Friday, December 16, 2011

The Friday Review – Muffin Knight (iPhone, Android)

Do you know the Muffin Knight?
 -review by Mike

When I first saw a brief plug for Muffin Knight (Android game) I thought, “That looks like some light-hearted arcade fun with my kinda humor.” And I was delighted to find that I was absolutely right. Bright color pallet, comedic fantasy characters, platformer game mechanics, and lots of unlockables; mix them all together and you get a killer recipe for awesomeness... mostly.
Here's the breakdown:

The Goods:
  • +5 Visuals of Stunningness - the game has really fun graphics; a color pallet that sings; and a good amount of visual polish; all beautifully executed without totally bogging down my phone's hardware (Galaxy S).
  • +4 Game Mechanics of Cleverness - at its core Muffin Knight is a platformer and, as such, automatically gets a +1 right off the bat in my book. It also happens to be a GOOD platformer with tight controls. The best part was the various character abilities. Every time you gather a prized muffin you randomly switch characters. Each character has a unique attack style, so you have to constantly change your strategy based on what character you happen to be playing.
  • +2 Strategies of Power - the game does a great job of using the interplay of level design and character abilities to create interesting strategies. Each character has a strength - kill lots of guys with the archer; utilize long platforms with the pumkin king; lay a crap load (literally) of traps all over as a safety net with the unicorn, etc. Good stuff.
  • Unlockables of Ultimate Collectability - I love games with unlockables/collectibles. I think it's almost always a good idea to work this mechanic into games when possible. In Muffin Knight, the more you play the more characters you unlock. You also unlock more levels for scoring highly. On top of all of that you can also level up each character multiple times with XP that you earn by playing. The game really maximized the replayability, and it worked.

The Lames:
  • When I downloaded the full version of the game, for some reason it wiped out all the progress I had made in the trial. LAME. I had achieved some serious progress in the trial and it all went down the crapper when I downloaded the full version.
  • On-screen-controllers are never my favorite thing, and in this game, as in many others, it was easy to botch them. Overall it’s not horrible, but there were many times that I missed the button I was going for, or accidentally pushed the wrong one, simply because a screen doesn't work very well as a controller. The player needs tactile feedback to be completely successful with a controller - something that phones just don't provide. That said this game was a lot better than some.
  • The game provided a lot of really good content in the trial version. Too much in my opinion. After I spent the 3 bucks and bought the full version I found myself wondering why. It's true that you can only play on the first 3 levels in the trial mode, but those are my favorite levels anyway. I don't know if there's a cap on the number of characters you can unlock in the trial, but I never ran into it - you can unlock a ton! And the full version advertised "boss battles", which ended up very disappointing. The "boss" in the lava level just hangs out in the background. You never fight him directly! Boo.

I really love this game. Super fun mechanics, good level design, and tons of unlockables that are as tasty as the muffins you collect. I might recommend that people stick with the trial though. Most of what I love about the game can be found there without spending the 3 bucks. Though if you want multiplayer the full version would probably be worth it. I never tried multiplayer though, so I'm not sure if it works well. Peace out!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Keflings comes to Android and iOS with OnLive Release!

It's finally happened - you can now play A Kingdom for Keflings on your iPad2, Android tablet or smart phone! The game released on OnLive last Thursday, adding in new, native touch controls. The mobile version was released simultaneously with the new, free OnLive app that will allow you to play OnLive games on Android and iOS devices.

The game is available on OnLive, which means that with one purchase ($9.99 USD) you can now play Keflings on demand, anywhere, on PC, Mac, the OnLive Game System or on your mobile device.

Plus, if you've previously purchased the PC version of A Kingdom for Keflings from we'll give you a free copy of the OnLive version of the game, just for being awesome. All you need to do is send an email to with the subject line "Keflings OnLive" and make sure you include your name and email address you used when purchasing the game. Once we get your email we'll send you a code to unlock the game!

To get the OnLive app on Android, click here:

PS- OnLive is giving away free copies of Lego Batman to anyone who downloads their mobile app!

Friday, December 09, 2011

The Friday Review: Age of Booty (XBLA, PSN, PC)

Age of Booty
review by CJ

Yarrr mateys! If you’re looking for some fun pirate action, or just a good multiplayer game to enjoy with friends, Age of Booty is worthy target. In this real time strategy game you take control of a pirate ship, with the goal of sacking and capturing as many towns as possible to take control of a map. Resource collecting is an important aspect, needed for upgrading your ship and towns defenses and offenses, but such resources are won by sacking villages, sinking merchants and other pirates, or capturing towns. Sinking merchants can also win you fun bonuses such as bombs and whirlpools, which can be used to surprise your enemies in an otherwise losing battle. Play through the entertaining campaign solo, or play with friends online or local. I was excited to find that the game also came with a map editor, a veritable “cherry on top” in my book.


- Great cooperative play. Not enough games allow local play anymore, let alone local with up to 4 players, co-op or versus. This is a great party game, with quick levels and at times hilarious and tense battles.

