XBLIG Review: Ninja Crash

Ninja Crash by Team Devil is a multi-player game that has all the makings of a great party title. It plays like Joust and Balloon Fight, looks like Castle Crashers and has the addictive multi-player quality of Super Smash Bros., and as an added bonus, it received second prize in Microsoft’s 2012 Dream Build Play contest, a spot ahead of the Uprising III title Gateways.


You play as a ninja of sorts with lanterns on your head that allow you to float. You continually press A to gain altitude and do not press anything to lose altitude. Your goal is to puncture the lanterns of the opposing ninjas so they fall to a grisly demise. Once a character runs out of lanterns he will cease to float. In more cases than not, the now fallen player will die, but he may land safely on a platform and have the opportunity to attach another lantern to keep going. However, if you knock him on the hand once, more, he’ll be done. The game is loaded with power-ups and gadgets to bump up the madness.

The mechanics of Ninja Crash are almost identical to Joust and Balloon Fight, so if you are unfamiliar with the continual need to press a button, the first few times playing may not be enjoyable. That said the key to success in this game is the ability to balance your movement and maintain a grasp of the controls.

The game has two modes – campaign and multi-player. The campaign can be played with up to two players across eight dynamic levels and a boss fight. The multi-player mode can be played with up to four players. The levels also include items and power-ups players can use to tip the balance of the game in his favor. Additionally, as in Super Smash Bros., the levels themselves can sometimes affect the game play with flaring lava, moving levitating rocks and a fair share of spikes. This is forgetting the god-like finger that pokes you down from the sky like the Tower of Babel if you are floating near the top of the map for too long. To be honest, the finger will knock you out fairly often if you aren’t careful.

The back story of Ninja Crash’s campaign mode is a tad wanting. It focuses on a group of four ninjas who are partying with their sensei when some diabolical mastermind steals the sensei’s cheese. The group of ragtag ninjas must then battle through the dark underground of cheese-stealing, ghastly ninja warriors to finally meet the boss and return the cheese back to their sensei. The storyline is mostly pointless, but it helps shed some light on the chase for the cheese.

The campaign is fun, but it is short and has no replay value. The place where Ninja Crash shines is in the multi-player, and it has ample opportunities to make the time enjoyable. While the game lacks the variety of playable characters with unique moves that Super Smash has, Ninja Crash has several skins to mix things up with.


Final Rating: 8.5/10

CBR Break Down:
Console Played On
Time to completion: two hours
Gamer Score Earned: N/A
Price Bought at: A code was provided by Team Devil
Current Price: 240 Microsoft Points
Recommend Purchase Price: 240 Microsoft Points
Why you should buy it: A fun multiplayer game that combines the best aspects of Joust and Super Smash Bros.
Why you shouldn’t buy it: The game’s solo campaign is short, so friends are needed to get a worthwhile time out of it. Plus, Halo 4 was just released yesterday, and you are probably playing that.



About Steve Lesniewski

Steve lives in Chicago and recently graduated from the University of Illinois. He has been fascinated with video games since his ninth birthday when he received a Gameboy Color and Pokemon Blue. He loves following sports and cheers win or lose for the Bears, Bulls and the Fighting Illini, who include the 2012 men’s gymnastic national champs as well as the 2011 women’s volleyball national runner-up.