General game information
Game name: N++ (also known as NPLUSPLUS for search engine optimization reasons)
Release date: 25 Aug, 2016
Price: US$ 14.99 (with a 20% launch discount bringing the price down to US$ 11.99)
Available on: Steam
Genre: 2d platformer
Developer: Metanet Software
N++ is a 2d platform game in which the player guides a stick ninja to a switch, and then to a door. Along the way, gamers can choose whether to collect coins that will extend the level’s timer or not, and have to dodge various obstacles that can kill the stick ninja in one hit.
The game’s controls seem as simple as N++‘s premise, though level after level, the game’s designers go out of their way to make the player think about more advanced movement techniques in order to advance. Gamers start N++ thinking that it’s a game about pressing a button and jumping, but they quickly discover that jumps depend on acceleration and positioning, turning a task that wouldn’t normally require much thought into something far more interesting.
Coin collection is something that most platformers feature, and it’s another classic trope that N++ quickly turns into something else, as players discover that grabbing all the coins in a level isn’t always a good idea, and that greed can turn an otherwise incredibly easy level into a nigthtmarish adventure.
Later levels introduce enemies that can move and even shoot homing projectiles at the player, upping the stakes, as many of those new hazards can be bypassed if gamers don’t go after the tantalizing gold coins.
If players ever get tired of the game’s 2,360 solo levels (yes, that’s not a typo, the game actually features more than two THOUSAND hand made levels) there is a race mode and a local cooperative experience (which requires real cooperation, as one of the players may need to die in order for the other to progress in some cases, among other interesting cooperative interactions)
Hopefully the developer will be able to add an online mode in the future, though it will all depend on the game’s success.
Gamers interested in creating their own levels can also engage in that activity, as the game features a robust level editor which also lets players upload their creations so others may play them.
Visually, N++ is a minimalist experience, which is something that works on its favor at all times, letting gamers see hazards clearly.
The game’s audio design is also quite clean, and the soundtrack features a selection of techno music tracks that fit N++‘s minimalist visuals perfectly.
N++ is a challenging platformer that every fan of the genre should play. Few games can be so rewarding for those who take the time to understand their mechanics, and even fewer can claim to be as focused and pure as Metanet Software‘s masterpiece is.
9.5/10 – Excellent