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Hands-on with Ninja Town

5:28 PM on 06.19.2008 // Hamza CTZ Aziz

It's no secret that I'm a Ninja. It's also a well-known fact that Ninjas are complete badasses and nothing scares them. Not even elephants riding bicycles or bears riding on mopeds with giant octopuses on their backs.

So when Ninja Town was first announced, my inner Ninja believed that this was just a vile scheme by pirates to insult the Ninja culture. After getting my hands-on the game last week, though, I can safely say that Ninja Town could have only been made by Ninjas, as this game is extremely fun. Hit the jump to read about this simple, yet addictive, strategy game.

The peaceful home of Ninja Town has been invaded by Wee Devils. It's up to you to build Ninja Huts all around the town to prevent the Wee Devils from advancing and destroying Ninja Town. 

Ninja Town plays out like a tower defense-style game. You create your forces that will defend your town from the Wee Devil invaders. The goal on all 40-plus levels is to make sure none of the Wee Devils can get through your town to cross the bridge. To do this, you must place Ninja Huts on empty squares all across the town all along the path the Wee Devils will use to cross the bridge. On the level I played on, there were only two entrances into the town.

On this level, there were to be 16 waves of the Wee Devils that would be making their way through. The game starts off slowly, as the Wee Devils will use only one path at first. The top screen on the DS is a mini-map of your town. It will show you which path the Wee Devils will be taking, what form of Wee Devil is coming and how many waves there will be. Ol' Master Ninja is also on the top screen hanging out in a hot air balloon looking out below on his town, but more on him in a bit.

Each hut costs the same to place and you can only place huts when you have enough Ninja Cookies, the currency of Ninja Town. To place a hut, you just touch one of the squares on the bottom screen and choose which type of Ninja Hut you want to place. I had the choice between placing Wee Ninjas, White Ninjas, Anti-Ninjas, and Sniper Ninjas with more to choose from as you get through the game. I placed down a Wee Ninja hut and a White Ninja hut as my first line of defense.

The Wee Ninjas are your basic Ninjas and they attack with their fists. The White Ninjas will actually throw snowballs as their attack, which doesn't do much damage, but does slow down the Wee Devils. Two ninjas from each hut popped out as soon as they were placed on the map. They will attack enemies automatically, so you can just sit back and watch the carnage.

The basic version of the Wee Devils started to roll in shortly after placing my first two huts. Your Ninjas will attack the Wee Devils until they are dead and go for the next closest Wee Devil to their position. Ninjas can get attacked too, but if they die, another Ninja will immediately respawn from the hut. Just like the Ninjas, there will be various forms of Wee Devils, such as ones that can fly and run fast to plenty more.

Every time you kill Wee Devils, you are given Ninja Cookies. The more Ninja Cookies you earn, the more Ninja Huts you can place on the map. Ninja Cookies can be used to upgrade your huts, which will increase your Ninjas' strength and range. You'll be able to purchase Ninja Support buildings used to increase your Ninjas' skills or store your cookies like a bank. The support buildings must be placed right next to a Ninja Hut and the support building will only affect the Hut it's touching. 

On the touch screen, you'll notice a staff that is slowly increasing in power as you defeat more and more Wee Devils. This is where Ol' Master Ninja comes in. Once the staff is strong enough, you just click on it and you will be given two special attacks. The first special attack is called "Get off my lawn" and requires you to blow into the microphone to blow back the Wee Devils. You have 10 seconds to do this and have to pick a direction in which to blow back the Devils. This comes in handy when your forces are just getting overrun and can't attack enough Devils fast enough. The second attack from Ol' Master Ninja requires you to tap on as many enemies within three seconds. After the three seconds are up, Ol' Master Ninja drops down from his balloon and insta-kills all who were just tapped. 

More and more Wee Devils will invade your town with every wave. It seems like things can get crazy fast, but so long as you have a good assortment of melee and projectile Ninjas, your town should be pretty safe.

By the end of it, I really didn't want to put the DS down. Ninja Town is a very simple game, yet it's so damn addictive. October can't come soon enough! 

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