Despite a name that sounds like a Ninja theme park, “Katana Land” is a 2D platformer that does so much right that it’s a no-brainer for 80 Microsoft Points.
This is another game that I’m amazed no one seems to be talking about (though, I’ve got to say, the new dashboard recommendations that seem to give equal billing to all digitally distributed Xbox games, whether Games on Demand, Xbox Live Arcade, or Xbox Live Indie Games, might help change that for this and some of the other hidden gems of the XBLIG catalogue).
As to the game itself, I liked the fast past and big jumps nature of it; it’s fun and fast paced throughout. The game replenishes your health as you dispatch enemies, which rewards you for fast and aggressive play. Another thing that I appreciated were levels that weren’t just mostly vertical, or mostly horizontal, but a great mix of both. Though there’s a lot of katana swinging and shiruken dodging, the levels have objectives to complete as well which gives the game welcome structure. Unlockables help with replay value, but your first play through will justify its meagre price tag. Highly recommended.
Here’s what the developer (Kablammo Games) has to say about the game:
“Awesome 2D ninja platforming action! Play as the Katana Kid and fight to save Katana Land from devious ninja’s, hordes of the undead and demon bosses. Along the way help an old guy out, rescue your allies and save a princess from the fate of becoming a demon bride!!!”