• Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Release Date: Feb 5, 2009

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
Buy On
  1. Perhaps best of all, though, the developer has managed to create a graphically rich and detailed version of 13th Century Japan that’s positively dripping with atmosphere.
  2. Tenchu: Shadow Assassins redefines the series in a videogame more reflexive and less action paced than its predecessors. It's difficult, it's engaging, it's exciting and it's very inmersive. If you want to act like a real ninja, this game is definitely for you.
  3. Tenchu: Shadow Assassins is a great game, recommended to anyone who enjoys action, thievery and the sensation of being a true ninja.
  4. Here's hoping a few things can be cleaned up for a second iteration on the Wii, and I'd definitely suggest that curious fans give Shadow Assassins a try.
  5. Games Master UK
    A rare slice of meaty action on the Wii. Plenty of sneaky entertainment to be had. [Mar 2009, p.68]
  6. One of the best Tenchu sequels ever made.
  7. Tenchu 4 aint a perfect game, but the gore makes it very interesting. Are you a fan of ninjas, stealth and diverse missions? If so, then Tenchu is your game!
  8. Tenchu: Shadow Assassins is a game that will be welcomed by many: good attention to detail and largely well-implemented controls combine with a compelling story to create a terrific cinematic gaming experience.
  9. Nintendo Gamer
    Really get into it and you'll spend weeks finding the perfect 'solutions". For everyone else, this is a rare actioner on Wii, and very competently handheld. [JPN Import; Mar 2009, p.58]
  10. 80
    Despite some issues with regard to character control and the fact that some series staples like lots of rooftop exploration are oddly missing from the Wii sequel, the end product is still fun.
  11. The further you delve into the game's entrancing plot and ninja sneakiness, the more you'll come to appreciate its high points. Plus, who doesn't love being a ninja assassin?
  12. 78
    Ubisoft has placed a good Wii title on the shelves, with some flaws and small imperfections. Overall it looks good and the sound is also really fine. Every gamer will be entertained at least ten hours with the storyline. Despite the small mistakes, Tenchu is definitely a must have for the Wii!
  13. 75
    Tenchu: Shadow Assassins is a good game, but because of its design, not everyone will like it. Is a pretty demanding game that can become frustrating, above all in those moments we will have to wait hoping not to be tracked down and be able to continue. Because of that is a game recommended to those patient players or to the ones used to this game mechanics.
  14. Tenchu: Shadow Assassins gives the Wii’s family-friendly catalogue a welcome streak of red, but an ancient design and trifling motion controls make it an old dog of war. Many aspects of the game simply feel dated, but the series is definitely back to its stealthy fighting form. It’s going to take a lot more for it to achieve a successful contract kill.
  15. The best Tenchu in ages and good fun for the most part but this is a series that badly needs a reinvention. [Mar 2009, p.76]
  16. Tenchu: Shadow Assassins isn’t a bad game by any stretch of the imagination. It gives gamers a unique experience that while not always successful, certainly gives its all.
  17. Acquire has made its job innovating with a franchise that was almost set up to death. Our objective is to kill without being noticed, so we'll definitely use shadows to hide and to proceed with an instant murder. Quite impressive visuals lacking a better gameplay system is very much what we're going to find on the latest installment of Tenchu.
  18. Wii debut of the Tenchu saga with Shadow Assassins is a good one, thanks to the team Acquire, creator of the original episode. Nevertheless the innovations introduced by the developer drive the game away from the typical stealth formula, limiting the possibilities given to the player. Tenchu: Shadow Assassins is a more linear game then the predecessors; even if the new ideas may seem interesting, the result is not fully convincing. Recommended more to newbies than fans, who may be let down by the change of direction.
  19. 70
    Tough but flawed, Tenchu is still an enjoyable mature experience on the Wii.
  20. Tenchu is back in a vivid reproduction of the Ninja lifestyle, with dark and light in its path. It's a shame to be forced into awful first person sword fights, because the entire game is full of tension, quality and pathos. A good game for the Wii owners, that's for sure! Welcome back, Acquire!
  21. Nice visuals, varied levels and a tight atmosphere - only the needlessly hard sword duels and some minor quirks prevent the Shadow Assassins from scoring higher.
  22. Nintendo Power
    Shadow Assassins is a solid stealth title that can be both fun and frustrating, a mix of truly impressive features and clumsy missteps. [Feb 2009, p.88]
  23. Even if it’s not nearly as bad as most of the recent Tenchu games, Stealth Assassins sadly fails in delivering a concrete upgrade to the series: developer Acquire wanted a game that both hardcore and casual gamers could get into, but the risk is that nobody will really like it.
  24. The graphics are average for the Wii, the sound is out of place, the sword fighting is Red Steel levels of bad and the fact that the bad guys will let their guard down when their buddies are lying dead at their feet all add up to a disappointing game. Hopefully Ubisoft goes back to the drawing board before releasing Tenchu 5.
  25. 67
    Once you grow accustomed to the game's quirks, you soon find yourself in a rhythm where gamer instincts overcome sloppy game mechanics. Eventually, the thrill of starting a level -- unarmed -- and slowly but surely making your way over rooftops and underwater and over rafters becomes a guilty thrill.
  26. Game Informer
    However, the clunky controls, frustrating camera, and broken combat all spoil the game's flow. [Apr 2009, p.86]
  27. Edge Magazine
    The simple Remote application – flicks to activate instant takedowns – is one of many wise steps taken away from the convoluted mechanics weighing down other current-gen entries. [Mar 2009, p.93]
  28. games(TM)
    It takes several hours of frustrating play to get to the more enjoyable sections of the game. [Mar 2009, p.116]
  29. The new and improved puzzle-styled Tenchu: Shadow Assassins is a step in the right direction for the series. Nevertheless the game has little to do with the original Tenchu, making it a strange experience for the Tenchu veteran. But if you're open to it, Tenchu: Shadow Assassins will offer a very entertaining fifteen hours of ninja-power.
  30. The best Tenchu for years, even if it does still leave too many frustrating relics from the past.
  31. There are two campaigns to play through, an extra series of 50 brief assignments to complete, and a smattering of new items and artworks to unlock; to this extent, the game is quite generous, but I think that most players would have preferred less content and more room to manoeuvre.
  32. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    It could be a great stealth action game but inaccurate controls and offenses against stealth genre corrupt all the fun. [May 2009]
  33. Tenchu works best when taken as a puzzle game that requires you to master your ninja sense and proceed step-by-step, error-by-error, to every stage’s inevitable boss. As a “stealth action” game, however, it falls short of expectations.
  34. Tenchu: Shadow Assassins attempts to sneak in the footsteps of its stealthy predecessors but ends up a stumbling, bungling mess.
  35. 40
    The series makes a blind leap into a new genre, only to fall flat on his face satisfying neither the fans of puzzle or action games.

