🎮 Ninja Sneaking VS

2023年 8月 21日
Indie Tsushin 2023 August issueThis article was featured in our 2023 August issue. Check out more articles and interviews in the full issue.
Title screen of Ninja Sneaking VS

My cute blue ninja gal has got the ninjutsu scroll and is inching her way across the ceiling. Below her is a guard on patrol, but he hasn't noticed her yet. If he catches her, it's game over. She has mere seconds to break out of the shogun's mansion towards freedom. She keeps one eye on the clock and carefully makes her way towards the goal... but then, the red shogun owner bursts into view! He comes racing towards my ninja gal and slashes his sword in a wide arc. With only a couple of seconds left to spare, she takes a gamble and leaps...! She misses the blade by a single pixel and crosses the threshold with no time to spare!

Blue and Red kunoichi are sneaking past ninja guards.

The key to victory is being able to sneak past your opponent's guards and traps without getting caught!

I turn towards my opponent and smirk. The shogun was not controlled by the CPU, but rather by Daikon. We were playing the asymmetric local multiplayer game Ninja Sneaking VS by WINGLAY. And now, it was my turn to lay some traps and try to catch his ninja gal sneaking into my manor.

Ninja Sneaking VS has up to four players facing off over a set number of rounds. Before each round, one player selects some traps and places them around the randomly-selected level. Once the round starts, the chosen player also controls the mansion owner, and must prevent the other players from stealing ninjutsu scrolls and escaping.

Four ninja traps laid out in a diamond pattern, with the bottom-most trap, a floating monk, is selected

Before each round begins, the "it" player selects one to three traps out of four to place around the level.

Each round is lightning quick, and there is a wide variety of traps, level layouts, and mansion owners to keep each round feeling fresh and interesting. Traps range from simple chainsaws that spin in place, to floating monks that blast out waves of energy, to your own hidden ninja cleverly hidden in the walls to grab unsuspecting passerby. Depending on the difficulty you set the game, the pursuer gets a choice of one to three traps out of a random selection of four per round. The pursuing player also gets to play as a random mansion owner, each with their own ability. We set a house rule that all other members have to look away from the monitor when the "it" player sets up the traps. This made matches even more chaotic and fun as we tried to catch each other off guard.

The level with three large red zones highlighted where traps can be set

Anticipate where your opponent is most likely to go, then place traps at those choke points.

The game has a very cute and simple pixel art design, with energetic music. It was made in Pixel Maker MV so the controls are smooth and familiar, and the sneaking ninja gals are given a lot of movement options to get around traps. There are the typical actions like double-jumping and slashing with your sword, but you can also crawl along the ceilings and do a huge lunge forward with your blade. The player setting the traps needs to keep all of this in mind as they plot out where the choke points are and where to set out traps throughout the level.

Results screen with Red Kunoichi at 88 points and Blue Kunoichi at 82

Who can get the highest score at the end?

During each round, there is a chance that a scroll will randomly spawn somewhere in the level. Grabbing these is key to winning the game, as they add a substantial bonus to your final score. Reaching the goal within the time limit also adds a hefty bonus to your score. But be warned: each time the pursuing player or any of their traps snag you, not only do you get sent back to the start, but they also rack up points each time it happens. It's a great system that keeps everyone fairly neck-and-neck until the end.

Red Kunochi was seen by a guard and is sent back to the start of the level

Each round is unique thanks to the wide variety of traps, player characters, and level layouts.

Ninja Sneaking VS is the perfect party game to throw on when you've got a couple of friends over. If you get it on Steam, you can even play it with friends online through Remote Play. It's a super fun time that leads to a lot of laughs and a lot of great memories. Please check it out if you can!

Ninja Sneaking VS is coming soon to Nintendo Switch and is out now on Steam. Follow developer WINGLAY on Twitter @hiryusyo. And you can watch us play Ninja Sneaking VS on stream!