Game Dev Story and Dungeon Village developer Kairosoft very nearly returns to form with its shogun-themed strategy and city-management hybrid, Ninja Village — but a promising setup and compelling core mechanic too soon devolve into tedious grinding. Managing a village full of ninjas trained in the art of war, your task is to build up a thriving local economy while battling rival lords, all in an effort to help the shogun reunify Japan.
It’s just as well that ninjas have long been associated with a mercenary take on warfare as opposed to honor-obsessed samurai. In Shadow Blade, hero Kuro isn’t averse to quite a bit of unsporting bloodshed after he receives news about the Amida clan rising once again — and reasons that he must immediately inform the sole surviving ninja master. Unfortunately, Sensei lacks a cell phone, and so Kuro must fight his way through 30 smallish core levels of traps and bodies that inconveniently lie in the way of his goal.
Back in the early '90s, the fighting game was king and arcades were consumed by a three-way battle between Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and the games created by SNK for its Neo-Geo system. Samurai Shodown was one of the latter, and its combination of samurai-movie tropes, gratuitous bloodshed, and weapons-based fighting immediately made it a fan favorite. Out of its numerous sequels, Samurai Shodown II has long been regarded to be one of the best 2D fighters of all time — and now, for better or worse, it's fully playable on iOS.