Winner of the Audience Award at the 2005 Game Developers Choice Awards, N, 'the way of the ninja', "is a highly advanced system of spiritual, cognitive, and physical training. It emphasizes pacifism, humility, and the need to traverse a series of 5 rooms before the end of your lifetime."
First I should mention that although the game was developed in Flash, it is for download only and is not available to play online. However, the compelling gameplay featured in the game is reason enough to break from the norm.
This game, designed and created by Raigan Burns and Mare Sheppard of Metanet Software and released in 2004, isn't your normal ninja game, in fact it is far from it. In the game of N, there is no flipping out and killing everything in sight. Instead, your goal is to traverse a series of rooms using your speed, dexterity and honed senses. The main skill, one that you will need to use frequently, is the ability to hold onto and jump from walls, which allows you to reach greater heights. It can also be used to slow your descent.
Of course, this may all sound pretty easy: given ninja skills and enough time you can probably traverse any landscape, right? Unfortunately, time is not on your side. Ninja dexterity comes at a cost, and due to your heightened metabolism, you have only a ninety second life span. And yet there is something to help offset this problem: gold. For every piece of gold you collect, your life span is increased by two seconds. Granted, this isn't much, but there are often plentiful amounts of gold on each level and this provides an extra goal other than 'press the buttons and get through the door'.
Then there is the matter of the enemy force. This force consists of mines, drones and turrets which have been strategically placed within each room to make life hard for the ninja. These enemies range from fairly easy to avoid: static mines and mindless pattern-following drones, to the irritatingly difficult: chain-gun drones and turrets that fire heat-seeking missiles.
Avoid enemies at all cost, because one hit and you're dead. You will also want to avoid hitting the floor (or the ceiling) with great impact, as that will also bring an end to your life.
If you die, you have the option of starting the level over again. If you do, you begin with the same amount of time on the clock as you started with previously. You may rest only when you have completed all five levels, called an episode. Once you complete an episode, your progress is saved and you move onto the next. There are 60 such episodes in the game.
When levels are completed, the best scores for each level and episode are saved and stored. In addition to the best scores, the game also keeps a detailed record of the entire 'run' so you can view it again at any time through the high score system. When connected to the Internet, the high score system can even download the best runs so you can watch how the experts complete a level, or a set of levels. Also included is a map editor, Ned, which makes it easy for users to create new maps. There is even an online map depository, NUMA, that allows users to find new levels and to submit their own.
The game features an advanced collision detection and physics engine. Noteworthy are the 'springy platforms' that are displaced by the ninja and then spring back to their original position, and the ragdoll physics that come into play when dying, ensuring that no two deaths are the same. The authors have made available tutorials based on the theory and implementation of the physics engine used in N, and they intend to release even more tutorials and source code in the future.
Although the game does not include its own music, I feel this adds to the atmosphere of the game since music would detract from the experience. Besides, it's easy enough to put on some music if you feel it needs to be present. And while completing levels can at times be a frustrating experience, N has superb animation, wonderful physics, unique gameplay, and an addictive quality that will keep you coming back for more, again and again. Add to this the fact that the game is completely free to download, updates are still being created for it, and it includes a map editor with which to create your own levels. The end result is an excellent game that is unique, original, and fun to play.
I like it- very original, but Sticky Keys can get in the way.
The timer is also annoying, but hey, there has to be some challenges...
I love it. Very hard but I love the animation. And i actually quite like it in its downloaded form .
You can turn sticky keys off through control panel.
Yes, I know, I'm just saying that if it's not turned off in the first place, because I forgot about it.
You can also turn off the timer by going to options and play in practice mode. This will give you unlimited time to explore and mess around as well as let you unlock levels. For the capuchin's out there this is not an option as you can't post to the high score list.
Heh, I didn't even realise this feature was there, so sorry for leaving it out of the review, there's just so much in this game.
Perhaps you wrote the review before april 1st, but a new version was released just 2 days ago. It's something of a beta version of what's to come, so there might be a few new kinks and bugs.
