family-friendly ninja affair" to be "an extremely pleasant surprise".[11] The Guardian awarded the game 4 out of 5 stars, concluding that the game's "constant charm renders it calming and even relaxing to play" and "any parent watching Mini Ninjas being played will find it hard to resist the temptation to have a go over their own."[12]

Tora was featured among the top ten ninja characters for PlayStation consoles by PLAY in 2011,[13] while Hiro was chosen to illustrate a similar list by Cheat Code Central.[14] In 2012, CraveOnline included Mini Ninjas on their list of five "badass ninja games" as "a quality ninja game that can be enjoyed with the whole family kids", adding that its "best aspect was, without a doubt, how slain enemies burst into cute animals instead of blood clouds. Super adorable."[15]

Legacy[edit]

Mini Ninjas Adventures[edit]

In March 2012, Square Enix, who preside over Eidos Interactive,[16] filed a trademark in Europe for Mini Ninjas: Hiro's Adventure and created a domain "minininjashirosadventure.com."[17] That trademark was announced to be Mini Ninjas Adventures, a spin-off Kinect game for the Xbox Live Arcade exclusively, developed by Sidekick studio and released on June 29, 2012.[18][19]

Mini Ninjas Mobile[edit]

Animated series[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Michael Knight, Mini Ninjas: Prima Official Game Guide, Random House Information Group, 2009.
References
  1. ^ Athab, Majed (2009-06-01). "Square Enix and Eidos dropping Warner Bros. publishing". Joystiq. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  2. ^ a b "Feral Interactive: Mini Ninjas". 
  3. ^ a b "Mini Ninjas begin their adventure on 8th September in North America and 11th September in the UK". 2009-08-13. 
  4. ^ Purchese, Rob (January 19, 2009). "Eidos unveils new Mini Ninjas game". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  5. ^ "Bastion begins Chrome browser gaming push". GameSpot. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Tohyachan (4 October 2009). "Mini Ninjas". GameFAQs. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  7. ^ Robert Purchese (2009-01-19). "Eidos unveils new Mini Ninjas game News - - Page 1". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  8. ^ Robert Purchese (2009-08-13). "IO's Mini Ninjas arrives September News - - Page 1". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  9. ^ "Mini Ninjas". gamerankings.com. 
  10. ^ "Mini Ninjas". GameSpot. 
  11. ^ "Mini Ninjas Review". IGN. 
  12. ^ Steve Boxer. "Game review:". the Guardian. 
  13. ^ "Top ten ninjas on PlayStation". PLAY Magazine. 
  14. ^ Becky Cunningham, Top 10 Ninjas In Video Games, Cheat Code Central, 2011
  15. ^ "5 Badass Ninja Games". CraveOnline. 
  16. ^ "Square Enix retires Eidos publishing label". GameSpot. 2009-07-08. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  17. ^ "Possible new Mini Ninjas game in the works". GameZone. 2012-03-10. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  18. ^ SQUARE ENIX > Mini Ninjas Adventures > MINI NINJAS ADVENTURES Announced
  19. ^ "Mini Ninjas Adventures for Xbox 360 (2012) - MobyGames". MobyGames. 

External links[edit]