Mini Ninjas

Family-friendly cartoon ninja brawler with epic story.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game plays as one of six ninjas who vow to take down an evil warlord. In doing so, these mini ninjas also free animals who were transformed into enemy soldiers.

Positive role models

Hiro, the main mini ninja, is a good guy, who takes on an evil Samurai warlord. He is fighting to return order to the world. Players can turn into five other ninjas including a female.

Ease of play

There is a bit of a learning curve as virtually all of the 10 buttons on the console controller (and d-pad and two analog sticks) do something in the game. We reviewed the Xbox 360 version.


The game does contain cartoon violence -- including use of swords, bombs, and throwing stars with accompanying sounds of pain -- but there is no blood or gore. When enemies are defeated, the evil Warlord spell is broken and they return back to furry animals before scurrying away. One flatulent boss character uses his smelly and harmful gas as a weapon.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this action/adventure game is fairly tame, but combat is a big part of the game-play.  There is no blood or gore in this game and all defeated enemies return back to their original animal form. Kids will see some minor crude humor, including a flatulent boss character whose gas can harm your character.

What's it about?

In MINI NINJAS, you play as a pint-sized warrior named Hiro, who vows to stop an evil Samurai Warlord bent on world domination (of course). Trite storyline aside, this video game's fun factor lies in Hiro's assortment of tricks -- magic, stealth, weaponry, and agility -- to defeat this malevolent master and his devoted minions. Hiro's powerful \"Kuji Magic,\" for example, comes in handy while exploring the vast and dangerous areas in feudal Japan. He can possess animals, such as turning into a bear to scare off baddies or a wild boar to ram objects. Defeated enemies, by the way, turn back into animals, as it breaks the evil warlord's spell. Hiro can also transform into five other mini ninjas on demand, including the slow but muscular Futo or the swift, female Suzume. Players will also master hiding in tall grass, balancing on ropes hanging above abysses, sneaking up to unsuspecting soldiers, shimmying across cliff edges, and using items to help get past obstacles (such as Hiro's trusty hat that serves as a mini-boat to traverse waterways).

Is it any good?


Fighting against baddies is fun, be it with mêlée weapons (such as swords and hammers) or ranged ones (Shuriken throwing stars and cherry bombs), but because the game is designed primarily for younger players, combat is on the easy side -- even against the slightly tougher boss characters, including a flatulent fighter whose poison, er, gas, can kill you. A minor shortcoming in this game is the lack of any multiplayer modes. A co-op option, for instance, would be a lot of fun to play alongside a friend or family member on the same television. When it comes to production values, though, Mini Ninjas doesn't disappoint. The third-person adventure resembles a colorful and fluidly-animated digital cartoon, while the soothing Japanese instrumental tracks nicely match the look and theme of this family-friendly brawler. While not flawless, the game is a fun fall pick for tweens and teens.

Note: All versions of Mini Ninjas are the same between the console and PC platforms, except for the Nintendo DS version which was designed specifically for the portable player.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the violence and crude humor found in this game. Do you think playing a game where you do the fighting affects you? Does your opinion differ if the violence is cartoonish versus realistic?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Windows, Nintendo DSi
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Eidos Interactive
Release date:September 8, 2009
ESRB rating:E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Written byAnonymous April 10, 2011
age 8+

Excells in all aspects

Mini Ninjas on the Nintendo wii is an adventure game in which you and your mini ninjas are in grave danger. Your group is being attacked by evil samaurai warriors who, with the aid of magic, are trying to take over the world. Thats a basic premace of the story. However the story is really much better than that. The opening cutscenes in the game are quite intriguing, and will keep your interest, hooking you from the start and pulling you right in to this game. The gorgeous graphics do a great job for the wii when you consider the graphical limitations of the wii as compared to other consoles like the 360 and the Playstation 3. The game has combat in it and yes theres a lot of it, but its all cartoony and theres really no harm to letting your kids play this. The game is completely fun and engaging to play. The level design is where this game is at. The level design is not strange or wierd in any sort of way, it is merely huge. The levels are gigantic, yet you never get lost because they do a good job of telling you where to go and what youre supposed to be doing. There are secrets everywhere and hidden areas all over the place, but they are difficult to find. The game sorely misses a multiplayer. It would have functioned so much better with one because there would be more replay value and after beating the game there would be more of a reason to turn the game on again. Nevertheless the game works, is fun, and deserves a purchase.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written bytommy18 January 16, 2010
age 8+

Well, Its a kids game.

A kids game with no violence, no language or sex. It is a parents dream really. Its also a quality game with lots of environments and CUTTTE Rabbits.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byClone Dude October 28, 2009
age 10+

Kick! Punch! "Mini, mini Ninjas"

Mini Ninjas is a very exciting game. You are a young ninja named Hiro. You must fight your way through the evil samurai minions and restore the balance of nature. I like how you can do your ninja moves. I also like how the evil samurai return to their original animal forms when you defeat them. If you have a Wii you may experience problems loading the sixth level. It took me maybe five minutes. But don't get me wrong Mini Ninjas is the best game I own so far.
Kid, 10 years old September 30, 2010
age 10+

i think im getting this :)

im gonna get this game!!! man,it sounds AWESOMMMMMME,soo much that my parents may even let me buy this game :D
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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