IGN Review of Ninjabread Man
Someone over at Conspiracy Entertainment has shovelware production down to a science. There we were in late 2007, Game of the Year voting and waves of games weighing us down, and trickling down the ol' gaming river comes a handful of titles that share the same interface design, the same flawed gameplay, and apparently the same two week development time. It should come as no surprise that companies are out to make money in this crazy industry, and it can be done in a number of ways. This one, however, is the more embarrassing of the options…
If you've been keeping a list of the best of the worst (and by best, we of course mean worst) on Wii, add some space at the top for Ninjabread Man, as it's clearly the killer app of the bunch, and the ruler of such lesser games as Mini Desktop Racing and Offroad Extreme Special Edition. Once again players are greeted with the same choppy IR cursor used to navigate impossibly small icons on the game's main menu, and again we were shocked to see that the background image and tiny selection choices were copy/pasted over the last game's menu system for Ninjabread Man. Like we said, this is shovelware at a science.
So what is Ninjabread Man? Basically it's the most simplistic and basic platformer possible, adding just enough character design and gameplay to cover the bullet points on the back of the box. Players control the Ninjabread Man himself (we wouldn't have it any other way), and traverse the world kicking the crap out of enemies with a giant machete, and using IR to chuck distance attacks from afar. Amongst the tiny worlds for the petite pastry pal to run through you'll launch across nearly impossible jumps, fight against the evil and ruthless game camera, and even look within yourself as you attempt to use waggle controls that work about half the time. You see, in Ninjabread Man, the real battle is inside you.
We poke fun, but that is of course knowing that the game's target audience isn't online reading this review, but rather enjoying a delicious mocha latte in a local coffee shop before driving aimlessly over to a store and mindlessly picking this gem of a game up without as much as a second look at it. Ninjabread Man is meant to survive on box art alone, pushing budget gaming to consumers that don't know any better. If you're reading this, buying Ninjabread Man assuredly never even crossed your mind, unless of course you're looking for prank gifts; in which case, you're a genius.
In fact, to be totally honest, we've got one hell of a soft spot in our hearts for this game, as it's a hilarious concept, has some of the best box art on the system (forget Twilight Princess, if I could I'd honestly have a Ninjabread Man poster on my wall right now), and isn't as broken as the other titles it shares a business plan with. Someone over at development house Data Design Interactive loved Ninjabread Man just a little bit, and for that we salute them.
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