“One of the best physics puzzles to come out in a while” Jay is Games
“Very visually appealing. 8.5/10″ FlashMush
Ninja Bear once swam across the Atlantic Ocean on a brick. He squeezed blood out of a stone. Even Chuck Norris sleeps with him on his pillow. Here, with his trusty sidekick Purple Teddy, Ninja Bear must save the day from the monsters under the bed.
Ninja Bear is the fourth collaboration for the brothers Donkin and marks the first time all three brothers have made a game together. My youngest sibling George joined us this time round by lending his wonderfully varied and charismatic vocal talent. His humorous voice sound effects really bring the characters to life which makes for a much richer game experience.
Ninja Bear is a physics game with an emphasis on solving puzzles rather than skillful shot making. Rather than just aim and shoot we wanted to to create a physics game which made you think a little. Taking inspiration from Portal 2, we developed a set of weapons designed specifically to interact and alter the playing environment.
The Icifier turns blocks to ice and makes them slippy, the Bouncifier covers everything in bouncy blue goo and the Disintegrator disintegrates anything. Using these we were able to craft levels based on using the right weapons in the right order on the right object. We also added ropes, moving platforms and pivots, opening up endless options for level design, which we had great fun with. Putting the trickier levels together proved a challenge, ensuring there was only one solution and no shortcuts. The problem is once you get your set method of solving a level into your head you don’t see other ways it can be done.
From a design perspective the most interesting challenge was making it so that every weapon affected every element of the level in the same way. So no matter where you shot your Icifier, whatever it hit turned into ice. Similarly if you want to disintegrate Purple Teddy you can. This meant a lot of work on the art side, drawing and animating the various effects on every object available in the game. But I’m very happy with the results.
Ninja Bear starts out simple but gets progressively difficult across 44 levels with a fiendish secret level for players who collect the 24 Yin Yang symbols dotted around the game. Once you’ve completed it, give your hand a go at creating your own levels and see first hand how tricky it is to make one with only one solution.
Finally here is a poem I wrote about Ninja Bear and Purple Teddy:
The Legend of Ninja Bear And Purple Teddy
Every night children sleep,
Unaware that monsters creep.
Weary eyes droop and fall,
Slumber beckons to them all.
Evil things haunt their dreams,
But nothing’s ever as it seems.
Unbeknown to kids across the land,
Their Teddybears take a stand.
Two silent heroes of the night,
Act in secrecy and take up the fight.
These noble warriors are at the ready,
They are Ninja Bear and Purple Teddy.