Finding your way down through the 180 floors of the newly released Steam version of Super House of Dead Ninjas is a challenge of skill and reflex. It is a simple objective, you are the crimson ninja and you must get to the bottom of the tower where treasures await those skilled enough to make it. I also played the flash version on Adult Swim’s website and the rerelease offers just a bit more katana-slashing good times for you to enjoy. There are fifty more levels to the tower now as well as dozens of different enemies to fight and eight bosses to challenge your right to descend the tower.
Speed is crucial in an experience like this. Your ninja will move so fast that it is difficult to control at times, and the enemies will move fast as well. You are also continuously racing against time and have to sometimes go out of your way in order to grab the small clocks spread across the different floors that will give you a bit more time until you find the next clock. I found that this experience was much more satisfying with a controller as opposed to a keyboard and sometime this week the developer, Megadev, is releasing an update that will have controller support for the Steam version. I am one happy gamer hearing that news because although the controls are simple, arrow keys for movement and jumping and just Z, X, and C for your various attacks; it does take some serious keyboard skills to get all the way to the bottom of the tower with the keyboard control scheme.
One more aspect to the game that has been released for the Steam version is the ability to create your own maps. This is a really neat idea that works well with this genre, especially one that boasts random level generation so each time you attempt the tower, it is a different experience. There is no floor-layout memorization that will help you get further in this platformer. There are plenty of upgrades and neat weapons to collect and earn as well as different suits for the crimson ninja to rock as he does what all ninjas do best, fight enemies and get treasure. These upgrades are not simply cosmetic, for example, the nunchuks swing around you and can kill enemies that come from above while the default katana will only attack enemies in the direction that you are facing. Overall, this is a highly-addictive bit of ninja tomfoolery that offers different layers of challenges the more that you play it. I am looking forward to seeing what the community delivers with the level editor available in this version. I am sure that ninjas everywhere will be coming up with neat ways to make the tower an even more dangerous place than it already is.