A lot or a little?
Parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that N+ is based on a Flash game that was playable on the Internet for free, but very limited when compared to the official PSP or DS version. The game does utilize a ninja, but no weapons are used by the game player in the game. Instead, they must use cunning and skill to traverse a series of levels under a time limit. It's a challenging game that may frustrate younger gamers on later levels but is sure to keep their attention for a long time.
What's it about?
N+ is the expansion of a free-to-play Flash game, simply titled N. In this portable version for the PSP and Nintendo DS, there are more levels and unlockable content than was found on the downloadable version. The premise is very simple: Players race against a ticking clock to try and clear a series of levels, which increase in complexity. The goal is to reach a button in one location of the level to open a door, and then race to the open door all while collecting gold scattered throughout the level. The gold is more than just additional points, as each gold piece found adds to the total time you have to get to the door.
The title uses a great deal of real-world physics, which come into play as your character is jumping over bombs and turrets. This adds a sense of realism to a title which otherwise is pretty far removed from reality. For example, long falls will end your attempt on a particular level. Also, attempting to make very long jumps which defy the laws of gravity is impossible, so using momentum and learning proper control is of utmost importance. Thankfully, the game controls are wonderful.
Is it any good?
N+ utilizes the Pokemon strategy of gaming, which requires the player to collect things while they are playing.
In spite of the premise being so simple, the game is really quite challenging, particularly on the higher levels. The ambient music and simple sound effects add to the otherwise engaging atmosphere.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes such a simple game enjoyable to play. Is it the fact that anyone can pick it up and feel like they know what they are doing, or the simple graphics which draw the player in? Does creating your own levels for play make the game even more fun and challenging? They can also touch on real history with discussion about the role of ninjas in history.
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