• 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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. The best Tenchu for years, even if it does still leave too many frustrating relics from the past.
  7. 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.
  8. 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]
  9. 70
    Tough but flawed, Tenchu is still an enjoyable mature experience on the Wii.
  10. 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!
  11. 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.
  12. Tenchu: Shadow Assassins attempts to sneak in the footsteps of its stealthy predecessors but ends up a stumbling, bungling mess.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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]
  16. games(TM)
    It takes several hours of frustrating play to get to the more enjoyable sections of the game. [Mar 2009, p.116]
  17. 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]
  18. 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]
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Game Informer
    However, the clunky controls, frustrating camera, and broken combat all spoil the game's flow. [Apr 2009, p.86]

Awards & Rankings

#45 Most Discussed Wii Game of 2009
#23 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 »