A couple of weeks ago, Clumsy Ninja stumbled its way into the App Store. This simple free-to-play game has made a name for itself. According to NaturalMotion, the game’s creator, the little masked fighter was downloaded more than 10 million times in its first week. If the game’s popularity continues at this rate, it will become the most successful iOS game since the App Store launched.
Of course, after the initial excitement wears off, the number of downloads will taper off. However, NaturalMotion also noted that players have already accumulated more than 1,000 years worth of playtime, proving that this ninja isn’t going anywhere.
According to VentureBeat, Clumsy Ninja is a five-star app across all major territories and has found a place on the top grossing apps list (currently at number 27 in the U.S. App Store).
Players train their new fighter by completing tasks, like lifting the ninja up with one foot, or holding a punching bag while he practices his moves. As you train, the ninja gains experience and becomes less and less clumsy. Before you know it, he will be jumping from rooftop to rooftop.
What makes Clumsy Ninja stand out is the realistic movements and the way the ninja interacts with your every move. When you touch his hand, he will lift it. When you rub his belly, he will giggle uncontrollably until he runs away. When you swipe at his feet, he will fall.
“We are proud of [Clumsy Ninja], as it’s a fun game and the culmination of a lot of technology,” Reil told GamesBeat in a recent interview. “It’s Pixar quality [animation]. The eyes of the character move to match your movements. We tried to make it to appeal to everyone.”
The game has become hugely popular. However, once you complete your training, your ninja doesn’t have anywhere left to go. In order to keep players interested in this awkward character, NaturalMotion will need to come up with new content, or even offer spinoff titles the way Angry Birds has developed.
As for merchandising, I know I’d love to get my hands on a Clumsy Ninja plush doll, especially if he giggled when I rub his belly.
Clumsy Ninja is available for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch for free. Download it in the App Store today.