Included in the new version are 30 more episodes (bringing the total to 90). The 80's column is entirely user-made levels, including one by me (86-1)! I was shocked I made it in.
Also that new ability where you can skip levels in practice mode. That was added because some of the user made levels are practically impossible.
Anyway, glad to see this up on the site. I'm a huge fan of N and have been playing for more than a year now.
Ah, yes that would be it, yeah i have been playing for a long time too, but havent been keeping track of versions and things, i will go and download the new version, and make sure the review is updated soon.
It's also possible to change the jump button to something else, as to not activate sticky keys.
Heh, it's a nice game. It has to be, to get such a long write-up.
This game is sheer genius. I doubt I'll ever go outside again! :D
hours! hours i spent on this game! make it stop!
This game rocks, in fact, I've been an N player for a while now. I recommend that if you really like the game, join the forums!
I, too, have been an N player for a while now, and if you jump on the forums, you'll recognize me immediately. I would like to add to all of this that N is, far and beyond, the best game I have ever played, and I really do appreciate the coverage that it's getting from sites like this. Mare and Raigan are incredible people, and they really do deserve this.
Hey this link does'nt work, any ideas of finding this game
Hmm, it's like their whole website has vanished. My experience with situations like these is that the owners of the site are doing some reorganizing, or moving to another service provider. My guess is the domain will be up and available again in no time.
I had a look around and some members of harveycartel (the group of people who own the site) have had problem paying for the site. They say it should be back up today. (Or soon atleast)
that name was completely made-up
we get loads of your levels free as user levels
in the new version, 1.4 or something!
all your levels rule!
Hey Jay, the post may be outdated, but N has actually upgraded to version 1.4. It now has 100 Episodes (500 Levels), and tons of new stuff included. It's a major release, so I figure it deserves a new post? I dunno.
I can't find where to click to actually play the game.
Simon - N is a game that you must download and install to play. It is not a browser-based Web game like most of the other games that are featured here.
Cool - another review for N. The more we can get the better. N has swallowed my life, and the lives of many others.
I hope to see some of you on the highscore boards ;)
Hi... i luv the game on my friends computer... but it wont work on mine... Can someone please tell me whats up with it??
Gahaaaaa its too addictive, beware of the N
Firstly, adore the game. It swallowed my life a long time ago. I'd just like to point out that for any downloadophobes, there is a condensed, presumably unofficial, version of N on this site: http://184.108.40.206/~mediaun/ngame.swf
I has an email exchange with Raigan from Metanet, and here's what she said about that version...
"Unfortunately the version that's floating around is a hacked version, and we've contacted all the sites we're aware of trying to take it down.. sadly only _one_ has done so ;("
"Not only is it ugly and slow in a browser, but it's also v1.2, which is a year old, and has fewer levels, less ragdoll physics, and no highscores.."
"In light of this, we're planning on releasing a specifically web-only version of N sometime in the next 6 months, with a large "get the full game for free here" link on the main page, because it's sad to think that the current web-version is the only experience of N many people will have."
And there you have it.
I downloaded this game a loooong time ago, and I still love it to death. I'm only about 1/3 of the way through all the levels, and man is it getting hard! Truthfully, I'm just glad you can skip levels (at least on 'cheater mode'). =D If you're tired of games that just don't hold you for long, this one will probably keep you busy forever. Also, even though you may have done a level once, that doesn't mean it gets easier the next time, just that you *may* have figured out a strategy to *try* and beat it. =p
This game owns! If they made this for GC or ds, I'd so spend 50 dollars on it!
wait...so we have to download it to play?
Yup, you need to download.
For those that want to play it online, there is an online version at
For anyone wanting to play this game online, following are some details from an email exchange I had with Raigan, one of the developers, last August...
So, I encourage anyone interested in this game to DOWNLOAD the game directly from the developer's site using the links above, and WAIT for their official online version which should be out in the next couple of months.
Does anyone know how you can add the user levels to your user level list?
