Ninja () Review | Atari User - Everygamegoing

Atari User

Ninja ()
By Entertainment USA
Atari 400/800/600XL/800XL/130XE

Published in Atari User #18


Ah so Ninja! Punch-kick-grunt-duck-chop. Banzai! Enemy bite dust. Me Likee.

So much for setting the Oriental atmosphere. I may not know much about Ninja-speak but what I do know is tht this martial arts game is pretty good stuff.

This is a single-player only game in which you control an all-kicking, all-punching Ninja. Suitably clad in the traditional black garb of such fighters, you set off through five screens to conquer all foes.


As well as walking left and right, your bodily skills include high, medium and low height kicking and punching, all done very swiftly, very smoothly. The animation is extremely good.

In addition to iron fists and lightning footwork, you have other wheezes in your repertoire - a slashing Samurai sword, spinning death stars and throwing daggers.

The sword you carry with you on your shoulder at all times, and can easily fetch your opponent a swingeing blow with a quick flick of the joystick.


The stars and daggers may be found lying around in different locations and can be picked up by crouching beside them. Hurling one at an opponent may wreak fatal damage unless the opponent deflects it in time.

Unfortunately the enemy have similar weapons so you won't be the only one doing the hacking and hurling.

Also scattered around the area are small flashing idols which should be collected for extra points. Needless to say, these are always guarded by the enemy, who won't let you take them without a fight.

Moving off the screen either to the left or right causes the current picture to be replaced by the name of the area you are about to enter. The screen clears again to show you in your new location.

The animation is this game's best feature though - smooth, natural and fast, easily up to the standard of far more expensive games.

Once you've forced all you opponents to their knees - actually, they crumple up like punctured concertinas - you move to the next level where tougher fighters are to be found.

It may be because I was playing the game on an old 800 micro (the inlay says it is for 800XL and 130XE machines) but it wasn't clear to me that I had actually moved up a level after defeating all the foes - no level indication appears on the screen.

It's a very good martial arts game with first rate animation and sound. The sword, stars and dagger elements add an extra dimension to the fighting. For the low price, an unmissable bargain, grasshopper.

Bob Chappell

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