We don’t know if Ninjala is going to be an exclusive for the Nintendo Switch, but Nintendo’s platform is the only one the game has been announced for so far. It’s clear why. Ninjala is clearly GungHo’s attempt to win over fans of Splatoon. The game’s style is clearly influenced by Nintendo’s first-party shooter. Meanwhile, the gameplay itself is unique in a way that usually catches the eye of Nintendo fans.
Here’s the premise: you’re a bubble-chewing ninja. At first, you’ve gotta blow a bubble with the gum. The gum is then transformed into a ninja sword with the press of a button. The bigger the bubble, the bigger the samurai sword you get.
Then, after you get a samurai sword, it’s your job to knock out the other players on the map. The game becomes a brawler. The person with the most kills at the end of the game (minus the number of deaths) is declared the winner.
The player also has a few other mechanics at their disposal. First off, instead of turning the gum into a samurai sword, you can instead use the gum as a projectile to trap enemies. If someone gets hit by a piece of gum, they become stuck to the ground and incredibly vulnerable.
The game also allows players to run up and down walls. In theory, this is an incredibly cool mechanics. But, it never materialized. I played three matches of Ninjala, and at no time did anybody in my match decide to climb a wall. It just didn’t make sense to. Climbing a wall did not let us derive any material benefits, so nobody did it. The developers need to introduce a reason to use a gameplay mechanic because otherwise, nobody is ever going to experiment with it.
Ninjala is still very early in development, and that was apparent playing the demo. The camera was kinda wonky and not wholly intuitive. The game was also a bit slow. While Splatoon is an incredibly fast-paced shooter, Ninjala was not able to adequately emulate the speed and fluidity of Splatoon.
It’s also unclear how sophisticated the end product will end up. When we first played Splatoon at E3 2014, there were already eSports players ready to take the game into the competitive sphere. That hasn’t really happened with Ninjala. When I played the game, it didn’t seem like the game was that deep. It was just me running around wacking others with bubble gum samurai swords.
Ninjala is scheduled for release next Spring, and not a lot else is known about the title other than that it is early in development. We also know the game will have a single player mode of some kind, but we have seen nothing from it. Below, we have embedded a trailer of Ninjala for you to watch for yourself. Make sure you let us know what you think on the game in the comments below. It definitely looks like a Nintendo game stylistically, only time will tell if the gameplay also stands up to par with Nintendo’s titles.