Ninja Warriors
By Virgin Games
Commodore 64

Published in Zzap #57

Ninja Warriors

In 1993, evil rules the day. The tyrant Bangler has taken power with the police, military and criminal elements all under his presidential thumb. A pretty neat trick, and Bangler intends to stay in power longer than Mrs. T.

While political rivals are intimidated, or caught by the media in the company of models younger than their daughters, then Bangler seems set to achieve his awful ambitions. But there is a solution, one from the Robocop school of political subtlety - assassinate the crook!

While the normal procedure is for some unknown geek to kill a president, times have moved on and a more sophisticated approach is called for. Enter the Ninja Warriors, androids with metal instead of skin, circuits instead of veins. They're mean mothers, specially created by the revolutionaries to assassinate Bangler. So begins the slaughter...

The Ninja Warriors

The Warriors kick things off in the slums of the capital city with 30 shurikens to throw and two razor sharp knives to slice and dice. Bangler isn't one to make life easy and the army is sent in to put paid to the intruders. A well-placed knife of shuriken normally deals with these, but watch out for dogs, riflemen and grenade-launcher-equipped infantry. Android energy is swiftly drained by hits, and on the Amiga bits of clothing fall off to reveal the metal beneath.

Taking on the miltary is easy enough, but they're only the start of things. Bangler has his bizarre combatants to call up, including the hunchbacked Ground Spider (aim for that hump!), a Ninja lady with deadly swordplay, Iron Arm the ball swinger, Shape Shifting Ninjas with breath problems, not-so-friendly robots with a nasty line in laser fire, and a massive tank which blasts shells at the Ninja Warriors before coming on to greet them with a hail of machine gun fire.

Making it through the onslaught sees a big scrap with one of Banglers Orient cronies at level's end. And the scenery for the carnage includes a well-defended military base, a storage depot, night-time city streets, murky sewers, and finally the plush mansion where Bangler finally cowers in fear.


The Ninja Warriors

Unlike Robin, I haven't played the arcade game, and I was disappointed by the lack of innovation - why does every beat-'em-up game have to start in a city inhabited only by crazed ninjas?

Having said that, it's certainly very playable, and the robotic touch works well on the Amiga. In short, fans of both the arcade and beat-'em-ups are generally well served, but there's little for anyone else to get excited about.


I really enjoyed playing the Taito arcade original when it came out in early '88, three-monitors joined together, and robotic Ninjas livening up the gameplay.

The Ninja Warriors

The home computer versions have replicated the three screens by employing a narrow screen approach, which hasn't affected gameplay.

The C64 Ninja sprite is nicely shaded with some well detailed enemies to hack, but it's a shame the backdrops weren't a little more varied, and there's no two player mode.

The Amiga game retains near all of the arcade game's graphics and the soundtrack is lifted straight from the coin-op with no changes.

The Ninja Warriors

A very close conversion indeed with a great ending.


Presentation 60%
Pretty basic attract mode wth a one player option only.

Graphics 80%
Very nicely constructed sprites throughout.

The Ninja Warriors

Sound 79%
Good lengthy renditions of the coin-op tunes.

Hookability 82%
Instantly and easily playable in the best of Ninja game traditions.

Lastability 73%
Not too difficult to get quite far but the action doesn't slow down at all.

The Ninja Warriors

Overall 79%
One of the better Ninja games around, although not overly original.


Presentation 80%
Adequate attract mode accompanied by lengthy arcade-perfect intro music.

Graphics 86%
Direct from the coin-op with great backdrops to fight across.

Sound 86%
No in-game tunes but clear effects with some great speech.

Hookability 85%
As instantly hookable as any Ninja game with the action starting off thick and fast.

Lastability 80%
Four continue plays don't make it any easier, especially with six long levels to hack through.

Overall 82%
A top notch conversion of a somewhat unoriginal coin-op.