GungHo Online Entertaiment’s ninja themed free-to-play answer to Splatoon, announced years ago, then delayed but now available.
Gameplay-wise….. it’s basically Splatoon, but built as a melee based score deathmatch affair (with respawns), with the ink gimmick replaced by the Ninja Gum, essential as you can throw it, use it to dash mid-air, to transform into an object, or to fashion a stronger version of your weapon. If you can get enough “gum energy” from the drones, that is, which can also be used to activate a super move, alongside regular abilities with cooldowns.
Given this is melee combat only, weapon clashes are frequent – if not constant – so it’s not good that despite tutorials with Youtube videos baked in, trying to gain the upper hand always feels messy. No wonder, since it basically boils down to a QTE guessing game. There is more to Ninjala, there are abilities and complexities to learn (like wall running), but after a confusing first impression (made worse by a completely unbalanced matchmaking), where you either keep winning or losing without knowing WHY, you realize there the cool ideas and mechanics are flawed regardless.
On top of that, there are only 2 maps available right now, two modes (battle royale or team deathmatch), but the game is already bursting with freemium bullshit: various currencies, gacha, battle passes, cosmetic stuff like hats. And a story mode..10 bucks/5 eurobucks for chapter. ALSO, there are consumable weapon skins.
Art direction obviously apes Splatoon and it’s pretty good (ditto for the audio department), but technically speaking is just alright, though fairly stable in my experience.Mind you, it’s fun, despite the messy gameplay (some really messy design choices) and lack of content at the moment.
I’d just buy Splatoon 2 instead, to be blunt, but it’s worth try as it’s “nominally free”.