If you’re seeking a unique roguelike, look no further than Ninja or Die. Runs are split between soaring across the screen and managing your inventory, which might seem like a dissonant approach. But that kind of creativity is overflowing in Nao Games’ inaugural outing, which is poised to become one of this summer’s sleeper hits.
Ninja or Die: Shadow of the Sun is a game full of action using minimal controls; it may seem weird to only jump wherever you want to go but ends up working quite well adding a unique twist to games in the genre.
Ultimately, Ninja or Die: Shadow of the Sun is a stylish and unique roguelite, and for some players the originality it exhibits will be enough to win them over. There’s no getting over the fact that it feels messy at times, though, and that repetition can set in if you sit down to play it for a considerable period of time. Still, anyone after a challenge that involves a lot of jumping may want to check this out.
It feels like at some point in development Nao Games decided that Ninja or Die needed more. More to do, more complexity, more than the simple gameplay which makes up its core. That’s a shame because the core of Ninja or Die is its biggest strength, at least when it works. It just needs to work more consistently. There’s definite potential in its core, and I’d be curious to check out an update or follow-up to see if that core could be refined, but the game as it exists today is hard to recommend as more than a curiosity.
SummaryCelestial doom. This is the fate that awaits humanity. In Edo, Japan, the great cataclysm has been foreseen by a most unlikely soul -- a Master Thief. Your mother.
You are a common pickpocket, transformed by the cataclysm into a lethal Ninja with lightning mobility. The Ramen Seller becomes a Samurai. The Maiko becomes a killer Geisha. ...