What is N++?
N++ is a fast-paced, momentum-based platform game that demands a significant amount of precision. The franchise is highly popular among the handheld console and console audience. The first game in the N series, simply called N (or The Way of the Ninja) debuted as a freeware video game back in 2005 on PC, Mac and Linux. The series then found its way onto Xbox Live Arcade in 2008 followed by PSP and Nintendo DS in August of the same year. Both titles were massive hits with platforming fans. Therefore, I found it surprising that N+ was never brought to Steam and that it took seven years to create a sequel. Thankfully, N++ was finally developed and released onto PlayStation 4 in July (2015) and has now been brought to Steam.
If you enjoy games where movement is floaty then this is the game for you. It is because of the floatiness of the movement that efforts to increase your precision-based skills are a little more difficult. However, I urge you not to be discouraged because the game is not intended to be easy. The developers have given players 1.5 minutes (90 seconds) to complete each episode. This can prove to be a very vigorous test of your skill.
I couldn’t possibly imagine an N game where the character is stiff. This is because the floatiness provides much of the game’s essence and fun factor. Therefore, unlike in many other games where floatiness can be deemed to be negative, it is a positive here. The floatiness allows players to pull off many maneuvers that would be impossible otherwise. It simply takes time to get used to the differences if you have played other games.
A feature of the game that I do not believe is drawing nearly enough attention to it is the competitive aspect. The game incorporates leaderboard systems that push you to better yourself every time you play. This adds an incredible amount of replayability to the game. You may find yourself wanting to learn by repeating the same levels and becoming incrementally better. The first time that I played the opening series of levels I found myself in the high thousands. When I repeated the levels again I found that I had jumped several thousand positions on the ladder. The feeling of reward that I gained from doing this made it worth it. Therefore, the competitiveness is both against the community level as well against yourself.
In N++ you will find yourself retrying regularly
With such a significant amount of replayability you may suspect that the game lacks content. Put your mind at rest. There is more content featured within this game than any other platformer I have ever played. The game comes packed with 2360 hand-made levels. Furthermore, the game contains a level editor, custom levels, and global level sharing.
Although I have not played the mode myself I feel that a review would be incomplete without the mention of local co-op and competitive mode. There simply are not many platformers of this nature that have these features built into them. I can imagine that this feature alone making the game that much more appealing. Unfortunately, those that would like to see online multiplayer would be disappointed. However, because of the precision timing required to play the game it is perfectly understandable as to why this feature is an impossibility.
Oh, Look! There’s even an N++ designed level!
Is it Steamified?
The game comes with 26 Steam achievements and a set of trading cards.
N++ may well prove to be the only platformer that you will ever need. It is literally the crack version of a platformer. The game is super addictive, plays extremely well and keeps offering you new and challenging content. This is one of the easiest recommendations that I will offer this or in any other year. My only criticism is that it took this long to get the game onto Steam.