The odds are stacked against the player in Beat-Fu Studio’s new title The Grandmaster. Featuring one button gameplay and enough ninjas to power an army, should you fight this good fight?
The Grandmaster Review
The Grand Master might have the skills to fight off all those who oppose him, but he is a cheapskate. After dining and dashing on his meal, he retreats to the tiniest of islands and fights off any ninja who forces him to pay up. The odds are certainly stacked against him – ninjas come from all sides, and though they can be disposed of with the press of a button, their numbers are massive.
True to its name, in the main “100 Days Mode,” players will play through 100 days of battles. The Grand Master is surrounded by a sphere of attack – any left mouse click or press of the space bar will dispose of the enemies. However, if you press a button when there’s nobody in this sphere, you automatically lose. Those that dispose of ninjas fill up a bar, and a full bar will allow players to complete the level.
If this sounds overly simplistic, that’s because it is. A clicker game at its core, the game quickly gets repetitive as players click through wave after wave of ninjas. Things are spiced up a bit with the introduction of new ninja attacks. However, just because one is hang gliding or underwater scuba diving does not mean that the title instantly becomes fresh.
Gameplay can be hit and miss too. There were times where multiple ninjas came at us at once, and despite clicking multiple times, we were still not able to dispose of them all in time. Both the keyboard and the mouse proved to be insufficient for the job, and though some may say that we need to “git gud,” it still proved to be an unfair annoyance. Subsequent playthroughs of each proved to be much easier, so the lack of balance is definitely telling. Put simply, your mileage may vary.
Those that make it to day 30 will be able to unlock six different challenges. If one thought the game was tough before, things become much more difficult here. Throwing everything and everybody at the player, we came close to finishing each one but were unsuccessful. Those that are victorious will be able to net themselves some achievements, but each one proves to be far too frustrating for its own good.
Other than an unlockable Infinite mode, there’s not much to keep players coming back. There are six different cosmetic “styles” that can be purchased (including “gangster,” “drunken,” and “snake”), but they don’t substantially add to the title. The lack of polish somewhat takes away from the game too – animations are choppy and the art is not the most detailed out there. Some may call it a stylistic choice, but it ultimately detracts from the title.
The Grandmaster is overly simplistic by design, but this clicker proves to be too repetitive for its own good. It serves as a serviceable time waster, but it lacks the staying power to keep people coming back.
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