After release date delays and a couple of exciting open betas, GungHo Online Entertainment’s Ninjala is finally here.
Later today, Ninjala will officially launch worldwide, with a tremendous range of characters, weapons, upgrades, and cosmetic items launching on day one.
Here’s what you need to know about the Nintendo Switch-exclusive, free-to-play game.
Ninjala is a Battle Royale-style, third-person arena fighting game. You play as your customised ninja in online battles against up to eight other players or in four-on-four team battles.
Upon opening the game, you’ll get to pick your character and alter some of the character’s cosmetics (hair colour, skin colour, and eye colour). However, you can then fully customise every aspect of the character to create your own unique avatar.
In the battles, the majority of the combat is performed with melee weapons, but some offer the user a bit more range, and others come with abilities and special moves (known as Gum Ninjutsu) which fire long-range attacks.
At the end of a match, points are tallied to determine the winner. Defeating enemies gets points, but you also get bonus points for knocking out enemies via Ippon and for destroying Drones.
By competing in battles, you’ll receive Ninja Medals. These are used to unlock items and to upgrade the Shinobi Cards which enhance your character in game-changing ways.
Does Ninjala Need Nintendo Switch Online Membership?
Ninjala is a free-to-play game and does not require a Nintendo Switch Online membership to play its online game modes.
Ninjala monetisation and costs
Being a free-to-play game, microtransactions and paywall-locked content were to be expected in the modern space of gaming.
Much of the content and the performance-affecting upgrades (Shinobi Cards) are unlocked just by battling online and earning Ninja Medals. However, there is also the premium currency, Jala.
Jala is used to purchase items from the Specialty Shop, Gumball Machine, and to buy the Ninjala Pass.
Buying 1,000 Jala costs $9.99 (GBP conversion not known at this time), with the Ninjala Pass costing 950 Jala. This is the battle pass feature which grants access to cosmetic items and other rewards by completing each of the 100 tiers within the season pass.
In the Speciality Shop, players can buy limited-time cosmetic items – with the store changing its stock daily – using the real-money currency Jala.
The Gumball Machine contains Ninja-Gum, which decides the weapon and Ninjutsu that your ninja can use in battles. The developers stated that it “isn’t like an ordinary gacha,” with the Ninja-Gum in the Gumball Machine only changing the aesthetic of the weapons (not its power or abilities).
So, the Gumball Machine effectively contains weapon skins in exchange for the premium currency. The Ninja-Gum from the machine is a consumable item, though, so it will disappear after it has been used.
There are also item and Jala bundles available as DLC Packs in Ninjala.
In the example shown above, you get 2000 Jala, the Crow Tengu Attire costume, the Crow Tengu Mask facial accessory, the Ninja Gumchi Sticker communication, and the Yantsu Emote battle emote for $29.99 (GBP conversion not known at this time).
Even though Ninjala is a mostly online multiplayer game, you don’t need a Nintendo Online account to play in the online game modes. You do, however, have to buy the single-player Story Mode as downloadable content.
Introducing the Ninjala Story Mode
Explained close to launch, the online multiplayer title will also feature a Story Mode. To be released on 25 June, the offline, single-player game mode will delve into the story of the Ninjala universe and its characters.
The Story Mode is a paid DLC, which looks set to cost about $9.99 (GBP conversion not known at this time), with cartoon, comic-style panels taking you through the narrative, per Game Spot.
You’ll also get to experience Ninjala in an entirely new style to the frantic online multiplayer battles, with Ninja Medals and limited items available as rewards from the Story Mode.
The first chapter of the Story Mode puts the spotlight on Van, who will face the colossal boss Loco Soda in the DLC.
What’s the Ninjala release date?
Ninjala launches worldwide later today or early tomorrow (24/25 June) and is already available for pre-download.
The game is available to play at the following times around the world, per Ninjala:
- North America: 19:00 (PDT) 24 June 2020
- United Kingdom: 03:00 (BST) 25 June 2020
- Europe: 04:00 (CEST) 25 June 2020
- Hong Kong: 10:00 (HKT) 2020 June 25
- Japan: 11:00 (JST) 2020 June 25
- Australia: 12:00 (AEST) 25 June 2020
Over the next 24 hours, the free-to-play game Ninjala will launch around the world.
For information on the game’s weapons, guides on how to play, and customisation item lists, check out our Ninjala content. More will be added once the game launches.
Looking for More Ninjala Guides?
Check out the characters competing in Ninjala