super house of dead ninjas screenshot

Where to start with Super House of Dead Ninjas is difficult because there are so many different elements to it. It has a great retro look, a cool retro style soundtrack, a Mortal Kombat esque announcer and gameplay that could be compared to tons of different games including Castlevania, Mega Man, They Bleed Pixels and Mr. Driller.

You start out on the top floor of this tower and get a quick little tutorial on how to play SHODN before you're set free. Then it's a race against the clock to head towards the bottom. Of course, you'll soon find out that the clock is hardly an issue with all the other clutter in this tower.

Learning the different enemies will be the biggest challenge in SHODN. There are tons of them and they change as you progress through the floors. Some will run at you, jump at you, shoot fireballs at you, some don't move at all, some jump out of water, etc. Everything requires different timing you'll need to master so you can speed run your way as far down as possible. Not to mention the several different bosses that you will encounter every 100 floors.

super house of dead ninjas screenshot

On top of enemy variety, there are also a ton of different weapons that can be unlocked and used to switch up your play style. You start with a basic katana (which was still my favorite at the time of this writing), but unlock things like a whip, axe, nun chucks and upgraded versions of each. Each one switches up attack speed and range so you can find one that best fits your play style.

There are also a ton of secondary weapons that you will be using. You start with only bombs, but just like with the primary weapons you will unlock several different ones such as grenades and a boomerang.

All these things contribute to you being able to play this game however you prefer. The load out you choose seems to alter up the bosses and general floor progression that you encounter. Learning them all will be no small task!

Ultimately, the goal in SHODN is always to work your way to the bottom. The amount of customization you can do is impressive, but the end goal is always the same. This is where the biggest disappointment shows itself; where are the leaderboards? But honestly, that's a pretty minor complaint (and rumored to be coming with a future update) because this game is incredibly fun to play time and time again.

super house of dead ninjas screenshot

SHODN absolutely belongs in arcades because I want to be able to watch my friends play and compete against them. Not to mention taking turns after a 300 floor run gives you the resting time you need before giving it another shot. Thankfully though, this isn't a flaw that really detracts from the enjoyment you should get from playing SHODN.

Super House of Dead Ninjas is a well-built, hardcore platformer. I think that everyone who enjoys gaming should play this game, but go into it knowing that it isn't going to be easy. With the number of unlockables and the amount of high replay value, you don't get a much better value for your dollar now days. I am looking forward to spending more time with SHODN and looking forward to the leaderboards and more unlockables in future updates.