Price: $ .99
Ninja Flier Pro, by developer FunVid Apps, offers a black-clad and unique approach to tunnel racing on the iPhone. The iPhone app offers frenetic gameplay and beautiful art style that are sometimes offset by the title’s bugginess, but the experience of my iPhone app review was still a ninja-quick blast. The price is right and the graphics excellent, making Ninja Flier Pro easily worth a test drive.
Concept and Gameplay
Ninja Flier Pro is most similar to tunnel racing titles of old, having players direct a lone protagonist through a long chain of ant-farm style obstacles. In-game, players must tilt the iPhone left or right to direct their ninja avatar, helping him to avoid baddies, collect power-ups, and ultimately reach his getaway ship. Users can also tilt the iPhone back to slam on the brakes, buying their ninja a few extra seconds to avoid a roadblock.
Smashing into the walls or nearby enemies results in a Big Fat Fail for that level, but the developers have included several neat special abilities to help smooth the process over. These powers include shotgun-esque bullets, single shot volleys, a forcefield, and speed breaks. Each does its part to protect the ninja, though I found the wide-spread blast much more useful than the others.
All in all, it’s a fun concept, and one that feels just as familiar as it is challenging. That being said, the gameplay mechanic certainly becomes stretched after several worlds’ worth of play. The game comes with a healthy number of levels, offering 45 different courses spread across five unique worlds. But when the gameplay objective, and even the special power-ups, stay the same across all 45 levels, the incentive to play yet another round quickly becomes lost. Thankfully, Game Center integration is included to add an extra carrot on a stick to the mix.
Design and Graphics
Ninja Flier Pro’s biggest boon is its Sin City-esque art style. The wicked cool black-on-black approach makes the app look fantastic on the iPhone, and creates a uniquely dark atmosphere. However, this graphics set is maintained across all 45 levels, taking some of the edge off through sheer repetition.
Ninja Flier Pro was also prone to lags and home screen crashes during the course of my review. The app ran slowly between booting levels, and it became quite an issue even getting the game to work properly: I frequently clicked a new level, only to find myself back at my own springboard with no other recourse but to restart Ninja Flier Pro.
At the end of the day, Ninja Flier Pro is appropriately priced at a dollar in the App Store. For that price of entry, users can enjoy a classic tunnel racing title with a ninja twist. The bugs are severe, as is the repetition, but the title is still enough of a blast to tide over a morning commute.
Ninja Flier Pro requires iOS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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