In this weekly column, we’ll be selecting inexpensive, discarded titles from still playable consoles for your perusal. They may be games you’ve heard of and remember playing, or they may be games that have flown completely off of your radar. Just know that we love them and they’re available on the cheap. That’s a bonafide win/win situation.
If you have any favorite titles that you consider hidden gems, let us know in the comments below and we might feature your pick in the weekly column.
Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PC, Mac
Original Release: 2009
Alright, at first glance you’re probably going to think Mini Ninjas was a kids game built on simple mechanics, shallow level design and horrific follow-through. I’ll be honest, I was in that camp of thought when I was sent a review copy back when the game released. My editor at the time sort of handed it to me with that grin of “you’re up, sucker” smeared all over his face.
Here’s the thing, though… Mini Ninjas was really, really fun. Oh, sure, it had its share of problems stemming from not-so-hot design practices (invisible walls, spotty platforming and awkward movement), but the overall product was surprisingly rewarding. It was a review I took pleasure in writing, and I remember sliding the game an eight out of 10 (despite my editor’s early suspicions of its poor quality).
Four ninjas, each with different abilities and powers, are tasked with defeating an evil villain and his host of baddies. You’ll trek across all sorts of environments that are each built upon a nice art style. You’ll encounter some silly bad guys and bosses, each with their own set of family friendly jokes. And you’ll do it all over what I remember being a rather lengthy adventure.
If you’re looking for a break from the seriousness of games like Mass Effect 3, Mini Ninjas is a great departure. It might not sound like much of an adventure, but it’s one you’ll more than likely walk away from both satisfied and happy.
Be sure to check out our ever-growing list of Hidden Gems.