Ninjin: Clash of Carrots

Review: Ninjin: Clash of Carrots

There have never been enough games about carrots. Too many times the objective has been to rescue a damsel in distress, and not often enough orange vegetables. Addressing this injustice is Pocket Trap with the refreshingly unusual Ninjin: Clash of Carrots.

Based in feudal Japan, the scene is set when the evil Shogun Moe arrives at a village and steals their main source of vitamin A. Our heroes appear and decide to give chase, with the full backing of the village elder. You can choose between two characters - some will opt for the titular rabbit, Ninjin, whereas others may prefer the fox, Akai. Whichever way, the game can be played alone or with a friend, either locally or online.

Ninjin: Clash of Carrots is a pure action game, ostensibly like the beat-‘em-ups of old, but with a twist. Stages are divided into waves, with your protagonist kept moving almost the whole time. Your main sword attack always faces forward, so the best tactic is to get behind enemies when possible. If you find yourself on the wrong side of any villains, you can always dash through them, and even combine it with a backwards dash attack. Dashing makes you temporarily invulnerable, but does drain your stamina.

NinjinClashofCarrotsImage1Get ready for some crazy, co-op, combo-based carrot-saving action!

Sometimes it’s better to use projectile weapons, which are aimed with the right analogue stick and fired by releasing it. This broadens the number of tactics available. For example, you might encounter a group of enemies with an explosive one in the middle. In this case it’s useful to throw a type of shuriken that pierces through the outer layer, hitting the middle one and blowing up all the rotters in one go.

Although the game is frenetic and fast-moving, occasionally the scrolling will stop altogether and you’ll face-off against an old-fashioned mini-boss. In these situations, you’re free to move around the whole screen as you strategically avoid this larger, more powerful foe. At one point a bear lumbers around trying to jump on you, like a more ursine version of Final Fight.

Each enemy defeated will scatter several carrots around the screen, which are not all that easy to collect. It’s worth doing so, however, as they are the game’s currency. You can use all that loot in the easily-accessible shop run by Corgi, who always gives a quirky greeting before he tries to sell you various weapons and accessories. Projectile weapons have many different attributes such as piercing, scattering or returning, and it’s up to you pick the right one for the job. Close-range weapons are just as varied, and often take bizarre forms such as a banana or a fish. One sword is shaped like one of the starring vegetables themselves, whereas others are longer and thinner, which forces players to consider which is better – the carrot or the stick?

NinjinClashofCarrotsImage2Or go it alone in your vengeful, vegetable-fuelled vendetta! *Hack!* *Slash!* *Thwack!*

Every Super Mario World-style section of the map is finished off with a proper boss, which take the form of running battles, sometimes against a vehicle of some kind. These force you to use several different tactics until you’ve secured victory, at which point you get to bash the attack button for a bonus damage multiplier. Defeating each world boss grants you an elemental stone, which augments your weapon with an extra ability. After a certain number of sword strikes, a gauge will fill and automatically activate an over-the-top special attack, such as a blazing dragon or chickens that freeze everything in their sight. Think Zelda’s cuckoos are scary? You ain’t seen nothing yet!

Replay value is provided by the possibility to S-Rank every stage, which you’ll achieve comfortably with some, and others with a great deal of effort. There’s also the Oni TV Show, which pits you against random waves of enemies, starting with just the very basic equipment. Here the goal is to survive as long as possible, choosing temporary upgrades as you go, with a permanent reward after each ten waves. Knowledge of the game helps a great deal here, as you have to pick very quickly with little information.

NinjinClashofCarrotsImage3Genuinely chortle-worthy dialogue ahoy!

Visually, the graphics are very crisp and clear, and never anything but pleasing. Similarly, sound effects are perfectly fitting, with the music emphasising the Japanese theme. Controls are generally good as long as you can handle dual-wielding, and the Switch never strains under the pressure of running such high-octane shenanigans (although you might!)

If there’s a drawback it’s just that the game is so intense. There are so many weapons to choose from, but with few comprehensively better than the previous ones. It’s great to be offered more powerful, elemental swords, but when they control more sluggishly than the Carrot Sword from the early part of the game, you may be tempted to stick with your old, weaker favourites. Similarly, whilst accessories are very useful, they are so many and varied, with so few equipment slots available, it’s hard to know which ones to use.

NinjinClashofCarrotsImage4I'm getting a Halloween feeling from this area... is that a Pirahna-Plant sword?!?

This is another game which employs that very modern characteristic of giving you enormous choice, with a diverse line-up of offerings that could be out of a rogue-like. The difficulty curve is steep, and choosing the right equipment for each stage may be more than a lot of players are willing to do. At times there is so much going on, the game feels far more like R-Type than Double Dragon, which does make it quite novel, but suited to more skilled gamers.

Ninjin: Clash of Carrots is a well-made, amusing game, and anyone who likes the idea can be assured it plays very well. It’s recommended for those who love the action genre (and the accompanying difficulty) and even more so for carrot fans.

N-Europe Final Verdict

Pocket Trap provides a colourful and witty game in the form of Ninjin: Clash of Carrots. The blistering action may be too much for some, but should be enjoyed by those willing to meet the challenge. It’s a no-brainer if you like carrots.

  • Gameplay3
  • Playability5
  • Visuals3
  • Audio3
  • Lifespan3
Final Score



Very original
Humorous script
Varied challenges


Too hectic at times
Steep difficulty curve
Upsetting to see carrots kidnapped

Game Summary

N-Europe Score


Worth a Look

Platform: Switch
Developer: Pocket Trap
Genre: Action, Adventure
Players: 1-2

Release Date:





One sword is shaped like one of the starring vegetables themselves, whereas others are longer and thinner, which forces players to consider which is better – the carrot or the stick?

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