N+ Review

N+ takes the platform game back to its roots, focusing on the core gameplay elements that were established during the genre's genesis on computers in the early 80s.  Even the game's look has a decidedly retro feel, with simple and minimalistic graphics and a very restrained use of color.  The core gameplay is simple as well; you need to guide your stick figure ninja to a switch that will open the exit door for the room you're in, make your way to that door, and then do it all over again in the next room.  All of the rooms are flat, 2-D spaces viewed from the side and you'll need to figure out how to jump, wall jump, and wall slide your way around the obstacles to reach your goals.  At first your only concern is taking a fall from too high up, but as you progress through the game you'll begin to encounter traps that range from static mines to mobile missile launchers.  The other obstacle that you'll need to overcome is the time limit for each level, but you can literally buy yourself a little extra time by collecting the gold bars scattered around each room.

It will take you a while to get through the game's 200+ levels and there's some replayability to be had with them, but what really gives N+ some great longevity is its easy to use level editor.  Not only can you create your own challenges, you can can share levels with other gamers and download new ones to your PSP.

N+ is a great game for a portable system like the PSP.  You can play a few levels here and there, put it down for a while, and then instantly jump back into the game.  Some of the levels can be pretty challenging, though, so if you're easily frustrated or looking for a puzzle game that doesn't require quick reflexes in addition to quick thinking N+ may not appeal to you.  There were times when I found my patience stretched thin by some of the levels and I didn't find N+ to be the kind of game I could play for hours on end, but it was fun short play sessions and I'd definitely take it along on short trips or while commuting.

N+ won't appeal to everyone, but if, like me, you occasionally enjoy getting back to basics with some simple yet challenging gameplay then N+ is worth your time.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 80%. N+ demonstrates that simple but solid gameplay can make for a fun and challenging game.


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