N+ is nothing more than an average flash game

User Rating: 6 | N+ X360
I wanted to make something clear before I went into this review. I am not a fan of puzzle games and although I do enjoy platformers it will take a special game to win over my heart. With that said N+ is nothing more than a flash game re-developed slightly and put onto the xbox 360 arcade. N+ was developed by Slick Entertainment and published by Metanet Software (who originally did the flash version). The game is a puzzle platformer and overall it feels really average. The goal in each of N+'s 50 levels is to control your little ninja across various obstacles and hazards while collecting gold to prevent the level timer from ticking down to 0. There are 5 stages in each of the levels, and most of them are designed differently. The game however is limited to only a few hazards such as missiles, lasers, moving electrical thingies, and mines. Overall the gameplay is really solid and I enjoyed the first half of the game, but during the second half the games main issue, the controls, exposes itself.

The controls in N+ are pretty simple. You move with the analog stick and jump with the A button that is it. My main concern with the game wasn't because of the simple controls, but rather how the game executes jumping and actual control over your little ninja. The ninja feels way to floaty, and I had immense trouble trying to guide him or even execute jumps with any time of precision. Being as N+ is a precision platformer that is a real problem with the game. Sometimes the controls worked good for a level, but on some of the harder levels I couldn't get by because the ninja wouldn't jump correctly or I would constantly over jump or under jump platforms. The ninja can use various moves that include speed burst jumping over hills and wall jumping on any of the walls. The ninja can even wall jump on only 1 wall and scale it that way, which is really cool.

The graphics and art style of N+ is very simple, I mean come on it is a flash game. The only color in the game is from the yellow gold and the blue or red hazards. The ninja character although black by default can be customized to nearly any color. The stages and stage backgrounds are all a contrast of white and gray. The art style looks pretty good and it definitely fits in with the overall theme and aesthetic of the game. With this type of game less is more, and on that basis they did a good job with the design. The audio in the game is pretty average too. I have seen/played some flash games that had killer soundtrack's, but N+ uses this generic sounding like James Bond electric beat over and over. The sound effects from the hazards and blowing up from the mines are pretty good, but the music was a tad bit disappointing.

Overall N+ will be a great game for people who like to play these difficult style puzzle platformer games. I however had some fun with the game even though it isn't a genre i like much. The game could have had many improvements and more attention spent to the control of the ninja. I would have liked it a lot more if it felt like I had more control over him. For $5 or 400 msp at the time of download N+ is well worth it, but I wouldn't have paid the original $10 price tag for it.

3 stars (6.0)

Gameplay: 6

Replayability/Value: 7

Graphics: 6

Audio: 6

Presentation/Design/Story: 8