N++ (Xbox One) Review

By Albert Lichi 09.10.2017

Review for N++ on Xbox One

The original N was a freeware title from 2004 and was made with Adobe Flash. This was a time when Flash-based games on the net were very common, but N was a bit different and somehow has endured since then, thanks to challenging yet easy-to-pick-up-and-play gameplay. Since its initial release, N has been updated and upgraded with more levels, new obstacles, and more enhanced visuals and sound design. The latest edition, N++ is by far the most expansive, boasting thousands of levels and a slew of features. Got an urge to grab some gold? N++ has more gold in it than Earth has under its crust.

There is something satisfying about something that refuses to change. N pretty much is the epitome of a simple formula that works because of how simple it is. With N++, the core game is the same as always: run through the timed stages while collecting gold for more time while avoiding threats. What made this enjoyable was the physics and the amount of control the stickman ninja has while in air, and the way momentum can be generated to make some vast leaps and wall jumps. The minimalistic look has become a signature style that's both iconic and very functional. The stages get increasingly complex, and the plain visuals ensure that things don't become a visual mess. An attempt to mix things up to prevent it from becoming visually exhausting is done by stages changing colour to create some sense of progress.

The music in N++ is as restrained and subdued as its Flash graphics. Do not expect much variety in terms of musical composition, since much of the music sounds like someone sleeping on a Casio keyboard. Once in a while there is a more pulsing beat that has a techno-Atari feel to it, but this is the extent of how memorable the sound design gets.

Screenshot for N++ on Xbox One

N++'s gameplay is the same as it's always been... There is just more of it. Pretty much all the levels from past versions are included - and then some. The vast amount of content presented here is unprecedented, and as if it wasn't enough, there are even multiplayer stages and much harder remixed versions of past stages. The ninja's control at first may seem slow and sluggish, but after a few stages, the logic behind the controls becomes apparent.

The ninja builds up momentum in a specific way and he has a lot of control in the air, so players can land very precise jumps and rebounds. The ninja also dies instantly from obstacles and explodes if he hits the ground at a terminal velocity, so expect to retry a lot. The stages from the Ultimate Edition, and N++ especially, are sadistic and enter Kaizo-trap territory. Naturally, these are the most entertaining - especially with a group of people watching, as they point and laugh at how sadistic some of these levels can be. If over 4,000 stages weren't enough of a gauntlet, N++ also has a level editor mode, so the gold hunting can never end.

N++ is a very pure video game. In many ways, it is almost like an old Atari 2600 game, or something from a coin-op arcade. It isn't even clear why the player-character is a ninja and why the gold he collects gives more time. All this ninja does is grab gold, hits the door-open switch, and makes his escape. It's a very satisfying feeling to pull off some of the feats in-game due to the fast pace, but only in small doses. N++ is impressive with how much it offers, but after a while it wears thin. People who really love and crave more N are going to get their fix with N++.

Screenshot for N++ on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

There is not a lot that can be said about N++. It has no actual story and has Spartan inoffensive vector graphics by design. All there is to do is to get as much gold as possible and beat the stage. It is great fun in short bursts, but after a hundred or two, it gets pretty old. The original freeware game is still widely available for those who are curious to get a taste of what to expect, which has all of its stages included in N++.

Developer

Metanet Software

Publisher

Metanet Software

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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