Kairosoft is known for making some of the most addicting mobile games. I know, because I’ve played quite a few of them over the years. A good friend of mine recommended giving them a try, and I’ve been hooked ever since. When I found out that Kairosoft had released Ninja Village on the Nintendo Switch, I couldn’t pass it up.
Ninja Village is a ninja simulation game. You are tasked with building your village from the ground up while helping the shogun reclaim his lands and raise the shogun’s army.
Your Ninja Village
In Ninja Village, you’re given a piece of land by the shogun in which you can expand upon by defeating warlords and earning new items. New weapons, armor, and buildings can be researched as well. Recruit new members to your village and make your ninja village even stronger.
Your village will only make as much money as you let it. The more crops you produce, wood you cut, stone you mine, and goods you sell will increase your revenue and let you research new items, raise the strength of the shogun’s army, and train your villagers.
When raising an army for the shogun, you start out with just Infantry but can gain Archers, Gunners, and Calvary units along the way by defeating other warlords and unlocking them.
The villagers in your village can also be recruited into the fight as well. Each villager has a set of stats and a special skill that can help turn the tide of battle. Some villagers skills aren’t suited for battle and are better used in working the fields, cutting lumber, or working in the mines.
Battles in Ninja Village take place in three rounds with your unit on the left hand of the screen and the enemy on the right. During each round, the various units take turns simultaneously.
When one unit is knocked out it is removed from the field. If you manage to defeat the enemy before the end of the third round you are declared the winner and claim your prizes. Your ultimate goal in Ninja Village is to unite Japan under one rule.
Ninja Village comes to an end when you reach year 16, giving you a high score. You can, however, continue to play on that save file, or you can start a new game and try to beat the high score you set. This brings us to where Kairosoft runs into a problem with the Kairosoft method.
When Kairosoft makes a game, they use the same tried and true method. Make a game centered around a theme and have the gameplay be consistent. The Kairosoft method can be seen throughout previous games like Epic Astro Story, with a space theme, Game Dev Story, where you make your own video games and Dungeon Village where you fight off monsters in a medieval RPG. Not only is gameplay the same, but the structure and types of buildings can be compared to previous games as well.
The Kairosoft method is addicting, but they fall short when they base all their games around it. Kairosoft does touch on other aspects very well though with Ninja Village on the Switch.
When it comes to games having a console and mobile version, one can be wary of how they perform, especially if the game starts on mobile devices first. I had this concern with Ninja Village, but it was quickly diminished after a few minutes.
Kairosoft did an excellent job of taking a game made on mobile devices and transferring it over to the Switch. You might argue that the Switch in itself can is a mobile device. Ninja Village played wonderfully while the Switch was docked. The big surprise was how well I was able to play Ninja Village without my Switch docked.
Three Ways to Play
I spent the majority of time playing Ninja Village with my Switch in the dock and using my Pro Controller. The controls for Ninja Village are as simple as any game can get. Each button performs a function, and it performs it flawlessly. I enjoyed sitting back and playing on my couch and with it being on the Switch, I had a few other options on how I could play.
Take the Switch out of the dock, you’re given two more ways to play in handheld mode. You can attach the Joy Con controllers to your Switch and have the same functionally of a Pro Controller while holding it in your hand. I found this enjoyable when I was using my TV for other uses.
The last way you can play Ninja Village is by using only the touch screen. You simply take the Joy Cons off the Switch and hold it in your hands. In this version of handheld mode, you touch the screen like you would on your phone or a tablet. The touch controls worked perfectly and smoothly.
Setting on the Land of the Rising Sun
Having different ways to play is always good, but the lack of imagination that Kairosoft has displayed over the years is a little disheartening. While they have stuck to a particular method, it doesn’t hurt to branch out and try something new.
The 2D setting and addicting gameplay make Ninja Village a fan favorite in the Kairosoft series. Whether Kairosoft sticks to the basics that they are known for or branches out in the future is yet to be seen.
I have a feeling things won’t change much, but I’ll be there getting addicted to whatever genre they decide to make next. Kairosofts Ninja Village is available on the Nintendo eShop.
This game was reviewed on Nintendo Switch.
Graphics - 6
Replayability - 8
Fun Factor - 8
Kairosoft brings the 2D mobile addiction to the Nintendo Switch. With the tried and true Kairosoft Method, Ninja Village is a hit on the Nintendo Switch, but due to this method, Ninja Village is only as good as other Kairosoft games.