NinjaTown is a game based on characters from the wonderful Shawnimals. It is set in the Dark Forest and you play the role of Old Ninja Master. Now before you rush off and buy NinjaTown in order to add it to your collection of beat 'em ups, you should probably take note that NinjaTown isn't exactly your standard Ninja-based game.
The gameplay itself is a fairly casual and easy to get to grips with Tower Defence game, where you must protect your town from the onslaught of beasties heading over from the Dark Forest. Aside from the normal base building and troop deployment, you also get Old Ninja Master powers that take advantage of the DS as a platform - see 'Get Off My Lawn' which involves the mistrust of young people by the old and is controlled by blowing into your DS microphone.
And this brings me to where NinjaTown really shines, it's sense of humour. NinjaTown won't have you laughing out loud but its super-cute world of lovable ninjas and the genuinely well-written game copy (the conversations between the Ninja Master and Ninja Consultant are wonderful) will certainly have you smiling while playing, and visiting the Shawnimals site to consider buying a Wee Ninja all of your own when you are not.
Gameplay-wise, it is plays like lots of other Tower Defence games, with the updating / repairing of buildings, finding the balance between where to place what troops and use of special powers at the right point all being the key to survival. Personally I would love to play a more sandbox-styled game based in this world, where I could just help my little Ninjas build a suitable Utopia, and get some feel of the surrounding areas (lack of cute Ninjas always did take away some of the element of enjoyment from SimCity for me.)
I can't honestly say that if you have never really 'got' these games before then NinjaTown will be the one to finally convince you, but if you do like TD games ,at least a bit, then the amazing characters and the suitability of the DS for this format of game, will make it a very worthwhile purchase.
Overall 7.5 / 10
reviewed by Chris Error x
p.s. will update the review to include the multiplayer sections as soon as someone else in the office will play with me :(