Have any of you ever heard of the Ninjabread Man? This game may have flown under the radar for a while, but it does have quite the reputation and it is certainly well deserved. This is known as one of the worst Wii games of all time although I have to say that this may be overdoing it a little. Sure, the production values are quite bad and the game is extremely short (Roughly an hour) but it does have heart. If anything, the game would have been more annoying if it had been longer…but maybe that just means that this game really isn’t that good. Regardless, it is getting a negative score, but it could have been a lot worse.
There is no real plot to be found in the game as it stays on the cover. You simply start out as a living Gingerbread Man who wields a sword. You go around destroying Cakes and Tomatoes. The Cakes are very overpowered so don’t engage them in close quarters combat. Instead, spam your Shruikens. They can take out any enemy from a safe distance and they also get stronger the more that you use them until you get to the point where every enemy will die from a single hit. It’s a nice way to effectively break the game. The controls are very spotty though so watch out for that. We’re back in the classic motion controls era after all and this isn’t exactly a AAA title. The sword swinging rarely worked which is why I switched to throwing in the first place.
The gameplay is in 3D and you can jump. You now know all that their is to know about the gameplay. The objective of each level is to find 10 puzzle pieces to fix a generator. You then jump in to automatically complete the level. There are 4 levels total and one of those is a tutorial level so there are really just 3. There are no bosses whatsoever and no real ending either. The credits just play and that’s it. The 3 real levels all have the exact same format. There is a compass towards the bottom of the screen which lets you know which direction to go. Unfortunately, it’s not always the greatest way to find a piece as the terrain messes with its sensors, but it does its best I suppose.
The final level tries to be more linear which helps with the finding. As long as you don’t make a wrong turn, you should be fine. Each enemy that you defeat gives you one health point and defeating 6 of them gives you a one up. I recommend stocking up on those. Not really because of the enemies since they’re reasonably easy to deal with once you start spamming the projectiles. You’ll want them because of the jumps since the sensor bar will often times not record your jump or it will merge them together so you won’t go far enough. It will rarely lead to a death, but there is one section where you can die. I got through it fairly easily, but I wasn’t so lucky in another title from this company. (I’ll be reviewing that one shortly)
On a technical merit, Ninjabread Man is no more impressive than with the gameplay. The soundtrack basically consists of free domain type music that don’t seem to have much emotion. It just feels like the music was put together in roughly 5 seconds and the developers just figured that you wouldn’t get tired of it. There’s no real variety and while the theme can be a little catchy after a while, it’s no fun compared to titles like Sonic and Mario. I want my hype themes. Meanwhile, the graphics are naturally not all that good. They’re pretty low budget and while they aren’t terrible, Ninjabread Man will lose in a head 2 head fight against just about any other title. It may look better than Balls of Fury at least.
There is no replay value to be found here whatsoever. I suppose you could just replay the game, but there is literally no reason to do so as it doesn’t keep track of your score and there are no collectibles around either. This game didn’t even get any real voice acting so the game is very silent. I imagine that the game must not have cost a lot to make so the developers probably made a profit off of it. It’s a scary thought to have considering that this game was just not all that good. Again, it wasn’t terrible considering all of this.
The concept is decently sound. How bad can a 3D platformer be right? The controls are the main frustrating part. Luckily, I didn’t come across any big glitches so that was good. If the jumping was more stable, that would have gone a long way. That being said, the overall length is really what keeps this game from getting a 5 or higher. There’s no way I can justify a game being about an hour long or less. Even if it had multiplayer this would be a bit of a stretch although it would certainly help out quite a bit. This game now goes for around 1-5 dollars so at least you won’t be losing a lot of money.
Overall, Ninjabread Man is for the hardcore Wii owners who want to own all of the titles. I honestly purchased it because of how bad the game is known to be. I’m the kind of guy who gets curious about things like that. It’s still not the worst game that I’ve ever played by any means and I actually think that it was more fun than the higher budget spinoff that I played afterwards. That review is coming soon and it will help you remember that sometimes bigger isn’t better. Quality still trumps quantity even if both of them are in very short supply here. If you’re curious about Ninjabread Man, I recommend satisfying your curiosity. If won’t cost you much and then you can finally count yourself among the select few who got to play this game. It’s truly something else!