Ninjin: Clash of Carrots is a 2D beat’em up published by Modus Games and developed by Pocket Trap.
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots is set in a feudal Japan inspired world and stars two anthropomorphic ninjas, Ninjin the rabbit and Akai the fox, as they go on a journey to retrieve the carrot supply the villainous Shogun Moe took from their village. Being a beat’em up, Ninjin features both single player as well as local and online co-op in which players can drop in and out at any time in between levels. For the majority of most levels, characters run automatically, but it’s not quite as simple as the autorunning games seen on mobile devices.
While running, players have to make sure to use their basic attack, dash attack, and projectiles to fight against enemies, while using their regular dash to avoid them (there is no jump action). Dashing, dash attacks, and projectiles all take a certain amount of stamina from the stamina gauge, which takes a few seconds to refill once it’s depleted. In addition to these moves, there are also elemental stones obtained after defeating specific bosses, which once equipped give players an automatically activated special move for a limited amount of time once the special gauge has been filled.
Ninjin also includes equipment customization where main weapons, projectiles, artifacts, elemental stones, and cosmetic accessories can be swapped out for better ones. There are several ways to get new items, which include defeating enemies and bosses, buying them at the shop by using carrots dropped by defeated enemies, or defeating every tenth wave of enemies in the Oni TV Show challenge levels.
While defeating enemies and using the shop are the easiest ways to get new equipment, the challenge levels reward exclusive equipment for every 10 enemy waves defeated, so it’s always good to go back and try the challenge just to see your own progress and how far you can get. It’s also a great way to test out new equipment unlocked from completing other levels.
While regular levels can be replayed to get a better ranking as well as more carrots and equipment, they don’t have save points, so if you’re having trouble on a certain part of a level you’ll have to start the whole thing over again– even if you made it all the way to the boss. This is probably the games biggest flaw, but with how quickly levels can go by — especially after you gain stronger equipment and have become familiar with the level — it could have been much worse.
Originally the cutesy art style is what deterred my interest, but after seeing it in game myself, it’s not nearly as unappealing as I first thought — and the adorable corgi shopkeeper may have helped with that. The music is decent as well, however it can be somewhat grating with how often some tracks are repeated in different levels. At first Ninjin seems like mindless fun, but as you complete more levels and unlock more equipment it’s easy to see that there’s more to it than that.
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots is available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
A Nintendo Switch code was provided by the publisher.