I keep having problems with my completed levels disappearing. I know there are cheat codes to jump back to where I was, but I read that you can change the color of the ninja when you complete a column, and I don't think that works with the cheat codes. It's really frustrating to be so close to completing a column and having the game lose all of your saved data.
Anyone know where your current level is saved to?
im always loving the game but i want to know how to make a level for yourself
david:read editors manual.txt
For those of you playing the 500-level edition, how far are you, and what are your most HATED levels?
I've got quite a litany of curses for some of the earlier episodes...especially 44-0: Phospholipid Bilayer.
I swear that getting in and out of that set of bouncy blocks was dead TOUGH. Almost as if that whole set was an amoeba.
Anyone else with a list of hated levels? ^_^;;
Can i use a dual action controller on this game?
i didnt find 44-0 too bad, just hit the layer at an angle.
however, 80-4, seems ridiculous and i still have not completed it. all my columns are 4 or 5 rows down except 8, which is one row down and 1 and 2, which are complete. looks kind of funny.
does anyone here have any highscores and if so, what level. i have one on 90-1, my names Hendor.
I love this game...
To give you all an idea of the amount of replay value that's packed into this game, I've been playing this game for over two years now and I haven't gotten tired of it in the least. Even after you complete the 500 levels in N v1.4, you've still got highscores, a level editor, and a database of more than 50,000 user-made levels!
I beat the entire online game and most of the downloadable version!
just finishing up column 70.
Hey guys, I have a question. I doubt that anyone will see this and be able to help, but I couldn't find the right place to post it in the harveykeitel forum, so here goes. I downloaded this game and played it for a week straight, but now everytime I play, it lags. The controls lag behind by just a split second whenever there's a lot of action on the screen. My laptop's pretty new, and no other applications do this. Has anyone had problem with this game?
It's really frustrating because I LOVED this game...until it started crapping out on me.
I really love this game. I've never spent nearly as much time playing anything in Flash as I have playing N.
Two of my levels are even in the game (80-4 and 87-4).
Ahhh! i am depressed. when i go to play a level i made i seem to have to click the mouse to make it move forward 1 frame rate! i hope you know what i mean and can help. als what are DD things peeps talk about. ty.
When your playing your own made level just turn Caps lock on to make it work.
this game is SUPERb the challenges are good its animation is good and it is also a hard game
hey can anyone tell me how to make our level?????:)
Guess what i found out? Once your man is dead you can press SPACE to break/stick him back again. Also CTRL makes him move to your mouse.
You know people.At the main menu go to configure and change jump to space.It used to be shift but you can change that.I have seen so many people saying sticky keys is annoyong.it is annoying but just change it.
FROM MAX :)
hey there all...
i need urgent help with n game!!
episode 18: 2 ... oh man!!!!
it's killin me!
gettin out of the 1st pit is a nightmare, any advce?
mayb im doin the wrong thing!
yeah...how the heck do you make your own levels? I'm lost with that.
Oh! I also found a glitch! It works on a buch of levels, but 90-0:Elavator Action works best. jump down to the bottom boost thing that points at a diagonal. If you touch the mine and the boost perfectly, you can become invincible! You cant get hit or die at all, but you cant collect gold or complete the level. Enjoy for a while, then press 'k' to suicide or pause and leave.
how do you complete level 2 of episode 17
addicting but once you get stuck on a level you get bored of trying to beat it
truth be told, i've been playing this game a bit too much lately. i think i have about fifteen of the episodes unlocked (not counting the starting ten). to say the least, this game is probably the ultimate time-killer. with 500 levels to play, i almost constantly have this game open (though minimized if i have to do some "work"). often times, if i get really stuck on a level, i'll just minimize the window and go do something else for a bit. when you've got unlimited chances for 90 seconds, why not take a day? cheers for this find!
Wow, great game, i've almost beat the full version (just the last 2 columns left) and i'm on 99-4. How in the world do you get through there? anyone?
anyone got any advice on how to beat 67.4
One of my all-time favorite games. I beat every episode except 86-89, which are impossible for mere mortals.
