Taking on a series of masked baddies, complicated platforms, spinning blades and more means you’ll need the reaction speeds of a ninja, so it’s a good job you’re playing as one in Shadow Blade.
Taking place across a series of different levels, you must jump, slash, and run through a series of platforms. You’re Kuro, a young man who wants to become the Shadow Blade but this is just a flimsy excuse for all the perils you must face and doesn’t really feature much throughout the game.
In terms of controls, you can either use swipe gestures or onscreen buttons. Neither option is perfect as gestures can be misread or buttons missed leading to a quick death. However, these are few and far between so it’s worth trying both to see which you prefer. Playing with swipe gestures is more fluid but has a slightly harder learning curve.
There are many different obstacles and sections can be hard to pass but these add to the skill needed and a sense of achievement once you complete them. There are checkpoints in each level so if you do fail you never have to return to the beginning of the level, which at least stops frustration creeping in. Later levels seriously ramp up the difficulty but with all the skills you’ve learned along the way you should pass them with ease.
The game rates your performance on each level, and you must collect stars, attempt to beat a certain time, or collect the special characters to gain 100% completion. This adds replay value but little else, with seemingly no reason to try and collect the stars unless you’re a perfectionist.
In terms of artwork, Shadow Blade is one of the more impressive looking games, with varied locations including a Japanese-styled house, dark underground sewers, and beautiful clear mountain tops. Some of the animations used for attacking your enemies are equally impressive and add to the feeling that you are truly becoming a ninja.
Size: 201 MB
Platform: iOS Universal
Developer: Crescent Moon Games
- Visual spectacle
- Satisfyingly tricky
- Control issues