When a global war nearly decimated humankind, an evil military organization called Oniken takes advantage of the situation to dominate and oppress the few remaining survivors. Even though any resistance to this organization seemed hopeless, a small rebel movement organizes strikes against Oniken.
User reviews: Very Positive (331 reviews) - 84% of the 331 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 5, 2014

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Buy JoyMasher Starter Pack: Odallus + Oniken

Includes 2 items: Odallus: The Dark Call, Oniken

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Recommended By Curators

"Everything screems classic about this one. NES style color palette, hard as balls platforming and combat, sparse checkpoints and a whole lot of deaths."

Recent updates View all (4)

July 18

New price, new game!

We just released
Odallus: the Dark Call!

To celebrate Odallus, Oniken default price now is $4.99 (from $7.99). We additionally bundled Oniken and Odallus as JoyMasher Starter Pack for a very special price of $18,99, but this week only the bundle is 16% off so you can get Oniken for less than one dolar on the top of Odallu's price!

Odallus is classic exploration/action game, inspired by Ghosts’n Goblins, Demon’s Crest and Castlevania. Player takes place of Haggis, a warrior tired of fight who must wield his sword once more to rescue his son from Darkness.

Thanks for playing JoyMasher's games and have fun!

1 comments Read more


“It feels like it fell out of the late eighties, except the controls were tightened up during the voyage.”
7/10 – Destructoid

“Oniken is an hard platform game with a retrò feeling inspired by the NES classics. It is a good game which all the retrogamers should try.”
80/100 – http://multiplayer.it/recensioni/105550-oniken-una-lama-a-8-bit.html

“Tough as nails, Oniken brings gamers back to the good old days of platforming, the 8-Bit era. It's not just looks, but the gameplay and overall feel of the game will no doubt fill older gamers with nostalgia.”
5/5 – BitLoaders

About This Game

When a global war nearly decimated humankind, an evil military organization called Oniken takes advantage of the situation to dominate and oppress the few remaining survivors. Even though any resistance to this organization seemed hopeless, a small rebel movement organizes strikes against Oniken. One day, a ninja mercenary named Zaku offers his services to the resistance for unknown reasons. His moves are lethal and now he is the resistance's only hope.

Oniken is an action platform game highly inspired by the 1980's, its games and its movies. You can see this not only in the graphics and sound design, but also in Oniken's story and difficulty.

Don't Worry, You Will Die A Lot Of Times.

Every copy of Oniken comes with digital versions of the game manual and the original soundtrack.


  • Graphics, sounds and difficulty from the 8-bit era
  • Cinematic cutscenes
  • Over 18 boss fights
  • Six missions, three stages each
  • An extra mission after you beat the game
  • Boss rush mode
  • Not difficult enough? Try the new HARDCORE MODE
  • Global Leaderboards
  • Full pixelated violence

Note for Mac/Linux

Mac and Linux version are Wine wrappers. They're not a port but in every machine we could test the game it ran perfectly and without any problem. However if you have a problem with these versions please e-mail us!

We can't get gamepad controls working in the wrappers, but you can use key mapping softwares (like joy2key).

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 1.0 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 32MB VRAM Integrated Graphics Card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Dual Core Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 64MB VRAM Dedicated Graphics Card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    • OS: OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 32MB VRAM Integrated Graphics Card
    • Storage: 250 MB available space
    • OS: OS X 10.9 Mavericks
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 64MB VRAM Dedicated Graphics Card
    • Storage: 400 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
34 of 37 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 16
There are TWO games on Steam that play and feel like classic NES / SNES games.
Oniken is one of them.

Many side-scrollers and platformers claim to play and / or feel like they're out of the 80's. Like they are from the (S)NES era.
They all lie!
Some of them really do look like NES games. Some of them look like HD NES games. Some of them claim to play like NES games while looking totally "new-age?". None of them really plays nor feels like old-school retro side-scrollers tho.
I'm not saying they're bad games. They mostly aren't. But they don't feel nor play like (S)NES games.

