Creep as slowly as a feline and attack as fast as a falcon; in NeoNinja you play as a futuristic ninja whose job is to kill all the bodyguards in various dark rooms with the help of a good old-fashioned katana and shurikens. There is no time limit to kill all the opponents, but if the player manages to get the job done in the required time, silver or golden shuriken is given as a reward instead of a normal bronze one. These are just awards though and do not add anything to the player’s weaponry, but the player can also be rewarded with single-use shurikens that can help to proceed in the game.
The player controls the ninja by touching the screen, moving the finger to desired direction and releasing the finger in order to make the ninja dash. If a bodyguard stands in the way, he will be slashed to death. The player can also make the ninja sneak slowly by just tapping the screen and shurikens can be thrown at the bodyguards by tapping them instead.
The levels start from easy tutorial-like stages and as the player makes progress, the stages will become more difficult and surprisingly this happens over the first ten levels. For example level ten requires very rapid and exact sweeping movements in order to complete the stage and when the character is moved by the fingers, the execution of the movements can be very clumsy from time to time. It does not help either that the bodyguards react very quickly and shoot you in just a matter of seconds when they see you. Fortunately there is no life limit so the levels are basically completed by trial and error, which can be both positively challenging and extremely frustrating.
The design of the game is very beautiful; it uses a very dark palette with the addition of some neon colored details. Even though the overall style is pretty murky, the characters are visible enough so that it does not require any extra effort to see where the characters are going. Speaking of visibility, the zoom is always set very near to the game screen so it is sometimes very hard to tell where the enemies are walking. The screen can be zoomed out in the middle of the game, but the character cannot be controlled when the screen is unzoomed. So again some levels require a bit of memorizing through multiple attempts if one wants to finish the stage as quickly as possible or even just finish it.
Overall Neoninja can be a somewhat entertaining game, but some of the minor flaws can be very frustrating, for example the clumsy mobility and the lack of zooming option. Also there is no possibility to pause or get to the level select screen in the middle of level which is a huge shortcoming. Nevertheless it is a game that one can kill time with, and at least it is designed to be a feast for the eyes.