Before proceeding, you should adjust your mindset to the way of the ninja. You need to be prepared to take in all of your surroundings while proceeding stealthy, yet with nimble moves, and deadly precision. That’s the basis for the new action platformer Shadow Blade, which is all about a constant flow through a level, while maintaining speed. You get to control a ninja through touch gestures allowing you to perform various taps and swipes to pull off running, jumping, dashing, and slicing. The entire experience is designed around fast action as each level doesn’t take more than two minutes for the best time, and yet presents non-stop challenges.
It seems as though the game really takes the ninja theme to heart, and the touch gestures allow you to pull off some smooth moves. It’s quite intuitive to wall jump, double jump into a mid-air dash, or slice right through an enemy without slowing down. The touch gestures get you sucked into the game, but then when you reach the tougher stages, the controls are not as precise as needed. Luckily, there’s a virtual button option, which is really needed in the tight stretches to move exactly where you want. The included touch controls aren’t quite right for a fast paced action platformer, but you are given the choice, and they’re what draw you into the game at the beginning.
There are 40 levels to play through across three regions as well as an unlockable hardcore mode for even greater challenge. Each level is composed of a series of challenges that flow together as you leap past moving blades, wall jump up a danger filled shaft, and dodge enemy fire to decapitate them, all while keeping your momentum going. All of the action is presented in high style with a quality 3D design that is highlighted by the character animations, including the blood squirting from slain enemies. The entire experience is well crafted, but it’s not quite perfect with the limitation of the touch controls, the short length of the levels, and the repetitive action required of the player. Still though, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable action platformer that will keep you playing through its entirety.
Shadow Blade ($1.99, Universal) is a should buy for some ninja themed fast paced fun that keeps the action and challenge high throughout.