Ninja Senki

By: Derek Yu

On: December 23rd, 2010

Jonathan “pixeltao” Lavigne, who you may recognize as having worked on the Scott Pilgrim video game, has just released Ninja Senki, a lovely platformer that’s spread across 16 brutish levels. The phenomenal graphics are what drew me to the game in the first place, but it’s really fun, too. Even though the game mechanics are standard (the hero, Hayate, throws ninja stars horizontally and has a small double-jump), there’s a nice variety of enemies and environments, and the challenge is tough but not unfair. You get 2 lives but can continue at the beginning of a stage at the cost of 100 points (you restart with the points you had when you started the level).

My main criticism of Ninja Senki is that I would have preferred perhaps 8 slightly longer and harder levels over the current 16. It felt a bit drawn out by the end, and seeing each environment a second time was unnecessary, in my opinion.

By the way, if you’re wondering why Jonathan chose to use NES-style graphics and music but also the GameBoy’s resolution (I know you are), he answers in the comments of his blog:

I chose the GB resolution as a constraint simply to force myself to keep the sprites small while still having a good size ratio on screen. Because often when you make a game, you get too excited and start to make everything too big and too ambitious and you end up never finishing it. So, that was simply another limitation to help me stay focused.

Constraints are good!

TIGdb: Entry for Ninja Senki

  • Mark Johns

    I love it, but unless I missed something there's no save/continue option. And pausing the game doesn't stop the music from playing, which continues to play if the game is in the background. This makes it effectively impossible to play the game in anything other than one sitting.



  • step

    Having the controls set to j,k is really uncomfortable. Would have really enjoyed it otherwise. Need to get out my gamepad as soon as I find it.

  • J.R. Hill

    This game is awesome if you have a gamepad.

    And I love it.

  • Jasper Byrne

    It's got heaps of charm. Somehow feels more Game Gear than Gameboy in style. The Sega blue maybe?

    Great job, pixeltao!

  • James

    Even a lot of old games let you save.

  • James

    If you run Windows 7, you can right click on the system volume control and select “Open Volume Mixer”. This will allow you to mute the sound on individual applications.

  • Charles

    That's a good feature! I didn't know about that.

  • ortoslon

    playthrough to the best ending

  • Phubans

    I'm looking forward to playing this… I agree with the constraints thing; it's why my current project is almost 90% complete in 7 weeks, yet a pretty lengthy & rich game!

  • MonkeyPunch

    Great little game this and I really liked the music.
    Notice “This help file is based on Spelunky's readme file by Derek Yu.” in the help file? x]


    boring, simplistic game that isnt original or worth noting in anyway, another game to play and forget

    if your awful website is only going to update every other week you could at least post about a game that is worth playing

  • blah

    Looks like Indie games are still trying to emulate the NES, poorly.

    Maybe someday we'll get to the point where games actually look and play like they where made during this century.

  • Phubans

    Whenever I read someone's negative comments on these posts, I have to wonder what games they've made, let alone if they even have any idea what goes into making games like this.

    Don't be fooled by simplicity; there's a lot more that goes into making something than meets the eye.

  • Ste Griffiths

    Enjoyed and appreciated this game. In fact, I've ordered a USB gamepad so I can enjoy it some more (and also to play Cortex Command with a few other people).
    Good stuff.

  • Derek Yu

    I realize you're just posting to be mean, but check out some of the games in the “Holiday Trailers” post I made earlier. Maybe you'll find those more interesting!


    hahaha look how fucking condescending you are

    if anyone doesnt like this game they just dont understand it like you do, they cant possibly be aware that making games is hard and still dislike it

    stupid faggot

  • James

    Lame troll is lame. Two stars out of five. Arguments were boring, simplistic; not much worth noting. If you're going to make awful comments here, you might as well post something interesting.

  • PhasmaFelis

    TIGSOURCE HATER COMMENT TYPE II: “I Despise Everything About This Site But Still Read It For Some Reason”

    Is a wizard making you guys read this? Is…is the wizard Podunkian?

  • blah

    You don't need to be a cook to say the food tastes bad. Ad hominem is bad m'kay

  • Vania

    Oh you can play Cortex Command with other people?
    I havent checked that game in ages.

  • Mr. Person

    *hugs Derek Yu*

    Don't worry, one day everything will be okay.

  • Sigvatr

    It isn't a very convincing rip off of a NES game due to a number of things, including the particle effects and going over the palette limits on many sprites and backgrounds.

    Although I don't know if being a NES style game was the intent. It looks more like an early Sega Genesis game or something.

  • MasterShake

    No point, PhasmaFelis. MUTILATOR is one of those spoiled-to-death gamers who thinks every game and every post about games made on TIGSource is specifically catered to them. And, if displeased, finds no shame in whining about it like a 7-year-old who got socks for Christmas because obviously nobody else on this planet was intended to read or enjoy this game/post. The ultimate self-imposed nerdrage.

    Maybe Derek should've wrapped this one in a big, shiny bow for you. Would that make you a little less grumpy?

  • MasterShake

    I found the game somewhat annoying simply because there is no intuitive way to know when you're going to run full-tilt into the next off-screen enemy. Oh, a gap? Let's jump it–BAM, Ghost in your face. But overall, it's really well done and, in that sense, harkens back to the days of Contra where you could be running forward and straight into a random trooper.

  • RazzRox

    Hi. This is a response to your post.

  • RazzRox

    nvm apparently I can't read.

  • rinkuhero

    this also works on vista, it's not unique to win 7

  • nolito

    i am from La Paz BOLIVIA
    i want say to NINJA SENKI is a great retro pixel games.

    Great GAME
    and THANKS

  • newday

    Coins… who the hell enjoys collecting coins even in these ancient looking games?

  • pixeltao

    What are you babbling about? Everyone love coins, it's the human nature!