Carrying on from its predecessor, N++ is a fast paced, momentum-based platformer determined to make you ponder your every move. Leaping over mines and being chased by rockets whilst trying to collect gold coins has never felt so satisfying yet at the same time agonizingly frustrating.
With no narrative in mind, this game is purely about passing each level and achieving the highest score possible. The basic principle of N++ is to collect as many gold coins as you can, open the exit door and escape the level. During each level, players will be set by a timer in which they have to complete the objective before this runs out- each coin adds more time. You play as a ninja with very limited abilities, asides from being able to jump very high when you gather enough momentum off objects. Personally, I love the minimalistic element as it adds to the challenge and makes the completion of a level feel so much more satisfying. On the other hand, if you aren’t very good with holding in a burning rage, this game might not be best for you and your controller’s health. As with other platformers like super meat boy and ironically the other N+ plus game, this game can get incredibly difficult.
The game comes complete with 2,360 hand-made levels and thousands more fantastic custom maps thanks to the new Level Editor feature. Furthermore, there is local co-op and competitive modes where up to four players can play on the same computer. This is a feature which I have to give the developers a huge thank you for implementing. Moreover the ‘Level Editor mode, although confusing to begin with, is incredibly fun and allows you to share the map with all your friends online. Thankfully, the game has full support for keyboard and controllers which for platformers is a must. Although, you can play fine with a keyboard and mouse, I would recommend an Xbox 360 controller, not just for this game, but any platformer.
In terms of art design, N++ is a masterpiece, giving you the choice of over 60 colour pallets to choose from. These can range from a retro-arcade aesthetic to a shirt worn by Jimi Hendrix- the variety is phenomenal! However, most of the colour choices have to be unlocked at different stages of the game, which can be annoying, but at least it rewards the player for breaking their controllers. Moreover, the colours always contrast really clearly to help players determine which objects are safe and fatal.
The soundtrack works well with the art design, transforming the vibrant colours into suitable music. All the songs are available from the beginning and players can switch between them at any time, or choose to put them on shuffle.
Overall, N++ expands massively from its predecessor, adding more maps, colours, obstacles and of course the ability to create your own map and share it with the world. The level designs are fantastic, with some being more suitable to the novices of platformers and other designed with long time veterans in mind. I can safely say that N++ is the best platformer I have ever played and I strongly recommend this to anyone who enjoys this genre of games.