Browser game of the week: House of Dead Ninjas
Ever since zombies started taking over, ninjas have been getting a bum rap on the game front. Thankfully, Adult Swim Games is around to latch onto these types of things, which is where House of Dead Ninjas comes from. It's a simple, clever and addictive game.
The basics of the game are pretty straight-forward: You're a wee little ninja and you need to get to the bottom of a procedurally-generated area -- that means randomly created areas filed with randomly placed baddies. The best way to think of it is probably a mash-up between Nethack and Super Mario Bros., where you have no real goal except to make it as far as possible without dying.
Along the way you'll pick up a variety of power-ups, none more important than the time extensions, which grant you -- you guessed it -- more time. If you're hit too many times, the timer runs out, or you blow yourself up. You're dead. You have to start from the beginning. Thankfully, you're given all your abilities from the start and it's everything a good ninja needs -- a sword, shurikens and bombs.
The controls are easy to pick up, but it's still a good idea to read the manual, mostly so you can learn about the ability to push "down" on the keyboard to stab enemies from above, which isn't really obvious at first but is clearly the most helpful tidbit of information if you want to make it longer than one minute into the game.
Once you've got a grasp on the controls, the game can and likely will suck more than a few minutes out of your day. It doesn't seem like it would be as addictive as it is, but since there is no real endgame, there is always an inclination to keep playing. It's clear the people behind House of Dead Ninjas have tapped into the OCD section of human brain with this one.
Play it here.