To those of you who are stuck: The highscores menu allows you to watch replays of the all-time best games. Some of these are absolutely amazing. If you can't figure out how to beat a level, I recommend watching the highscores videos to get an idea.
is there any cheats like invinciblitity or unlimited time or whatever?
I realize that I am late to say this, but, if I remember correctly, Arcadetown is a partner site to Jayisgames, right? Now, if you search for "N Way of the Ninja" and go to it, they have a browser based version. It only contains 30 episodes (150 levels) and the dying effects are not as good, but this led me to wonder: Is this hacked? If it is, I'm glad to have pointed it out. Here is the link (I hope I got the HTML tag right):
what are the unlockable colors?
by the way,
levels 86-89 are very hard, not impossible
i finally got passed 86, it was ridiculous, it took about 100 tries... the one where the blocked are coming and you're "pressed for time" is a hard level...
If you want to make your own level, read this!
At the main menu press " ` " it is that top left button with the squiggly thing like this " ~ ". press that then more stuff will come up. Then press " j " and a blank map will come up. Then press " e " and the level editor will come up. Press " insert " to put in objects and " delete " to put in the background. Objects include enimies!
Hope this helped!
does anyone know how to get into the other door in level 2 episode 1??? i've tried everything. or is it just a trick door that no one can get in?
@ Shaun, yes that is hacked, M&R (Mare and Raigan) haven't yet released the source for N (They will be following the release of N v 1.5) any and all online versions of N ATM are hacked.
@ dxrules63, No there are no cheats for N, other than the cheats to unlock episodes (They will appear differently coloured though, to episodes you've actually beaten, and you will not get the reward if you "cheat" an entire column)
BTW - Practice mode will give you infinite time
@ Ritchode, you can only get in there by skimming the very edge on the unlocker for the door, its not worth the bother though, its doesn't really help.
-To address the problem of user made levels going frame by frame, if you bothered to read the txt file on userlevels, you would know that in order to deactivate FBF, you need to have CapsLock on.
-The "invincibility Glitch" was discovered quite a long time ago, N has several glitches, most of which only work in Ned (N Level Editor) or are very minor.
-The entire 80 column (I believe) is all usermade levels.
-Wow, didn't know Kablizzy (A Metanet Forum Admin) or trib4lmaniac (A well known highscorer) visted JIG
-If you find a site illegaly hosting an online version of N, there is a premade message you can send to the site demanding the file be taken down, that can be found on the Metanet Forums.
Any and all questions about N are better asked at the main forums.
-Heres a link to the Help forum, You can post as "Guest" though I'd recommend registering.
-If you do visit the forums, look up "St.Atillas College for Ninjas its a "level pack" containing levels designed to teach you basic N tricks, such as corner jumping.
How do you pass episode 18 level 2 pit of despair.
help on episode 21 level 3 i need it
@ nick, level 18-2:
my method was to jump high enough to trigger the first whump. when the first whump is retreating, jump up on it. this should trigger the second whump. when the second whump is retreating, jump up on it, to trigger the third, et cetera. keep doing this until you reach the top of the level, where you can nab yourself some gold, then just work your way down the other side dodging the missile.
@ kent, level 21-3:
use the wallslide technique to slide down one of the side walls, then jump onto the first block. if you keep moving, it should be easier to dodge the robots. truth be told, i actually beat this level without getting any gold. remember, it's not necessary to collect the gold to beat a level. if you do desire that gold though, jumping up and down on a block should give you enough force to push the block down and grab the gold. if you're feeling a bit more daring, it's possible to grab a bit of gold by jumping and landing on the side of a block, doing the wallslide method until you get the gold, then jump IMMEDIATELY to avoid taking the plunge. although it's possible to land down on that bottom floor alive, getting up is a different matter. (*evil grin)
how do you play this game?
way too difficult.
i have been playing n for a while i used to play it on addicting games which were episodes 1-30 with my friend but when i beat it i went to you tube to see how people would play then i found out about version 1.4 and i have been playing for a while i have almost every lvl beat i cant beat 83-3 i also have all the flavors except light gray and create your own i also have overclock mode too.
if you need any help with any levels just ask
hey i cant get past level 27-4 really hard any advice
@ tizzle, level 27-4:
1. to get up the narrow corridor with the blue robots, use the wallclimb to alternate sides and jump up the corridor. when a robot is coming on one side, just jump over to the other side. you can get up and down the tunnel this way.
