- Developer: Metanet Software
- Publisher: Metanet Software
- Platform: PlayStation 4, PC (Reviewed on PC)
- Rating: E for Everyone
- Release Date: July 28th, 2015 (PS4), August 25th, 2016 (PC)
- Price: $15
- Links: Steam , PlayStation 4
Now that it’s available on PC, let’s get our ninja outfits on, stretch our legs and prepare to do some intense parkour.
N++ is the first N game on PC since 2004. The game was originally released on PlayStation 4 back in July 2015 and is the sequel to N+. N++ is set in the distant future and is a fast-paced, action-packed puzzle platformer that is all about using your god-like momentum to complete levels and get the best high score you possibly can. However, it is not an easy task as you have to avoid the vicious attacks from enemies which range from Floor bots, Homing missiles, Evil ninjas, Landmines and much more! That is about as simple and basic as the story you will get from N++ which honestly is fine for what type of game it is.
The way you complete a level in N++ is by reaching a switch placed at a certain point within the level, once you reach this switch you will have to touch it, then run to the opened door which will complete the level. There are 5 rooms to each level and the objective is to clear all these rooms under a sole timer which will continue from the first room to the last. Throughout each room there are pieces of gold to collect, these are optional as they serve as a method to increase the timer before it reaches zero. If the player collects all the gold pieces they essentially clear the room with 100% and if they do the same with the rest of the rooms, they pass the level with perfect success.
During my time playing the game, I personally had difficulty playing with keyboard. This was due to the fact I simply couldn’t hit the jump button fast enough when I needed to quickly jump off the walls to narrowly avoid a landmine. However, once I plugged in my DualShock 4 controller my ninja’s parkour skills improve! The gameplay felt smooth with my ninja gliding through the air until dreadfully colliding with a landmine. The controls are easy enough to use, however, depending on the situation you will be able to Wall Jump, Wall Slide and Maneuver your landing. The key mechanic is the game’s utilization of momentum and speed which are both essential for reaching gold pieces or switching positions in tricky spots to reach. The momentum mechanic reminds me a lot of the Trials series.
Even though the gameplay is fast-paced and challenging, I would rarely get infuriated. Though I will admit to being provoked a couple of times. This is most likely due to the art style and music being so calm and mellow. Care to join me in the next section?
N++ graphics are extremely basic, the main character, the ninja is a stick man and the enemies are simply sprites. As for the landscape, it is composed of shapes that are triangles, slightly skewed triangles, Squares, Half squares, lines and in some levels circles. However, due to the game featuring 60 different color palettes to choose from the overall look is beautiful. Personally, I use a palette known as “Evening” which makes everything look neon, this in return makes the game feel more adventurous and relaxing for me. The starting color scheme was 3 different greens which just looked like vomit to me. That is why I love the graphics in this game, it gives you simple concepts but they are brought to life by its usage of colors which the player gets to choose personally.
The performance of the game runs smoothly with no issues, everything runs well with barely any issues arising. Furthermore, N++ is not graphically demanding on your PC as it only needs a minimum number of Specs to run at its best.
The music soundtrack consists of 63 different songs; you can choose which song you would like to listen to just before you begin a level. The music can be calm and mellow for certain songs and fast-paced and exciting, but in most cases, it is the former. This helps the player stay relaxed and just enjoy the game, even if they fail a level 100 times. (Hey, you get an achievement for it so it can be all that bad…. right?). All the songs in the game are of the electronic genre so don’t expect to suddenly rock out to some sweet guitar riffs when playing a level.
GAME MODES/FUN FACTOR
Solo – This mode contains 1125 rooms (225 levels) that you need to complete, the levels split into three different categories: Intro, N++ and Legacy. The objective of this game mode is to clear all the levels alone as fast as possible while trying to collect all the gold pieces in order to perfectly clear the level.
Coop – This game mode is a 2 player version of Solo, in order to play with another player you will have a buddy next to you sharing the keyboard (or plug another PS4 controller), as you are unable to play N++ online. The mode consists of 400 rooms (80 levels), also split into the three different categories previously mentioned.
Race – This game mode consists of 4 players, there are quite a few rules to this mode, so I will attempt to explain them now. The players are to quickly reach the door, each trying to be the first one there. Once a player has reached the door the rest of the players will be put under “Sudden Death”, where if a player dies before reaching the door they will lose their timer bonus they received at the beginning of the match and through collected gold coins. Additionally, once a player reaches the door they will also be given the control of a guided rocket which they can use to stop another player. Finally, if none of the players reaches the door in a certain amount of time they will be put into “You Suck Mode”, this will make the race easier for players and once one of the members reaches the door, the rest will explode. There is also the advantage of Max, where if a player reaches the door with a full timer bonus they win the race overall. The race consists of 375 rooms (75 levels).
Create your own maps – N++ allows players to expand their creativeness with their map creation mode, where players can create their own custom maps which can be as difficult as they wish. Once the player creates a map they will be able to upload it to player maps where the whole N++ community game can try out their map.
Play player created maps – As I previously mentioned players can create their own custom maps, which you can then go and try out. This basically expands the number of levels a player can play, as the player created maps are well over 1000.
I believe the fun factor to N++ is the challenge is to present the player. Each level appears to be simple at first or just a bit complex, however, once you start attempting to complete them you begin to realise that it is not so simple. The other thing I would note as fun is the momentum mechanic, say you run a ramp and jump the first time you are likely to fail. However, once you start building up a bit of speed and timing your jumps accurately you start to figure out ways of passing the levels. Another factor I had fun when playing the game was the competitiveness, be it yourself or with another person you are constantly striving to improve your high score, if I had another 3 players to attempt Races with I am adamant I would enjoy that mode the most.
HARD KNOCK VERDICT
N++ is held in high regard for being an excellent platformer, and I would agree with the many people you believe so. The game keeps you entertained and features a wide variety of levels each with their own difficulty. The art style is basic but very appealing to the eyes and allows the players to choose their preferred colours among the 60 colour palettes on offer. The music collaborates well with the type of game it is, however, I do wish there were a few more face paced songs to make levels intense at times… Though I perfectly contempt with the music as it is. The gameplay is smooth and is engaging, the levels make you think as it is not just simply run here or collect this, it is more what do I need to do in order to reach that switch and complete this level.
If you have friends around you can even challenge them to a Race or ask if they wish to do Coop. When you are bored with the current levels or completed them all you can create your own, plus play from the hundreds of levels other players have made.
I would definitely recommend this game to the gamers who are into challenging platformers such as Super Meat Boy, and others who are looking for a game to pass the time with being that 15 minutes a day or hours upon hours of gameplay.
Now I will be going back to being a “floaty ninja” and try to beat my current high scores.
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N++ is a very difficult platformer that throws puzzle after puzzle at you. It is not exactly the most technologically advanced game out there but a number of challenging hours you will experience, then finally clear the level with a perfect score or beat the current high score will you feel as if you have achieved something.
I would highly recommend N++ to those of you seeking a game that will entertain you for hours upon end, as the game is filled with player created levels after you clear all the pre-made levels. If that doesn’t suit you, then you could always create your own and the mechanics for doing so are easy to grasp.