hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Atomic Ninjas

Review: Atomic Ninjas

5:00 PM on 10.17.2013 // Ian Bonds

Pint-sized punches

Ninjas and explosions: two great tastes that you would think taste great together, right? Throw them in a pot, mix with weapons, gadgets, and frenetic multiplayer action, and you have a recipe for an awesome adventure.

Sadly, I don't think this one cooked long enough.

Atomic Ninjas (PlayStation 3, PS Vita [reviewed])
Developer: Grip Games
Publisher: Grip Games
Released: October 8, 2013
MSRP: $9.99

Cooking metaphors aside, the story of Atomic Ninjas breaks down like this: a security guard at a nuclear plant falls asleep on the big red button and the planet goes boom. Ninjas, using their natural survival instincts, are altered, fight each other. For reasons.

And that's it. I hope you weren't looking for more plot or depth than that, because you just ain't getting it, Johnny. In fact beyond that intro, the only interaction you have with "characters" is the sensei in the tutorial. There are no alternate characters to select to play as, either -- you're just a ninja, fighting other ninjas. There are costumes to chose from, but only once you increase your rank through battles.

The main game plays out like Super Smash Bros.; you and three other players are let loose in an arena and must beat the living snot out of each other until they succumb to being flung into a pit and die. There are three weapons to chose from (punch, shuriken, and force grab -- used to chuck boxes at foes) and three gadgets (grappling hook, wall claw, and rocket) that allow you to travel around the arena and basically push your opponents to their doom.

The game is built for multiplayer -- and not much else. You choose an arena, a game mode including the standard deathmatch, team deathmatch, king of the hill, and capture the flag, and try to connect to a room to duke it out with other folk. However the matchmaking is a bit lacking, as often times I would choose a room to play only for it to wind up already being full, or not really there.

While fighting your opponents is the whole point of Atomic Ninjas, its execution is hampered by a poor camera and minimalist attacks. The camera is zoomed in on you, and never zooms out, so you never know if you're leaping (or swinging, or rocket-blasting) towards a foe, or a large pit in the floor. Thankfully in the games where there is a goal such as capture the flag, a small arrow points to where you need to go.

Once you find a foe, you spam the attack button until they're pushed away. The shurikens are pretty effective, but using the right analog stick to aim while pressing the right trigger for your attack is a bit cumbersome, especially when trying to leap around, or hit a target that is also leaping around. The punches are usually the most effective and when timed right can knock shurikens away from hitting you.

At least the game looks nice. The character models are cute and colorful, and the arenas are varied, even if there's not many to choose from. The layout can be confusing the first time you play through due to the camera, but once you learn where the hazards are, you can travel through them well enough. I will say that each stage seems a bit small at times, and the cramped camera angle doesn't help that.

There is a single-player mode, but it's basically just a practice arena (strangely labeled "quick match") where you fight against bots rather than live players. It's effective if you're taking the game on the go or just can't connect in multiplayer, but the AI is a little high on the difficulty at times. There's at least cross-buy and cross-play included, so you can feel lonely when the room doesn't connect on either system of choice.

The main problem with Atomic Ninjas is that there's just not enough to do. Each battle has Ninja Trials: different objectives to be completed during matches, such as killing three foes with shurikens, or stealing opponents weapons after defeat. While those help vary how you play each level, the limited number of weapons, gadgets, and especially arenas make the quick play even quicker, as I found myself getting bored doing essentially the same thing over and over. Still, there were minimal rewards as I leveled up, as different costumes and abilities were unlocked, but not enough to keep me playing for long periods of time.

Atomic Ninjas isn't really a bad game, nor is it a good one. It just sort of exists. What the title does it does competently, but there's not enough options or variety to warrant many matches, unless you're absolutely dying for some multiplayer brawling on the cheap. It's inoffensive and fun, but like the radiation, only in small doses.



Atomic Ninjas - Reviewed by Ian Bonds
Average - Like a meal of lukewarm water with white bread. It filled my time and my belly, but lacks any discernible flavor or nutritional value. A game that left me no different than it found me. Just passing through.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Ian Bonds, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Ian is Dtoid's resident review monkey. If there is a game no one else wants to review, it usually goes to Ian. As a reviewer, Ian has been writing for close to ten years for various sites, starti... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The Undertale review section on its Steam page is hilarious! [img][/img]
n0signal avatarn0signal
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
A Nintendo rep gave this to me today because she likes talking to me. I do have lots of the Old AC eReader cards I guess I could put in it... [img][/img]
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I'm still trying to figure out how to do it, but for the most part I like what I've seen of the new blog editor. My first blog post using it should go up tomorrow.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
The demon threat is real.[img][/img]
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Daily VGM #20 (Bonus) - Valak Mountain Night (Xenoblade Chronicles) [youtube][/youtube] This theme perfectly captures the essence of Valak Mountain. It feel serene and calm, as well as mountain-esque (lol).
Lawman avatarLawman
What does one do when MGS V has lost its luster and Persona 4: DAN is growing stale? Listen to Queens of the Stone Age, of course. And wonder; is Steins;Gate worth the asking price? I want it, but not sure if I $30 - $40 want it...
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Been trying to get Tales Of Phantasia finished before Zestiria comes out... How i'm going to get through that game I have no clue... especially when Exist Archive comes out in December and I have to play that too... also i've still yet to finish Grandia 2
TheLimoMaker avatarTheLimoMaker
Been in a bit of a rut this week and as such haven't really been satisfied with any of my games. Therefore, I'm going to start Destiny again on my new PS+ account. Any tips given the amount of updates it's had?
Bardley avatarBardley
Bought a used knockoff game console called the Power Kracker 2013, which claimed to have 76,000 games. The AC adapter was missing and someone had crammed an off-brand GameCube controller inside the box. I don't know what I expected.
Firuzi Gafrindashvili avatarFiruzi Gafrindashvili
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I actually love the quests in Novigrad where you write a play. It's a fun and lighthearted break from the tragedy of Baron and horror of Velen and the Crones.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
I preordered Tales of Zestria and Disgaea 5 because they were £10 cheaper that way, WHO WANTS TO FIGHT ME HUH?
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Man, plague of shadows is gooood. It really fleshes out plague knight and the world by extension, and it has some fun story stuff. Plus plague knight plays differently enough to shovel knight to make whats old feel new again. Deep customization too.
nanashi avatarnanashi
You will be missed. 2001 - 2015 ATHF RIP. ... oh and uh, GET OUT OF MY FREAKING POOL!!
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Freezing my ass off at a Penn State football game. Half of the hicks at this stadium probably didn't graduate high school, yet they're rooting for a college football team. I wish I was on my warm den playing MGS V.
AvtrSpirit avatarAvtrSpirit
Gosh darn it, she's done it again! That Sapphire's a talented minx. [youtube][/youtube]
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Is renting games still a thing in America? I know there's only one UK company still doing rentals. And does it make you less tolerant of games? I definitely gave games less of a chance when I knew I could sling them back in the envelope and get a new one.
Termadoyle avatarTermadoyle
Probably the most awesome soundtrack in an indie game. And the game isn't so bad either. win/win situation tbqh.
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
Atomic Ninjas

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -