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Games : Highly Recommended
Release Date: July 28th, 2015 Movie Release Year: 2014


Overview -

In the beginning there was 'N.' In time, 'N+' came to inhabit the 360. And now, according to endless declarations from the game's two person team, 'N++' has arrived on the PS4 as the "last, best version" of the 2D ninja series.

In many ways, the 'N' series has represented an ideal, that of a pure platformer. The only controls on the normally cluttered right side of the controller are jump and suicide. And while death is frequent, and time an ever-present, but still secondary worry, it's the levels and their devious obstacles that make all of the jumping, running, floating, wall-grabbing, and sliding come together like a beautiful dance. If done successfully, the gameplay is poetry, but frustration, brutal difficulty, and a nearly impassable brick wall lie in wait, near or far depending on the player and their specific to-the-moment readiness.

But while the level design of the series can bring order to chaos and vice versa, it's the game's physics that have made the best and worst levels worthwhile. Thus, it has taken new hardware to make a new 'N' worth the effort. 'N++' arrives on the PS4 with a 1080p/60fps presentation that is the sharpest in the biz, and with a staggering (at release) 2360 levels spread across modes. The new levels are full of dastardly new obstacles and enemies, but the aim is the same, unlock and reach the goal. Clear each five episode level set with time remaining. Clear with more time left to ascend the leaderboards, capture all the gold, and so on. In what is a startling move, local co-op supplements the single player experience (no online co-op beyond SharePlay), and that co-op, while supporting four players, is really meant for two.

'N++' houses its own replays of successful runs, and the game wants players to make and share their own levels as nearly as bad as any game out there. Though the game is simple, its strengths and weaknesses, while in the eye of the beholder, are a challenge to nail down.

Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
July 28th, 2015

Video Review


Unlike so many platformers, 'N++' adheres to its classic, clean aesthetic, sneaking in a few nice touches in a world where the foreground and background are never in doubt. One such area are the designs of the killer enemy bots, whose little shapes are as ominous as just about any cold, killing machine could hope for.

The game uses a plethora of color palettes that the user can select and unlock to keep things fresh. This seems to have limited ninja variety, but the palettes are nonetheless well worth mixing in. As I'm guessing with most users, I have my favorites, while most others I'd never care to use more than once.

N++ color vasquez

N++ color hot

The game's near pixel perfect vector graphics might not wow the uninitiated, but they nevertheless make 'N++' stand out even among the indie platformer crowd.

Audio Review


Sound effects for 'N++' are minimal and yet extremely potent in achieving their desired effect. What's more surprising is the game's 63-track soundtrack, which suits the electronic ninja action and can be controlled by the player. Some annoying electric sounds from physics funnies and dead ninjas are an example of the game's few minor sound issues.

Final Thoughts

It's possible that the 'N' in 'N++' stands for niche, but within that niche, the game easily bests almost everything a fan could ask for. For me, the co-op test with a next-gen kiddo beat expectations in a way that only winning gameplay can muster. The newest, and best version of a game whose subtitle could be 'Poetry in Motion and Killer bots' is a triumph on the PS4. Only users who absolutely hate everything about platformers should think hard before giving 'N++' a deep look, while everyone else should partake and celebrate the final form of this landmark series.