2. for the strip at the top, simply trigger both whumps, and make most of your movements while they're slowly retreating. you can easily grab the gold to the left while you're waiting for the first whump to arrive.
3. for the right-hand region... this is probably what killed me most of the time. once i got inside, my method was to climb the left wall to about halfway up, then jump off to land on the third pillar with the launchpad, then fall down the final corridor to the exit with a crash landing.
dang is there somekind of trip to episode 98 level 1???????????
Hey could someone help me out with 16-4,
after you have gotten the second key in the pit with the 2 zap drones? I can't get out without being fried by the laser bot thing.
Ok I have been trying to beat 47-3 for ever now! And I can't seem to beat it.. I have watched all of the high scorers videos on it and I just can't get it.. And help?? Thanks
Argh! Episode 23 level 3 is driving me up the wall! help?
Can someone tell me how to beat episode 8 level 1? It has stumped me for weeks and I can't get past it. :(
N Game is the best. I just love it. Though sometimes I feel that some of the levels are imposible, but hey... it has to be chalenging, or else it would be boring and easy
ok ive beaten all the levels on this awesome game but now im stuck on episode 18 level 2-pit of desire can anyone help me out until then ill keep trying
What do you mean Paul, there is no options! If you tell me I can go to it. If I find it I will be excited!
I like it when one of the circle enimies shoot out the + aimer thing and if they get you they will shoot a lazer or something at you!
okay wtf 64-4 how the heck do i do it?!
i can't post it on the numa forum so i'm posting it here
sorry i must share after all the work i did on it
im stuck on tha Son of a pit and Despair level, anybody have an idea how 2 beat it??
the hardest level is definitely thwumping impossible 88-4 it took me like 6 hours straight (no lie) to beat it and i finally beat all the levels
89-4 is pretty hard too.
Most of the time I don't like it when game developers make "death animations". Only this one isn't an animation - its a ragdoll. And its fun to watch! Oh, and on one of the levels I died, and got electrocuted , then was electrocuted again, causing N to fall out through the wall, and out of the bottom of the screen. I did it again on perpose, and here's a screenshot:
Sadly, i didn't get it when half his body was stuck through the wall, and couldn't get out until finaly it popped through the wall and out into the infinity at the bottom of the screen.
Anyway, about the game: it's okay. Love the animations. I think it would be nice if there was some more flipping around - like in Fancy Pants. Back flips that is. So far, i just love the running animation, the death, and the bouncy boxes. Those are so fun...
can anbody help me with 12-1?
im having problems getting up to the blue switch
btw i live this game!
HELP!!!! how do you beat episode 45 level 3!!!! i dont know how anyone could do this rediculously insane level!!! help....please...i will be your friend...!!!!
its easy to avoid sticky-keys. just change jump to space bar......oh and is there a way to get time without little gold boxes??
My vote- and this is after two years of playing this game -is that this may very well be the greatest platformer ever made. It has kicked my a$$, and tak3en me out to dinner. The N Game is phenomenal.
If anyone still pays attention to this, I'd like to inform those with Xboxes that this is available on Xbox Live Arcade now for 10 dollars. While it is a steep price to pay for a game otherwise gotten for free, I think it is fantastic that a fun game like this is breaking into widespread knowledge and bodes well for the future of casual game developers with originality and good design. This one is fun!
I like N. It's cool and fantastic, esp. v1.4. Check out my highscore for 26-1 if you have it, the name's mkhlalninjarock789. I hate ep.5, level 4 (castle-basement) and i am sure you will agree. i finished the first 5 columns and the 60 column and I am working on 55, 74, 81, and 96. Do finish 6 columns! You get overclock mode! you can make the ninja go VVEERRRYYYY fast... :)
instead of screwing around with sticky keys... use the z key to jump.