Awards & Rankings

#45 Most Discussed Wii Game of 2009
#24 Most Shared Wii Game of 2009
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 27
  2. Negative: 4 out of 27
  1. Jun 25, 2015
    As a big fan of Tenchu series playing this game disappointed me.
    The game, while not horrible is nothing like the original Tenchu games.
    As a big fan of Tenchu series playing this game disappointed me.
    The game, while not horrible is nothing like the original Tenchu games.
    Gone is the Grappling hook, and combat is limited to motion controlled predetermined mini game segments.
    In the end what we have is more of a puzzle game, that feels like forced stealth segments in other modern non stealth games.
    Full Review »
  2. May 22, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Wow just wow the best tenchu games of all time is so real everything! like a true ninjas and old Japanese world...
    pros:music,story,gameplay,voice actors,

    Rikimaru was the best and Onikage and the ending was pefect! I don't know if there will be next sequel I want to see ayame die or rikimaru with onikage... that would be a perfect closure of rikimaru tale.Or live both of them I just DONT want to see tenchu game going to dribbler and loveish,Naruto ugly things.
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 6, 2017
    Tenchu was one of the lonely series to put you in a ninja skin in feudal japan but the licence is kind of dead since this episode, did itTenchu was one of the lonely series to put you in a ninja skin in feudal japan but the licence is kind of dead since this episode, did it deserved it ?

    Technically the games runs fine and the motion controls are simple enough to be recognize easily by the hardware. But the graphics are hideous and so they tried to cover it by making everything very dark, way too dark to be fully playable ! Even with my luminosity settings at their top there was still areas where I couldn't see.

    Concerning the gameplay it's a bit clumsy and clearly the nunchuk wasn't the best way to play this game, specially when the moving controls are simple gadgets. Overall the game rely on your infiltration skills to backstab every enemy in your way, the level design is okay and the challenge is fair but it will get repetitive pretty soon despite some new class of enemies.

    The story is very cliche with bad voice overs, it's clearly a cheap occidental point of view of that era and you won't be looking forward the different steps of the game. It is also pretty short (count 8 hours if you don't die a lot).

    So overall Tench : Shadow Assassins is pretty poor game with no substantial quality to attract any kind of player, but at least it assures the minimum (except for the graphics) and if you absolutely have to try it out you'll be able to go through the game, still I don't recommend it to anyone.
    Full Review »