Your objective, as with other games in this subgenre, is to progress as far as possible by avoiding obstacles in your path -- specifically, by tapping the left side of your touch screen to leap over them. Mini Ninjas expands on this familiar formula by throwing combat into the mix, letting you hack away at enemies and obstacles in your path by tapping the right side of your touchscreen.
The gameplay of Mini Ninjas is extremely intuitive and accessible, particularly for those with experience with such side-scrolling endless-runners as Jetpack Joyride. Having plenty of objectives and unlockables to pursue provides players with plenty of reasons to keep coming back. The controls are responsive and the hit detection is accurate, though frustration rears its head when the foreground scenery obscures the on-screen action, which happens somewhat frequently and often leads to cheap deaths. When it isn't getting in the way, the scenery is otherwise a pleasant thing to behold, with the stylized landscapes of feudal Japan rendered in crisp, vibrant colors. The soundtrack similarly serves to immerse you in this storybook take on medieval Japan.
IO Interactive successfully re-captures the charm of its 2009 title with Mini Ninjas, but how much you enjoy the game depends heavily on whether or not you're ready to tackle another endless-runner game. Indeed, the problem with Mini Ninjas is not its quality -- which is certainly good -- but rather in that it doesn't do anything we haven't seen many, many times before.