Shinobi (NES)

Shinobi (NES) Box Art


System: NES

Release Date: December 1988

Developer: Tengen

Publisher: Tengen

Genre: Platformer

Shinobi is another Atari produced NES port of a Sega game. You, the master ninja, must save the children of five world leaders from the Ring of Five ninja assassins. Equipped with your ninja shurikens, you must traverse nineteen levels killing everything that gets in your way and rescuing small children.

The B Button is your attack button. You start with shurikens, but can upgrade to throwing knives and then a pistol. There are no melee weapons here on the NES, but you kick if you’re close enough to the enemy. I found the best strategy was to crouch walk to avoid most enemy attacks. It looks dumb, but it works.

Levels are short and simple. Bosses cap off each set of levels and I’d say the hardest one is the first boss Ken Oh. The Mandara boss was much easier than the Master System. The shooting gallery bonus stages are back and if you beat them, you earn a special ninja magic. The magic is unnecessary and a waste of your time.

Graphics: 1.0

These graphics are baaaaad. Enemy sprites are crappy, backgrounds are crappy, the bonus stage looks crappy. Animations are poor.

Sound: 1.0

The music and sounds are subpar.

Gameplay: 2.0

I guess the game plays alright, but it’s super plain.

Difficulty: 2.0

The game is pretty easy and quick.

Fun Factor: 1.5

I had less fun with the NES Shinobi than I would have liked to.

Overall Grade: 1.5

Shinobi earns a C-. It’s not a very good port, but the game still works in principle.

Shinobi (NES) Video Review on YouTube