- Worthy challenge. The single player campaign starts off easy, and increases in difficulty at a great pace. It ends with a bang, as well, the final map being nearly impossible, giving the player a great sense of accomplishment once won.

- Pure entertainment. This is a fun game that doesn’t take itself seriously. Easy to play for just a few minutes or hours.


- Poor story. This isn’t necessarily a con, per se, but if you’re looking for an inspiring story look elsewhere. This game is all about the fun.

- Odd controls. The point and click controls work great for PC, but feel a little awkward on a console.

- Predictable AI. There are a few tactics you can use that will almost always guarantee victory over the AI. This can take away from the difficulty and fun.

SUMMARY: This game is only $5, and easily worth more. If you’re looking for a great game to play with friends and just have fun, check this one out.

Friday, December 02, 2011

The Friday Review: Outland (XBLA, PSN)

review by CJ

So I know that last week's game featured the excessive use of the color black, and I realize that this week’s game does as well. But this one also features red and blue. Actually many of Outland's environment backdrops are very colorful, and all of them gorgeous. This game is mainly a puzzle platformer, with some great combat, varied enemies and seriously epic boss battles. The side scrolling maps are set up similar to games like Castlevania and Metroid. There are co-op aspects to the game, which I was unfortunately unable to try, but the game stands up well enough on its single player, which features a captivating story. The games main mechanic revolves around switching between 2 aspects, Light and Dark, allowing you to pass through dangerous puzzles and fight enemies. Outland also gifts players with useful and fun powers as the game progresses, which increases the intensity of both the puzzle solving and the combat. Throw in some hidden treasures and purchasable upgrades, and you have a fantastic title worth a look from anyone.


- Polished. It's rare to find a game so completely finished. The controls work flawlessly, the difficulty curve is just right, and the game works the way you expect it to. I never encountered a single glitch.

- The little things. Background music, interactive environment, sound effects, the lighting; each of these things add up to make a rich experience, pulling you into the world and making you feel a part of it.

- Epic! From a story that puts the fate of the world in your hands, to intense boss battles, Outland makes you feel like each moment is an important step forward on an epic adventure.


- Backtracking. Returning to previous maps to access areas that were previously unreachable without new powers is acceptable if it is for progression in the game, but I am easily annoyed by using such tactics for grabbing collectables. Finding the hidden items in the game is a part I enjoy, but I get upset when finally find one just to discover that I am unable to collect it because I lack the ability necessary to do so.

SUMMARY: I have had a great time with Outland. At times the combat and platforming is so intense and fast paced that you feel a sense of awe at your ability to flow through it so well. Few games have given me such a sense of connection, as if you, the controller, and character onscreen are one. I’d happily suggest anyone give it a try. Download the trial and see if you can resist paying for the full game.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Black Friday Review: Limbo (XBLA, PSN, PC)

review by CJ

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Welcome to the special "Black" edition of the Friday Review. Limbo wins the privilege of this review for excessive use of the color black. I just recently bought Limbo (during the half-off sale) and beat it. In 2 hours. First try. Don't get me wrong, I truly enjoyed those 2 hours. The puzzles were fun, and the black mood was uniquely enjoyable. Over all I thought the pacing was good, and the difficulty set to enjoy it but not get too annoyed at overly difficult trials. Still, I was very disappointed because of how quickly it ended. If you've played it I'd love to hear what you think about it.


-Artistic. This can be either a positive thing or a negative thing depending on if it's well presented and still has some actual play value. In Limbo's case I think it is very well done, and has an amazing atmosphere to it. In fact I believe that the dark creepy tone contained around 80% of

- Great puzzles. They started out simple and rose in difficulty over the course of the game at a good pace. Also, I never felt like I was repeating similar puzzles. Of course, 2 hours worth of unique puzzles is much easier than, say, 5-10 hours worth, so it only gets minor points for this. the game's overall value.

-Got it half off! I think that $7.50 (600 MS points) is a decent price for this game, but I wouldn't want to pay more than that.


-Lack of Re-play. This isn’t always a Con, I don’t think games need to have re-play value, but if your game is only 2 hours long I better be able to enjoy it over and over with separate modes, or collectible hidden items, extra difficulty levels, etc. Limbo's puzzles aren't going to change the second time through; there is practically 0 replay value to it.

-Poor puzzles. Ah, I know I put good puzzles in the Pros, but unfortunately there were some bad ones as well. Some of the later puzzles were more the “trial and error” type rather than the “figure this out” type. They involved dying over and over again until you were able to time an action just right, or find the nearly impossible to see switch as you fell quickly through a busy scene. This isn’t puzzle solving, it is annoying. Of course, if these puzzles were replaced with the regular kind the game may not have taken a whole two hours…

-You guessed it! Length. I can’t imagine someone paying $15 for this and not being angry 2 hours later. It hurts me because I feel like this game was very high quality in every other aspect. There are also a lot of other high quality games out there which charge $10-$15 and offer several hours of game play and high re-play value.

