Greg Hunter

N Game: A Contemporary Internet Classic

In Games on August 12, 2009 at 4:08 PM

Picture 13

From Metanet Studios comes N Game… wait… came N Game. It’s been out for a long time, but is still relatively unknown to most netizens who troll addictinggames.com looking for addicting games (Note to collective self: Great idea for a future post, The least addicting games on addictinggames.com). It’s been out so long that there is a sequal—N+—that while not free, is available on multiple console systems through their internet stores.

You know how everyone talked forever about how Super Mario Bros. 2 never was released because it was supposedly too hard and too masochistic? Now, if when you finally played the original SMB2 game on the Wii, you thought, “Damn, I thought this was going to be hard!” or  thought “Damn, I only got sent back to the first world once? You call that pain?” If you thought similar thoughts, then N Game is for you.

You play the stoic, stick-figured, ninja who must run around the map within a limited time, unlock a door, and escape through the door to reach the next level. Jump, soar, and hop around the screen. Your ninja almost has too much range to complete his task. Repeat for five hundred preloaded levels, and you’ve beaten the game.

But there are enemies, from the simple robots who crawl along the ceilings, floors, and walls, to the smart robots who chase the ninja once he crosses their line of vision, to the homing missiles, to the machine gun robots, to the laser robots, to the land mines, to the… well I’ve never actually beat the game so I can’t list every enemy.

The first 100 times you die on a level will be your fault as you perfect your jumps, your escape plan, and your timing of movements. The next 100 deaths will be due to bad luck, a robot will move in an unexpected way, you’ll think you avoided a missile but didn’t allow for enough room. But on try 201…

On 201, as you set out from your safe space and hop over a homing missile, you’ll laugh. As the laser locks on the ledge you just dove from narrowly missing you, you’ll knowingly smile because that’s what the lasers ALWAYS do. But when you make that final jump, trusting that the machine guns will shoot high and low and the missile will loop around you but never have the angle to hit you, and the two robots will fly just a little too high to electrocute you, when you make that final jump and land safely at the door, you’ll feel like a million dollars. You’ll feel like James Bond. You’ll have found the secret to sustained Middle Eastern peace while simultaneously discovering a plentiful environmentally friendly energy source that the whole world can share. You’ll be HAL. You’ll be video game perfection for one split second.

And then there’ll be another level.

gotoAndPlay()’s N Game review

AVClub’s N+ Game review

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  1. Alex! Last time I played this, you were in high school. That’s ridiculous.

    Anyway, my favorite thing about N is the gracefulness of good technique. There are a few other games like this (Smash Brothers being the most prominent in my mind), where just seeing a moderately skilled player move is like watching a ballet. I loved sitting back and reviewing replays after beating the harder levels.

    Also, the in-game description: Your God-like speed, dexterity, jumping power, and reflexes are all the result of an amazingly fast metabolism. Sadly, so is your natural lifetime of 1.5 minutes. Hah!

  2. Also also, I would like to meet this mythical person who thought SMB: The Lost Levels was easy. I’m generally against torture, but if someone could beat 3-4 without looking at some sort of strategy guide, I’d consider waterboarding to find out how.

  3. Hey Jonah, let’s keep this blog politically correct.

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