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Review: N++

At a Glance

This game is recommended!
While there are many great games out there, this is one manages to be good fun and stay fairly true to Christian moral values.

If you're looking to add a new game to your collection, consider this one!

ESRB Rating: NR - Not Rated
My Rating: Everyone
Genre: Platformer
License: Commercial
Release Year: 2016
Review Published On: September 9th, 2020
Played on: Thaddeus

Available from:

Humble Store, Steam

Save System:

Your statistics are recorded whenever your ninja dies or you complete a level. Your actual progress is only updated when you complete an episode (five levels).

To pause the game, bring up the pause menu by pressing ESC*.

Summary of
Major Issues:

Your stick-figure character can be blown up, electrocuted, smacked around, and otherwise harmed by the various hazards in a level. Given the minimal style, this is little more than slapstick.

"Blood" can be enabled, but all this does is make more lines fly about. (See the 2nd screenshot below)

Screenshots

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Mazes and rooms

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You'll get used to seeing this

[view screenshot]
Wandering in traffic



Game Overview

There's an old saying among gamers: graphics aren't everything. This has been proven time and time again, but the clean, minimal graphical style showcased in N++ really drives it home. This game is entirely focused on its fast-paced gameplay; detailed graphics would just get in everybody's way.

N++ describes itself as a momentum-driven platformer, and that sums everything up very well. It's all about navigating rooms filled with dangerous enemies*, obstacles, and gold as quickly and effectively as possible. Even one mistake will prove fatal, so each jump and pivot needs to land perfectly.

You're also on a strict time limit -- spend too long in a level, and you may not have enough time to survive the rest of the episode. Collecting gold grants you points and extends the time limit, but being greedy is a surefire way to lead your stick figure ninja into a deadly trap.

While the basic idea is simple enough, you'll need some serious reflexes and careful planning to conquer the later levels in this game. This puts N++ out of reach for many casual gamers, but if you're up for a challenge, give it a look.

Points of Interest

Insane number of levels
Each episode has five levels, but there are a total of 120 episodes waiting to drive you mad. If you get stuck, you can skip an episode or two. However, since new episodes only become available after you've cleared earlier ones, you'll eventually get trapped by the limits of your own skill.

Alternatively, there's also the option to make your own levels or play levels made by other users.
Four gameplay modes
If you're playing alone, you can choose between the solo mode or up the ante by playing the hardcore* mode. In the latter, failure is a much more serious problem and additional rules restrict your gameplay. On the other hand, if you want to play with friends, you and up to three friends can either solve the levels as partners in co-op* mode, or as competitors in the race mode.
Unlockable palettes and cosmetics
When you progress beyond certain points, you'll be rewarded with a new color palette or a special headband. Once "funlocked", you'll have more options to choose from when it comes to customizing the game's appearance.

A slight downside to this is that when you unlock* a new cosmetic option, the game automatically switches to it. Some of the palettes that are available are very ugly, and bring to mind the old days of angry fruit salad. Thus, you'll probably be switching back to your favorite palette every so often.
Steam community features
As you try out your slick ninja skills in these difficult episodes, you'll have the opportunity to earn 33 achievements*. Most of these are awarded for completing sets of levels in various ways. For example, if you clear a specific set of episodes, you can earn two achievements* -- one for clearing the levels, and one for managing to not die while doing so. Unsurprisingly, only a very few brave souls managed to earn even half of them.

There is also a set of Steam trading cards*, if you're interested in those. You'll have far more luck collecting those, to be honest.
User created levels leave something to be desired
Unlike a lot of games that provide the ability to make your own levels, there doesn't seem to be much quality control here. Some levels are flat out unplayable, while others are just insanely difficult.

Concerns and Issues

Very high difficulty
If you're a gamer who gets frustrated easily, this probably won't be the game for you. Outside of hardcore* mode, you can try a level as many times as you want, but since every failure is caused by a mistake you made or a lack of skill on your part, this game could easily bring out someone's temper. The developers were clearly aware of this, as they've included an achievement* called "You suck but that's okay". You get it by dying in the tutorial levels.
Stick figure violence
There are many, many ways for your ninja to die in this game. This can include being blown up, getting electrocuted, getting smashed, being flung into a hard surface at high speed, or simply falling to its death. The good news about this is that it's never depicted graphically; at most, the stick figure's lines pop apart and bounce around the room.

There technically is some blood, but this is little more than additional lines added as a special effect. You can disable these extra lines via the option menu if you'd prefer to play without them.

On a side note, skillfully clearing all of the dangers in a room only to screw up and trip a land mine at the last second can be hilarious, even if it wasn't intentional.