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Page 1: Nakamoto – Le Nécromancien
Page 2: NEIL Android – NEXUS
Page 3: Nigel Mansell's Grand Prix – 1942
Page 4: 1943 – The Ninja Warriors
Page 5: Nocturne – Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less
Page 6: Nuclear Heist – Number 1
Screenshot of 1943

1943

(Go!, 1988)

This game is based on the Battle of Midway, which as World War II historians should know, happened in 1942... but it would be a bit silly to release a sequel to 1942 which was called 1942, wouldn’t it? Ah, well! This game sees you (and a friend if you want) in your P38 Lightning aircraft, taking on the might of the Japanese air force and navy on your own. The graphics and sound effects are better this time, but I don’t like the music very much. The biggest let-down, though, is that there are only four levels; after that, they just start repeating.

See also: 1942.

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Screenshot of Ninja

Ninja

(Entertainment USA, 1987)

Princess Di-Di has been captured and held in the Palace of Pearls, and you’re a ninja who is out to rescue her – but you will be confronted with an array of thugs, karate fighters and evil ninjas, and you have to collect idols as well. In each room you will encounter some enemies, and as you progress to higher floors of the building, you have to deal with more enemies in each room. Unfortunately, you only have one life and not a lot of energy to kill all the enemies. Collecting an idol restores your energy, but their position varies each time you play, and there’s never one around when you really need it! The graphics are rather poor and there are few sound effects. It lacks variety as well and quickly becomes dull.

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Screenshot of Ninja Carnage

Ninja Carnage

(Resistance, 2020)

Ishikawa Nagato is a ninja who has vowed to kill the female yakuza boss Nure-Onna, who is hiding in a temple somewhere in Japan. This game is rather different from other ninja-themed games in that it’s played in a similar manner to a point-and-click adventure. On each screen, you move a cursor and you must guess the correct area to select. You may also be asked to press a sequence of keys in the correct order, like the Simon memory game. Moving to the next screen requires several correct guesses, and the process is a matter of trial and error, as well as memorisation. Fortunately, if you make a mistake, you can start again from the current screen. The game features beautifully digitised graphics and atmospheric music, and the style of gameplay is interesting, but I was somewhat put off by the gratuitous use of very offensive language throughout the game.

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Screenshot of Ninja Commando

Ninja Commando

(Zeppelin Games, 1988)

Take control of a ninja commando as you battle your way through eight horizontally scrolling levels, killing other ninjas with flying kicks, and leaping across platforms and chasms. While most enemy ninjas are unarmed like you, some of them have guns and other weapons. However, the game is too difficult. Killing enemy ninjas requires a ridiculous amount of precision; get your kicks even slightly wrong and you lose one of your five lives and are sent some way back along the level to start again. The graphics are not that bad, but it’s a dull, run-of-the-mill beat-’em-up that everyone has seen before.

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Screenshot of Ninja Hamster

Ninja Hamster

(CRL, 1987)

Ninja Hamster has returned to the village where he was born after many years away, but a gang of nasty creatures has overrun it, so he must take them on. The creatures have silly names like Sinister Rat, the Lizard of Death, Barmy Bee and Loony Lobster – great! Unfortunately, underneath all of this wackiness is a bland, repetitive single-screen beat-’em-up. On each level, you must battle against one of these mutant creatures, and you must knock him out six times before you can take on another opponent. The graphics are awful, and even hardened beat-’em-up fans will find this game quite disappointing – although the Oriental-themed music on the menu is worth listening to.

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Screenshot of Ninja Massacre

Ninja Massacre

(Code Masters, 1989)

Amstrad Action’s Adam Waring was responsible for this rather average maze game. You’re a ninja and in each level, you have to find the exit, but you’ll have to find keys and eat fruit to restore your energy that is constantly taken away from you by the armies of monsters attacking you. The graphics are reasonable and the music is quite good, and while the game is startlingly unoriginal (it’s a blatant Gauntlet clone), it’s OK if you want a quick game of something. There are also passwords for every five levels to help you.

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Screenshot of The Ninja Master

The Ninja Master

(Firebird, 1986)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Ever wondered how ninjas actually become those masked assassins we all know and love? Well, according to this game, they take part in a kind of Ninja Olympics to gain the title of Master Ninja. There are four events – punching and kicking arrows out of the air, breaking blocks of wood, deflecting shurikens with your sword and using your blowpipe to shoot darts into cans that fly past you. Progress through these and you start again but with a higher score to qualify. There’s not much to it; you can only use the keyboard to play, and the graphics and sound are absolutely terrible, but it’s still quite fun (for a while), and at least it tries something a bit different. Oh, and you’ll need lightning reflexes to get past the third stage!

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Screenshot of Ninja Scooter Simulator

Ninja Scooter Simulator

(Silverbird, 1988)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Ever wondered what it’s like to ride on a Ninja Scooter? If so, then this is the simulator for you! Anyway, onto the review... and really there’s not much to say. You control a ninja on a scooter, and must travel down the road, from left to right, avoiding obstacles and performing stunts, and then do the same, but this time from right to left. So this is what ninjas do in their spare time! The levels get progressively harder, but are never a real challenge, and you’ll soon see the same levels cycling over and over, as you rack up a huge score. Graphics and sound are about average, but – here’s the surprise – the game is actually a lot of fun and is unbelievably addictive! It’s nothing ground-breaking and it’s not a classic, but I like it anyway!

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Screenshot of Ninja Spirit

Ninja Spirit

(Activision, 1990)

Reviewed by Robert Small

Irem made some great arcade games. CPC owners will be familiar with R-Type and Mr Heli. Ninja Spirit is one of theirs. So how is the CPC version? Good but not great. Graphically it uses Mode 0 which is always nice to see. The scrolling could be better but there are worse examples. There are different weapons to try and the ability to summon a shadow which gives you twice the firepower, which you will definitely need as the game is not easy. The bosses are a strong point but reusing the player’s sprite for enemies is not. The music and sound effects are good. Overall a good effort which could have been even better.

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Screenshot of The Ninja Warriors

The Ninja Warriors

(Virgin Games, 1989)

Reviewed by John Beckett

In the near future, the city is controlled by the evil dictator Bangler. Unable to live under his corrupt rule any longer, the people band together and build two robotic ninjas to go against Bangler’s empire and bring it crashing down. As the blue Ninja Warrior (and the red one, if you’ve got a friend), you must traverse the six horizontally scrolling levels and dispose of any bad guy that comes your way using your twin blades and your limited supply of shurikens, and ultimately destroy Bangler in his lair. Despite good, colourful graphics and a nice title screen tune, this Vigilante clone is let down by being far too difficult. On top of that, it’s quite monotonous, as all the levels are very long, look the same, and scroll very slowly. A disappointing ninja game.

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