|Developer(s)||Slick Entertainment, SilverBirch Studios|
|Publisher(s)||Metanet Software, Atari|
|Designer(s)||Raigan Burns and Mare Sheppard|
|Release date(s)||Xbox Live Arcade
N+ is the console and handheld version of the Adobe Flash-powered game, N, which was developed by Metanet Software. N+ for Xbox Live Arcade was developed by Slick Entertainment and published by Metanet Software. Unique versions of the game were also ported separately to the PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS by developers SilverBirch Studios and Atari. Metanet Software licensed their N IP for this deal, provided single player level design for both versions, and consulted on the project.
The Xbox Live Arcade version was released on February 20, 2008 and three expansion packs were released on July 23, 2008, September 10, 2008 and October 15, 2008. The handheld versions were released on August 26, 2008.
N+ plays with only three buttons and the directional pad, used to control a small black ninja. Players jump, dodge, climb and rebound from walls, collecting gold on their way to a level's exit. Each level the player enters has a time limit based on the ninja's "metabolism" which, according to the instructions for the games, gives the ninja an extremely short life-span and a "thirst for gold". Gold increases the remaining time for players, thus being a valuable item to collect. While the player is given infinite lives, death can still come swift and often, a key design feature of N+. Anything that is dangerous to the ninja will kill him instantly. Droids of varying abilities (seeking missiles, flying droids, ground-based droids, chasing droids, laser droids and rapid fire) can kill the player on contact, as can proximity and timed mines, laser and missile turrets, and simply falling from a dangerous height. Other dangers include one-way walls that can trap players and blocks that fall down on players underneath them. Often, timing-based jumps or momentum-based puzzles come into play in order to reach the goal, and usually switches are required to open multiple locks that block the way to the door, creating a more complex structure than simply reaching the exit. The Xbox Live Arcade version of the game features multiplayer and map-editing, while the DS and PSP versions feature map-sharing and new multiplayer modes in addition to the features of the XBLA version.
N+ features three types of multiplayer play: Race, Survival and Co-operative. Up to four players may play together either locally or over Xbox Live. The DS and PSP versions feature multiplayer via Wi-Fi. The DS and PSP version include Tag and Domination modes. The servers for DS and PSP versions are now shut off.
Metanet Software joined forces with Klei Entertainment Inc. to develop a version of N+ for the Xbox Live Arcade. Klei Entertainment partnered with a new studio called Slick Entertainment, which took over the development work for N+. Metanet Software produced/published this title, as well as providing all level design and extensive consultation.
An expansion pack for the XBLA version, containing 150 single player levels, 50 multi-player co-operative levels and a few ninja colors were released on July 22, 2008.
Another pack was released on September 11, 2008. This contains 150 harder single player levels, 50 multiplayer race levels and 25 multi-player survival levels, along with a few new costumes for the ninja.
A third pack was released on October 15, 2008. This pack contains 150 hard levels, 50 multi-player co-op and 50 multi-player race levels from the original N restyled for N+. It also contains some new Halloween-themed costumes for the ninja.
The Xbox Live Arcade version of N+ scored favorably amongst critics, receiving perfect scores from both GamePro and Official Xbox Magazine UK. Eurogamer's Dan Whitehead said "Purely on the basis that it's a wonderful concept executed with no small amount of wit and style, N+ comes highly recommended - at least to those with a taste for such punishing gameplay. It's obscenely generous in the number of levels you get to play with, while the multiplayer modes provide even more incentive to keep playing." 1UP.com's Nick Suttner called the game "a perfect fit on Live Arcade and is exponentially more entertaining to play with a few friends from your couch. The nuts and bolts hold up as fantastically as ever, and the presentation is spot-on; it's all the more tragic that a few correctable details keep it from being something truly special."
GameSpot commented, "Regardless of your jumping skill, platforming history, or dodging prowess, N+ is sure to leave you equally nonplussed and wanting more," while IGN stated, "N+ is just plain fun to play. The controls feel nice and the levels are creative and addictive."
N+ won the 2008 Popvox Award for Best Console/PC game. GameSpot gave 8.0/10 for PSP and DS versions. In GameSpot's "Best of 2008" the game was nominated in some categories ("Best downloadable content", "Best cooperative multiplayer", "Best implementation of user-generated content", "Best Platformer" and "Best PSP game") but did not win any of them. It was also nominated for Best Platform Game on the Nintendo DS in IGN's 2008 video game awards.
- Arcade: N+ - Xbox Lives Major Nelson
- The Official Playstation Portable N+ Website
- The Official Nintendo DS N+ Website
- SilverBirch Signs Multi-Platform Development Deal With Atari
- "XBLA DLC this Wednesday: N+ and Puzzle Quest". Xbox 360 Fanboy. 2008-07-22. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
- Atari - US - N+ - Nintendo DS
- Atari - US - N+ - PSP system
- metablog - Mailbag! N: Big Brain Academy
- Metanet Software N+ development announcement
- Discussion on N+ release onto the XBLA service
- Ryan Geddes (2008-02-22). "IGN: N+ Review". IGN.
- Nick Suttner (2008-02-25). "N+ Xbox 360 Review Index, N+ Reviews". 1UP.com.
- Don Francis (2008-02-25). "N+ for Xbox 360 Review - Xbox 360 N+ Review". GameSpot.
- Dan Whitehead (2008-03-04). "N+ Review // Xbox 360 /// Eurogamer". Eurogamer.
- "New Media BC announces PopVox Awards winners". 2008-05-26.
- Metanet Software (2008-05-26). "N+ wins! The 2008 Popvox People's Choice Award for Best Console/PC Game". Metanet Software.
- "IGN DS: Best Platform Game 2008". IGN.com. 2008-12-15. Retrieved 2008-12-19.