The single-letter title may seem really basic and rather uncreative, but it’s just an extension of the game’s inherent simplicity.

N is a minimalistic, bare-bones, prototypical single-screen platform game. You control a small ant-like ninja as he jumps, runs and dodges his way across level after level of danger in order to reach the exit. There is a life meter which slowly depletes and is replenished by collecting gold bars that are haphazardly scattered around the stages.

Various switches are present around the playing field, resulting in the game having a very slight puzzle-solving aspect. However, the majority of the gameplay is concerned with precisely-timed jumping, avoiding obstacles and climbing walls. Make no mistake, N is rather unforgiving and will go out of its way to tax your reflexes and platforming skills, particularly in the later levels.

Speaking of levels, N spoils players for choice by including hundreds of episodes and missions, both official and fan-submitted. If for some odd reason that’s not enough, even more levels can be downloaded from the official homepage. Players may even try their hand at the included editor.

In keeping with the minimalist theme, there is no music to speak of and very little graphical variety. It may start to get repetitive after a few hundred levels but otherwise there is very little to criticize. It’s a textbook example of a golden age-style indie platformer in the mould of Super Meat Boy and Dustforce.

N is available for free on Windows, Mac and Linux at the puny size of less than 1.5 megs. However, Mac users should note that the game doesn’t work in OS X Lion. An enhanced commercial version called N+ is available on the DS, PSP and XBLA.

Direct yourself this way to fetch it.

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