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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can practice socializing and put their perseverance to the test in this challenging platformer with hundreds of multiplayer stages. Collaborative levels require players to work out tactics together and rely on each other to accomplish specific goals, sometimes sacrificing one ninja so another can make it to the exit. Some levels may take dozens of attempts before players eventually succeed, which means players need to focus and stick with it if they want to win. Many co-op stages eventually result in the sort of bond-forging satisfaction conducive to high-fives and may help kids develop friendships with their fellow players. N++ is a great social game that encourages communication among players and helps teach kids not to give up.
Encourages perseverance, ingenuity. Fosters friendly competition, cooperation among local players, making for a positive social gaming experience.
Positive Role Models
Player's nameless mute ninja has no personality but through his actions demonstrates dogged determination. He never attacks, not even in competitive multiplayer, but instead simply strives to be quick, agile en route to his objectives.
Ease of Play
Extremely challenging, with no option to adjust skill level. But stages are short, restarts occur in under a second, giving players little opportunity to become seriously frustrated.
Violence & Scariness
Tiny ninja stick man frequently gets ripped to pieces by lasers, mines, rockets. Scattered lines represent limbs; additional lines of color represent blood. Minimalist style significantly lessens impact.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that N++ is a downloadable platformer with simple graphics and no story. Players control a tiny, acrobatic stick ninja attempting to navigate mazes of hazards. He doesn't fight or attack anything or anyone but can be killed by hazards such as robots, mines, and laser turrets. When he dies, his little stick body is typically ripped into pieces. Lines of color representing blood briefly appear. But the minimalist, stylized depiction of the violence significantly lessens the impact. Cooperative and competitive modes facilitate a positive social gaming experience for up to four players. No online modes are supported, but players will see the gamer handles of other players on leaderboards and the custom names of user-generated levels, opening the door slightly for some exposure to potentially inappropriate content.
Is It Any Good?
There's no small amount of pressure involved in making a sequel to a platformer as beloved as N+, which is probably why it took about seven years to arrive. But the wait was worth it. With somewhere around 1,500 levels scattered across all modes -- plus an essentially limitless supply of user-created levels -- N++ ought to sate even its most ravenous fans. And developer Metanet Software didn't fix anything that wasn't broken. The controls, which allow players to control the height and speed of leaps mid-jump, remain just as intuitive, precise, and empowering as ever. After a while, you'll feel like there's nothing you can't make your ninja do -- which is what will keep you trying and retrying some of the game's most difficult stages.
The co-op and race levels make for terrific social gaming. The former require patience and communication, while the latter sees players trying to use enemy robots and hazardous elements to their advantage, timing their activation to cause trouble for rivals. Add in dozens of new color schemes that let players customize the game's minimalist design to their liking and a driving electronic soundtrack that will get you tapping your toes and you have a recipe for a modern indie platforming classic. N++ is a treat.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.