Oniken, however, plays and feels exactly like a classic NES game!

I was sure that Oniken is another one of those pixelated games that is super hard, claims to be "old-school" but doesn't feel or play like an NES classic and once again poor old Mets would be dissapointed.
I still gave it a shot and WOW! Just WOW!
Oniken feels just like it came out from the 80's!

Unlike any other false "old-school" games on Steam, Oniken keeps it simple: You have 2 different attacks (one of them being a pick-up), you can jump...and move back and forth. The game is hard tho. Not Ninja Gaiden hard, but hard. Challenging is the key word here.

Easy to get into, hard to master.

The combat is smooth - Your main weapon is a sword (that looks like a katana) and you can throw grenades as a secondary weapon. Grenades are pick-ups tho and you can run out of them. You can also find secret 1-UPs and some sword power-ups if you get lucky.

After each level you get rewarded with a cutscene that has the quality of Ninja Gaiden.

I managed to finish the entire game in 6h...it's possible to speedrun through the game in 15-30 minutes tho. Just like with classic NES games. Their true lengths were about 15-40 minutes but they took hundreds, if not thousands, of tries to finish.
There are 6 stages and each stage takes you about 2-5 minutes...That is if you know what to expect and you're familiar with the level layout. The first playthrough will take some time. I especially hate level 4 which took me the longest amount of time to beat.

10/10 - Nails every aspect of being a good NES game!

If you're looking for a throwback then this is it. Look no further! Buy Oniken!
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
15.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 20
Sometimes you just want to slash people in half and use no more than a couple buttons to do it. Reminiscent of games like Strider, Ninja Gaiden, and Shatterhand, Oniken is a brutal and brutally difficult 8-bit platformer that isn’t for the meek. Games of its style have been common as of late, but none feel as authentic as Oniken. For better and worse, one could easily mistake Oniken for a lost Nintendo game by Nastume or Tecmo.

Call it indie if you like, but teams of two to three people were commonplace during Nintendo game development. Some did great things within the action-platformer genre, of which Oniken belongs. What we now see as limitations of hardware, they saw as a framework to build within. With 56 colors, a goofy-sounding synth, and four buttons, a few talented designers made games that continue to entertain us many years later. Oniken aspires to be in their company, even if it’s from a different era and on a different platform.

As an outsider, simplicity and difficulty appear to be the two main design philosophies of Oniken. We’ll talk about the former, before my blood starts boiling at the thought of the game’s bosses. Designed with a gamepad in mind, Oniken centers around one mercenary ninja’s ability to jump and slash dystopian future jerks. Zuku, the game’s protagonist, isn’t as fluid and fun to control as Strider Hiryu, but his sword has a nice reach. You can extend that reach by collecting power-ups. However, you can easily lose these upgrades by taking damage. If it isn’t clear by now, Oniken loves to punish the player for making dumb mistakes.

Luckily, Zuku has a couple of extra tricks up his sleeve. In addition to extending attack reach, Zuku can sacrifice his power-up in order to go into berserk mode, where he deals more damage and takes less. Just as the power-ups render deadly enemies harmless, berserk mode can turn some of the game’s most difficult bosses into a 15-second slashfest. Only the most masochist old-school players will complain about these cheap victories, because even when you do manage to berserk a boss, you likely have died from him many times before - if not during the long trek to his room.

And finally, there are grenades. These are used much like items in Castlevania: awkwardly hold up and press attack to throw in an arch. Unlike Castlevania, this is the only item you'll have which is pretty disappointing. You get used to jumping and throwing grenades, but it never feels quite right. This is one of many instances of how Oniken’s earnestness to emulate Nintendo games disservices the overall experience.

Oniken packs a lot of variety and creativity in its six levels which contain three areas each. Sometimes you’ll be platforming across conveyor belts with lava beneath while other times you’ll be force feeding grenades to a cybernetic polar bear while jumping spikes on a speeder bike. One area you will find consistency in, however, are Oniken’s tough-as-nails boss fights that demand you to quickly recognize an enemy pattern and stay the hell away from projectiles.

