Nautlander has teamed up with Ratalaika Games to bring their challenging indie platformer, Dojoran, to the Nintendo Switch, and this is yet another cute-looking, retro-feeling, Game Boy-like indie game that offers a nice day of challenge for those interested. Do you have what it takes to be a master ninja frog? Well, I do, and you can, too!
But is Dojoran worthy of your mighty dollar? Or is this a just another platformer destined to be lost in the shuffle? Let’s find out!
Surprisingly, Dojoran does contain a little story. You are a frog that is well aware of their brutally difficult upbringing and coming to the realization that the world around you is super-scary. However, apparently frogs have a martial art that is passed down to the worthy ones, and the protagonist here is quite the specimen.
Honestly, I enjoy little games like this that go the extra mile to give a little more context to what is happening on screen. It is not the deepest or most compelling story by any means, but it serves its purpose and gives our frog a goal as it makes its way through some dangerous stages that truly test its strength.
Dojoran is also a monochrome title that lacks color but still contains a lot of life and character in black-and-white. The sprites are really well designed, and there is rarely any confusion on screen when it comes to dangerous areas. The only time I was a bit surprised was when I died touching what appeared to be a little layer of water, as I only assumed that would be a safe place for a frog (I guess it was poison or something similar).
The platforming is relatively hit-or-miss for me. Most times, it is solid and a load of fun, as the precision platforming can be a great challenge, and since the stages are in good doses, no one stage ever felt impossible. However, there are stages where the design is a bit baffling, as blind jumps happen on occasion and other troubles can present themselves in weird and frustrating ways.
The frog is equipped with a few simple techniques. It can run and jump like your usual platformer, but this frog can also cling to walls, collect bugs to give an extra point of health (Like a shield), and double jump thanks to its disdain for apples (I didn’t quite follow the reasoning behind this one). Each technique is unique and fun to use, although I did run into a couple times where the wall cling got me in some unfair trouble, as the frog will automatically cling to a bottom corner or a wall even if you are not aiming for it.
Difficulty is rather high, but I did find the flow of the 28 levels to be a bit off here and there. For example, some of the early levels are much more troublesome than some of the later levels. Usually in sequence platformers like this, difficulty slowly increases with each stage, but I found some instances to be the opposite. Overall, though, it is a decent progression, and it will be quite the challenge for amateur players, although veterans of the platformer genre will be able to knock Dojoran out in under an hour.
Dojoran is a good, little platformer that offers quite the package for such a bite-sized price. It does decent in all regards, has a great soundtrack, and takes a reasonable amount of time to clear. There are some extra challenges on the table as well, like reaching the end with the bug and a large coin, but this does not offer anything and is purely there for bragging rights.
Dojoran is a game that could have used a bit more tweaking to better fine-tune certain areas, but it is still an enjoyable game nonetheless!
Soundtrack and pixel art
Good price and package
Blind jumps and other platforming sins exist
Difficulty flow feels off
What's Your Reaction?
My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.