LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin is a traditional LEGO style game, in which players help the Ninjago ninjas Kai, Jay, Cole and Zane recover their memories and powers, which have been stolen by the titular Ronin.
Based on the sets and TV show of the same name, Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin is an entertaining and accessible light platforming/adventure game through the land of Ninjago, beating up Ronin's minions, doing a bit of platforming and solving some simple puzzles. As will be familiar to those who've played the other LEGO games, each character in Ninjago has their own unique abilities which play a part in the game's puzzles. For example, Kai is the only character capable of operating certain switches with his sword, while girly ninja Nya has her grappling hook and Jay is the mechanically-minded one, whipping out a spanner when machinery needs fixing up. Knowing who to switch to when is key to getting through the game, but things here are very simple - if you walk up to an object and try to use the wrong character, you'll see a picture of the correct one, who'll also jump up and down shouting 'ooo ooo!' to make it even more obvious.
There's also a number of collectibles hidden in each of the stages and a load of bonus objectives to complete, giving you plenty of reason to replay completed levels.
Generally pretty straight-forward to play, LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin shouldn't really give kids too many problems. There's no concept of lives, as you simply re-appear should you get defeated, and enemies shouldn't put up too much in the way of a fight. Button prompts appear above things you can interact with, or when using one of the character's special abilities - and while they're not the best at illustrating exactly what you have to do, they're not that bad either, as with a little bit of trial and error, kids should figure it out in no time. Brilliantly, the game's also fully voiced, so even the kids who can't read should be fine, making this a game that even younger children can play.
As with all LEGO games, LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin has no bad language, sex or gore whatsoever. While the ninjas do spend a lot of time beating up bad guys, what violence there is is done in a highly slapstick and non-offensive way, with enemies simply breaking apart into their constituent LEGO pieces before fading away.
Format Reviewed: Nintendo 3DS