Most of the time, these boss encounters are a fun challenge, but a couple will frustrate in a way that is neither fair nor entertaining. One such boss is a snake that breathes fire down on you if you attack it. Not taking damage is a matter of endurance and luck. This boss is followed by an even more maddening boss: A robot you must fight from a small, moving platform - fall off and it's instant death. Until you recognize the specific attack pattern and necessary approach that a boss demands, Oniken will put you in a world of hurt. Once you run out of lives, you'll have to start the ~15-minute journey to the boss again.

While Oniken’s difficulty is decidedly old school, there are many times where I think the developer could have reconsidered its approach. Castlevania and Ninja Gaiden may have contained instant death traps, pits, and cheap aerial enemies, but these were not the things that made those games good. In fact, these are the things that keep many players from returning to them.

One aspect of tribute that can’t be knocked is the game’s presentation. 8-bit indie games are a dime a dozen these days, but rarely do they sound and look as great as Oniken. Though the backdrops and animation lack some detail displayed in the best Nintendo games, it’s an impressive effort nonetheless.

Oniken isn’t quite the magical pairing of nostalgia and great game design that Mega Man 9 was, but it comes close to scratching that same itch that few other games have done since. If you love 8-bit games and hate yourself, dying repeatedly within Oniken’s six merciless levels brings its own form of joy that is rare in games these days.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 26
I was a little damning with faint praise when I mentioned Oniken in my review of Odallus: The Dark Call. I wasn't really sold on Oniken when I picked it up during a holiday Steam sale, being put off by the somewhat stiff controls and punishing difficulty, I didn't see it through past stage 3. However, coming off the high of Odallus prompted me to give Joymasher's debut another shot.

Oniken is tough. Sunsoft tough. Players who cut their teeth on games like the NES Batman and Journey to Silius will know what I'm getting at. Fast reflexes do play a part in your success, but memorizing the kinds of things a stage will throw at you and being able to consistently execute are paramount. It will throw you into that good kind of old school difficulty rage fit, that which motivates you to keep trying and not let that cheating-♥♥♥ game get the better of you. Unfortunately it also suffers from "try to get to the boss with enough health and wail on it in hopes that it dies before you do" syndrome, but a lot of the B-list games from the 8-bit era fell into this trap.

All that said, Oniken is a linear affair, and aside from the somewhat less than well hidden 1UP icons that resemble game mascots who never existed to collect in each stage, it won't exactly put your nipples in a vice grip to give it more than one shot after the end credits roll. Unless you're some kind of masochist and want to try hardcore mode. However, Oniken nails the goal of being a labor of love to late-80s manga-inspired cyberpunk platformers, with great-looking visuals in the cutscenes and some catchy tunes that make use of a limited sound channel set. Pick it up if you find it on sale, just be in for a teeth-grinding time.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 30
Great Throw-back Action-Platformer!
All the negative reviews here were whining about the Game being to hard, well I don't agree.
Of course the Game is hard, it's a NES inspired Platformer after all, buit it's way more forgiving than Games like the original NInja Gaiden. While the challenge is constantly high, Oniken features several little things that still keep it very much do.able - if you keep trying. Every level ist cut up into three segments, and finishing a segment completely refills your health. Combined with completely strict enemy patterns and platforming rythm this leads to a wonderful curve of dying a lot to dying a lot at the Boss Fights to knowing the level Pixel by Pixel and getting through without a scratch. Oh, and speaking of Pixels, the Art and the Music are glorious, especially the Cut-Scenes are a lot of fun. Control ( with an 360-Pad ) is spot on and the short levels have an unmistakebly "One-More-Try" quality to the.
Absolutely recommended if you're into old-school action.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Oniken is the first of Joymasher's games I played... (Odallus doesn't disappoint either)

Oniken is everything you want in and 8-bit side scrolling platformer!

+The music and art are SUPERB
+The controls are tight, and you'll never blame them for your deaths
+The bosses are EPIC

- The core game may seem short, but...
+There's more!
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