Upon its release, 10 Second Ninja provided players with plenty of fast-paced robot-Nazi-killing fun across 40 levels, all completed within 10 seconds. If you’ve played 10 Second Ninja, you’ll understand that it leaves you questioning as to whether your desire to be a speedy ninja has been sated or not. If it hasn’t, then rejoice! The creators at Four Circle Interactive have crafted a sequel called 10 Second Ninja X, featuring 60 levels of 10 second ninja action!
The premise of 10 Second Ninja X is the same as its predecessor: destroy all enemies within 10 seconds to complete each level. 10 Second Ninja X contains 60 levels spread across 6 different worlds, where the player can repeat levels to get a better time or simply try to complete all levels. In either case, the developers state that every failure is designed to be entirely the player’s fault, without any unfair losses or bugs to prevent progress.
Overall, 10 Second Ninja X is a stand-alone sequel to 10 Second Ninja, where every level contains some sort of puzzle to solve in order to complete the level in the fastest time. The levels are by no means easy, and the three-star ratings are only to be completed by those with the greatest level of skill and reflexes. Players of precision platformers will find themselves right at home as the highest scoring is only obtained by completing each level with as few errors as possible.
While the leaderboards and achievements were not accessible in the preview copy received for the purpose of this review, here is the run-down on what players can expect when 10 Second Ninja X releases on July 19th:
The first thing that should be noted is that the in-game cutscenes have hilarious dialogue, carrying on the humor from the original and even adding a humorous side to the overarching plot around the game. You are put into the role of a Ninja, who has the capability to strike with his sword or throw shurikens at his enemies. The Ninja is attempting to save his animal friends who were kidnapped by a mysterious pirate, a fellow named Greybeard, who sports a ginger beard and has enslaved the animals and turned them into his robot army.
By killing the robots, the Ninja’s animal friends are freed (much like the original Sonic the Hedgehog games), and freeing all the animals in each level ultimately lets you complete it. Depending on your performance in each level, you can earn stars which unlock new levels. This encourages you to go back and replay levels you have completed in order to get higher star ratings and ultimately unlock new levels.
As previously stated, there are 60 levels, or 6 worlds each consisting of 10 levels. This provides ample opportunity to collect the required stars needed to unlock the other worlds. That does not mean that collecting the stars will be easy by any means, however, as you will need to have fast reflexes and quick thinking in order to succeed in completing the various levels.
In order to get a lay of the land, at the beginning of each level (before you move and start the timer) you can utilize camera mode in order to get a good look at how each level is laid out before you work to complete it. I cannot express ENOUGH how frustratingly punishing the difficulty of 10 Second Ninja X is. There are no controls to change the difficulty, and just the slightest hesitation or error in movement can cheat you out of two stars. Three-star ratings are even worse, requiring pixel perfect movement, the likes of which I am not NEARLY skilled enough to pull off.
The difficulty seems to have carried on from its predecessor, as many of the Steam reviews for 10 Second Ninja commented on the punishing difficulty, something that 10 Second Ninja X shares in large amounts.
Despite this, the game looks fantastic, the enemies and obstacles are interesting, the few in-game cutscenes are humorous and witty, and the controls are solid and easy to learn. The lack of difficulty options is a problem, but I find that the overall 10 second time limit for each level is a very limiting factor that contributes to a large portion of the difficulty here. An inability to restart levels means that if you mess up early on, you have to wait for time to run out completely before you can start over.
10 Second Ninja X is fun, but only for those who really like precision platforming and games with steep difficulty curves. If those are your thing, then 10 Second Ninja X will be absolutely perfect for you.
Ultimately, I hope that Four Circle Interactive tweaks the difficulty and the time requirements a bit before launch, as this was only a preview and things are subject to change upon release. I look forward to seeing what changes at the time of release, though, despite how hard it is, I can easily see 10 Second Ninja X being an addictive adventure.
A PC preview code for 10 Second Ninja X was provided by Curve Digital for the purpose of this Preview