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N++ (PC) artwork

N++ (PC) review


"A fun and easy-to-learn platformer where only skill matters."


A little about the series: back in 2004 a simple free flash game was released under the name of N (which means "The Way of the Ninja"). Over the years N went on to receive several updates, won 2 audience choice awards and managed to capture people's attention due to its simple game mechanics, addictive quality and unforgiving nature. Surprisingly it managed to capture the attention of a Microsoft employee and from there the second game, N+, was born. N+ came onto the Xbox 360 in 2008 boasting new levels, refined visuals, tweaked sounds, an actual soundtrack, customisation and local as well as online co-op. I loved it, and so did many others I imagine, but even with a later Nintendo DS and PSP release... the developers still didn't have enough money for a proper PC or PS3 port. Thankfully the developers heard our pleas, and after a deal with Sony was accepted, N++ for PS4 (and later PC) was given full approval.

N++ is a solid platformer through and through. The aim of the game is to navigate the agile ninja to a switch and then to the accompanying exit in each level. This sounds simple, and it is, but you’ve also got a rather short lifespan (represented by a timer ticking down to 0 at the top of your screen) which can be extended by optionally picking up gold. As you go through the 25 “Intro” episodes: new enemies are introduced and the levels become harder too. Knowing how long to press the “Z” button (which determines how long/high you jump), when to wall-jump and how much momentum you need is absolutely vital to succeeding in this game. And that’s what I love about this game. The controls are slick, and everything feels responsive, so the only thing you can blame when everything goes wrong is yourself and tear what remaining hair you have left on your head.

N++ (PC) image
Screw this level!


Don’t get me wrong – the game’s accessible to everyone. Extra challenge however comes from players attempting to collect all the gold in each level or getting the fastest time. Heck, I spent a good quarter of my playtime just trying to compete with my Steam friends for the best leaderboard position and global rank. What's neat is that you can actually watch your friend's replays to see how they beat a certain level. If replaying levels is not your thing though, N++ has got you covered. Remember when I said that the “Intro” section had 25 episodes? Each episode actually contains 5 levels and there’s 100 more episodes in the “N++” section. If you finish that, there’s another 100 episodes (which are all old maps from previous N games) in the “Legacy” section. So altogether that’s 1125 levels and this is just the “Solo” mode. That’s right! There’s also the “Co-op” (only local co-op in this game) and “Race” modes to look forward to, so you won’t be finishing any time soon.

N++ (PC) image
There's no shortage of levels here


Outside of all of this there’s a level editor for you to play around with which is amazing. What’s even better is you can play levels made with this on the PS4 version and vice versa. The icing the on the cake is “Funlocks” though, which are little bonuses you can unlock (they’re mostly extra colours which change the look of the menus and the levels themselves). Other things worth mentioning include the soundtrack – it’s not overpowering and fits the game’s aesthetic perfectly – and the excellent port. While some PC gamers may be annoyed about the fact that the game’s locked to 60 FPS, it’s more than playable for me and I assure you that everything is super smooth. I personally would like an option to unlock the framerate but apparently this was done so everyone's replays would be the same.

N++ (PC) image
Graphics options


That's all I can really say about this game, and I'm actually surprised this didn't end up being a longer review, but all I'll say is this: N++ is absolutely worth it. Pick it up when you can... you will not be disappointed.

5/5

3xA_lucky's avatar
Community review by 3xA_lucky (April 21, 2017)

I'm a nerd, a geek and a PC enthusiast. When I play video-games I'm often very flukey but I believe the word "fluke" implies lack of skill. I'd like to think that I have too much skill and that's why I somehow play average most of the time.

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