Super House of Dead Ninjas is a Metroidvania-style action-platformer for PC. The game is developed by MEGADEV, who have previously made the Knightfall series, and published by Adult Swim Games.
The first impression given by Super House of Dead Ninjas is that of a ’90s arcade game – and that’s just what it feels like. The frequency at which you will die and have to use continues in this game will bring up memories of time spent popping tokens into arcade machines looking for their next free game or arcade game. Luckily for us, the game is a one-time payment. If it weren’t, I’d have no money left by the time I got to writing this review!
While Super House of Dead Ninjas‘ game-play more closely resembles Metroidvania, the structure is similar to that of Megaman. You begin by beating a stage which will lead to a boss room and after beating the boss, you will begin the next stage. In a stage, you will be given a time-limit. If it runs out, The Grim Reaper will come and end your life. To stop this from happening, you need to collect time pick-ups – which are scattered throughout the level – or get to the boss room. It’s not only time pick-ups scattered throughout levels, you can find shuriken pick-ups, magic pick-ups, point pick-ups and many more. The goal is to reach the boss room with as many points and as few deaths as possible. When you do eventually reach your final death, you will be shown a stat screen which will show you the results for your current run and your best results. The stat screen will show basic stats, but there’s a more detailed screen that will even show how many enemies you killed per weapon. Super House of Dead Ninjas does well in realising its strong points and what will keep people coming back to play again. As you play through the game, you will unlock weapons, boosts and more. Each weapon and boost changes up the game-play. With the whip, you are able to whip pick-ups to bring them closer to you. There are many of these and they can change how you play through a level quite vastly.
If that wasn’t enough, Megadev has included a map editor, in which you can make your own level (80×1500, roughly translating to 250 floors). The level editor is extremely simple to use and has a large array of tiles and enemies to choose from. Sadly, it seems you can’t place a boss room. You’re also unable to zoom out, making it a bit easy to get lost in the creation of larger levels.
But wait, there’s more. Super House of Dead Ninjas also contains a short comic which details the story of the game and your motivation – in context – for playing it. It even gives a slightly more in-depth look at the controls of the game.
Super House of Dead Ninjas has a presentation you’ve probably come to expect from games published by Adult Swim Games, taking a style you’re familiar with and applying some twists. Sometimes these twists work, and other times they don’t. This title is a shining example of these twists working. The game throws a mish-mash of ideas together, and they stitch together nicely, creating a seamless weave. If you’re looking for an addicting game to pass the time with, Super House of Dead Ninjas may be what you’re looking for.