I'd like to throw out a tip: I bought the Logitech Dual Action controller, cause I have a PS1 emulator and it's a near exact replica of that controller, including buttons L3 and R3.
Anyway, point being it comes with a program called Logitech Profiler, that allows you to map virtually any programs keystrokes to the controller, even the mouse.
I link up "N" keystrokes to the controller, not just left, right, and space, but Esc, Q, and P as well, and it makes it feel just like playing a console game, as well as helps with the coordination.
In short, it effing rocks, and I highly suggest getting that controller / program or a program like it to play "N" ... as well as many others. (Even web browser based games.)
what's the other door for on episode 00 level 1 ?
Hey, I can't beat Episode 65, Level 4, v1.4. Anyone have tips or spoilers?
I need help on 29:3 i can't get past the missiles and even if i do i can't get the past the right side where all the mines are
does anyone know how to do a double jump on a bouncing block and how to super jump on a jumping pad?
I can't get past episodes 9, 19 and 23. Any clues PLEASE??????
im stuck on ep 6 level 4, i have further episodes but its really getting at me. i go on it every day.
I just ran into a huge problem...
please help me...
i've beaten the entire first 7 columns and now I've bought a new computer!!!
I'm fixing to loose the old one and I don't know where to find the file that holds the memory to the game!!!
I don't want to leave all of my saved levels behind so if you know what it is called or where it might be located I would be very appreciative!!!! :)
Hi, I absolutely adore this game. I am stuck on episode 9 level 4 (or five). I only have 1.5 seconds left. WHAT DO I DO???? Please help.
umm...this game is fun!! If beaten some of the levels past this but, how do you beat >??
b-radster1... do a search on your computer for *.sol and it should be the n_1.4.sol file or something similar
I'm also stuck on 45-3. How to I get past the guard on the platform just below the platform with the door opener?
are there any invincibility cheats for n game
i just downloaded it but every time i exit it i lose all my levels it is a fun game but does anyone know how to get past episode 11 level 2 i only have three seconds to complete it !?
Can someone tell me how to get through episode 01? I used to be able to do a few of the levels, but I haven't played in a while so I kinda lost my touch :( So can someone please help me?
This game is awesome, but I can't figure out how to change the colour of the ninja.
If sticky keys gets in the way, just switch the jump key on the configure screen.
The game rocks! I'm stuck on episode # 59, level 0. I cant figure out how to beat it. Help or hints would be great! Thanks.
To everyone having trouble: Look up the level in question on the N wiki or the old forums. If you still have questions, ask on the forums (just remember to read the faq first).
a friend of mine has a friend who i think planned some of the levels and thats where i heard of this game from. this game's really fun and addictive, yet its pretty hard. especially considering its such a simple concept.
hey guys im not stuck on any level or complaining about some sticky keys thing but i really want to know something. i look at the high scores of the really good guys and their jumping is insane! jumping off the walls and getting more air than i can even imagine. can someone tell me how to get so much air off of a wall or off of a corner. i cant figure it out. and yes i do know that if your in a column you can keep tapping jump over and over to go fast. but they STILL going faster! how???!!!
What i usually do when I do not have enough time to finish a level is just restart the episode.
How do i get past episode 21 level 4? I've tried so many times but i can't find a rational way to win!
ive beat the first three columns but what do i do now?
To everyone stuck due to TIME on their level, basically, each gold piece is 2 seconds, you start with so much time and each piece adds to the time. the time you collect carries over to the next level. So if you dont collect any gold you will start the next level without any extra time.
u can change the jump controls in main menu under configure
i'm so mad! the game just moves for me for no reason, getting me killed!!!
why are you complaining about sticky keys?!?! just go to configure on the main menu an make the jump key the up arrow, or whatever else you want it to be! so much easier than turning off sticky keys.
HELP!!!! how do you beat episode 45