SUMMARY: I enjoyed almost every minute of the 2 hours. The last minute, when the credits started and I realized that it was really over, was painful. I felt swindled. It’s important to note, though, that I felt swindled because I was enjoying it so much, and thought I was just getting started. If you have 2 hours with nothing else to do and the extra $15 with nothing else to buy, then maybe this is the game for you.

Side note: It's only $9.99 on Steam, and currently (at time of post) 50% off. I think $5 is a perfect price for this game.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Akimi Village on Sale on PSN!

Akimi Village is on sale this weekend! So put down Skyrim and Batman and try the free trial.

PSN Fall Sale
Nov. 22 - Nov. 28
Akimi Village on sale for $6.99 ($4.89 for PlayStation Plus members)

The game has a demo available, so head on over the the Playstation Store and try it out! If you liked Keflings you'll love Akimi Village - it's like Keflings, but with 4x the zen!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Friday Review: Dungeon Defenders (XBLA, PSN, PC)

Dungeon Defenders
review by CJ

For my first review I have chosen a game with which I have been thoroughly entranced. Dungeon Defenders is one of those rare gems, not only in concept, but in execution. At first glance the game seems to be trying to combine too many genres, but it does so very well. Mixing the excitement of random equipment drops found in games such as Diablo, or Borderlands, the strategy of the best tower defense games, the RPG level grind, and some seriously fun up-to-4-player co-op, plus more, this game has something to offer anyone.


- Great cooperative play. This is a game that can be enjoyed by yourself, or with friends, and the more the merrier. Not enough games offer 4 player co-op these days, and even less that are this much fun.

- Upgrades! Not only does your character level up and receive skill points with each level, you can also upgrade your equipment and pets, and customize their attributes as they upgrade.

- Many modes. Replay value is an important aspect, these days. With so many games on the market we want our money to spread as far as it can, and the more time you can spend on a game the better. Dungeon Defenders incorporates many different modes and challenges for each of its many levels, which changes things up and allows you to replay the same area multiple times with a new experience each time.


- Poor story. This isn’t necessarily a con, per se, but if you’re looking for an inspiring story look elsewhere. This game is all about the fun.

SUMMARY: This game is well worth the $15 (XBLA, PSN, or Steam). The four classes are very unique, and the many levels are all well designed, and varied. The story may not be anything to mention, but the game play is solid and fun.

Introducing "The Friday Review"

Hi everyone! This is Matt Bockholt (aka Captain Jax), and I’m happy to announce “The Friday Review” on the NinjaBee blog. Every Friday I, or one of my fellow flying insects of death, will be reviewing a game here on the NinjaBee Dance. Our purpose? To force our superior and correct opinions upon the masses…Actually, it’s just because not only do we love to make video games, we also love to play them, and in the playing of them we often discuss their pros and cons, spreading the happy news of rare finds (like a red rupee popping from a patch of freshly cut grass), or warning against the snarly hidden teeth beneath cute and fuzzy exteriors (like Jason, from QA).

First of all let me assure you that these reviews will in no way reflect the opinions Wahoo Studios or NinjaBee itself (such opinions—if they exist—could not be expressed using any tongue spoken by man), but are only the mad ramblings of those who write them. Second, let me also assure you that our purpose is not to demean other publishers and/or developers. We love our fellow game creators, and want them to continue doing the awesome job they are. But we’re not afraid to point out the parts we don’t like.

We hope that you will express your opinions in response to our reviews, and we can discuss in friendly manner the creations that fuel our gaming hobby.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Fusion: Sentient out today for Windows Phone!

As mentioned in our last post, from time to time we do contract work for publishers who need a development team to work on a game for them. When we do contract work like this we release the game under Wahoo Studios - our second name.

Fusion:Sentient is a futuristic RTS that lets you control a group of really powerful robots called Sentients. The game released today for Windows Phone 7. It's a companion game to an XBLA game called Fusion: Genesis, which was developed by Starfire Studios and also was released today. You can level up your Sentients on your phone and then send them to your Xbox and play with them there, and vice versa.

If you want to check it out, more details are on Microsoft's site -

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Family Game Night 4 is in stores today

We do contract work under the Wahoo name. One of our big projects for EA, Family Game Night 4, hits the shelves today! We made a version for all three consoles. The game features Mr. Potato Head as the game show host. For our celebration party the other day we had a potato bar. 

Come on, you have to admit we are pretty hilarious.

That will be the last time Paul says anything bad about Justin's mother.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween at NinjaBee!

Every year at NinjaBee we have a costume contest at NinjaBee. Check out this years costumes. Who do you think won?

And because nothing says Halloween in Utah like a donut-on-a-string eating contest -

Party with food

Yes, for a company party we really ate at a restaurant with "chuck" in the name.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It was time for a new office.

We enjoyed the time we spent in our old office but it was time for a little upgrade. Here are some shots of the old office. These were taken on moving day so there is a little more clutter than normal but you get the idea.

Here is the new and improved stuff. What do you think?