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 (242 reviews)
Release Date: Feb 5, 2014

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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."


“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
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 1.0 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 32MB VRAM Integrated Graphics Card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 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
    • Hard Drive: 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
    • Hard Drive: 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
    • Hard Drive: 400 MB available space
    • OS: Any Recent Linux OS
    • Processor: 2GHz Dual Core Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 32MB VRAM Integrated Graphics Card
    • Hard Drive: 600 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 13.10
    • Processor: 3GHz Dual Core Processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 64MB VRAM Dedicated Graphics Card
    • Hard Drive: 700 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
13 of 13 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
13.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 14
Excellent NESdie game, very authentic to the roots of 8-bit era with modern gameplay !

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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 5
Killer 8-bit sprite art and chiptunes. It's essentially an NES game without sprite flickering and slowdown. Gameplay is pretty straight forward but I'm just in love with the aesthetic.
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24 of 40 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 9
Nobody appreciates more than me a developer that tries to revive the old ways of video games. However, games today have to have mechanics that can hold your attention. NES sidescrollers are a dime a dozen, so it's no wonder that only a handful of them became popular with gamers. Oniken compares more to those random obscure sidescrollers when it should be more comparable to the memorable ones like Ninja Gaiden.

In honor of this game's admirable attempt to revive the NES era, I will review it as any magazine from the old days would.


Controls - 3/5 - Movement in Oniken is extremely fast which often leaves you little time to react to an enemy. Pressing up and attack uses a grenade, but pressing up while in the air halts your forward movement which can lead to accidental deaths when you push up.

Graphics - 4/5 - The cutscenes are decent, but the sprite animations are boring. The main character's run cycle is only about 3 or 4 frames. Backgrounds really capture the spirit of NES era graphics and are well made.

Sound - 2/5 - Music is acceptable, but has no melody to it and is easily forgettable. The sound effect you'll be hearing the most is the sword swing. Strangely, most of the other sound effects are barely audible.

Replayability - 2/5 - The game is extremely linear and doesn't offer any deviation from the main path. The only benefit of replaying the game is having an easier time due to prior knowledge of enemy placement and mechanics. Some secrets can be found in destructible walls.


I enjoyed the novelty of playing something that felt like an NES game on Steam, but that's about the extent of my enjoyment. Getting it cheap in a bundle is the only way I could recommend it. Paying full price is highly discouraged.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
I'm a huge fan of old NES action games and I'm really glad people still make games like these. Everything about Oniken feels like a game from the 80's or early 90's (Ninja Gaiden or Strider are the best examples) except you don't have to start from the very beginning of the game when you run out of lives (Something that I'm actually really glad isn't like how it was back in the day) which is good considering you'll do a lot of dying your first time through a level, just like any good action game. Even the story and achievements have an classic vibe to them!
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 7
To those of us that remember the true difficulty of the age of the NES, this game will seem like stepping back to when we were kids staring in front of the huge TVs with our controller in hand, getting upset at the slightest misstep killing us. This game stays true to its form and its homage. A warning though, not for the faint of heart, as most might lose something (be it keyboard or controller).
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 17
Wow, I finally beat this game. This is a very VERY well done retro, 8-bit style platformer. The best way for me to describe it is a hybrid of both the original strider with the NES version of Ninja Gaiden. It is very hard, but not cheep, and the controls are precise and flawless. There are six levels with three sub-stages per level, and honestly, I completed the first three levels without any real trouble. It's the later three levels where the challenge really shows. The secret to beating them is, (like most of the platformers of the day) lots of repetition and memorization of patterns. Even the hardest stage, (which in my opinion was stage five) will become easier after enough play, so don't get frustrated and discouraged. Just play, die, and repeat and you will see that the stages gradually become easier and easier until you can beat them. As for the story: it is very CORNY, but in a charming and (I think) intentional way. I loved it.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 9
A must-have if you grew up with the NES. If you've played the original Ninja Gaiden trilogy and/or VICE: Project Doom, you know exactly what you're getting. If you haven't yet, here's what to expect: crisp 8-bit graphics, intriguing cutscenes, simple yet smooth controls, and a challenge that doesn't quit.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 25

Honestly, one of THE BEST retro indie games I've ever played.

Brings back the good memories from the NES era: great old-school graphics, epic soundtrack and amazing gameplay.

I would recomend it to every side-scrolling platformer/NES lover. Buy it, play it. You won't regret that.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 18
Retro style game. Ninja Gaiden-ish kinda game. Fun game. I died a lot. Would die again.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 24
It reminds me of what a chinese pirate cart from back in the day would be if they tried to copy Ninja Gaiden.

Just a very poorly designed game. The platforming is terrible. The level design is bland and terrible. The music is painfully generic and terrible. The variety is terrible. The bike levels are beyond terrible. The bosses are interesting to look at but very boring to destroy.

All this terribleness was finished in less than a hour. 53 mins and I beat the game and its bonus mission... I haven't even earned all the trading cards yet.

It's a technically ok game but you'd have to be REALLY hard up for NES type platforming, at its worst, to enjoy this game.
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109 of 120 people (91%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 5, 2014
The review blurbs don't lie: This game absolutely feels like it came right out of the late 80's NES but with fine tuned controls. Everything about it screams classic from the NES style color palette that neatly separates foreground from background and makes sure enemies stand out clearly to the hard as balls platforming and combat, to the sparse checkpoints and lives and unforgiving boss battles that can crush you in an instant if you don't learn their patterns.

Gameplay feels like a mix of Strider and Shatterhand with swords and grenades as your primary weapons. A power-up item lets you cast a crescent shaped beam half the length of the screen with your primary attack but fails after you've been hit twice, requiring you to not only master the new attack range to keep enemies at bay but also hone your platforming and dodging skills to maintain your elevated attack power for harder enemies later in the stage.

The Terminator meets Vexille meets any kind of robo apocalypse storyline is pure '80's cheese and it's glorious, especially when a dude called Rico calls you on what looks like an '80's portable TV while you're riding a bright green rocket powered jetski. There's even a villain that feels like a pure throwback to the infamous Cats from Zero Wing.

Despite all the homage to action games of the late '80's, Oniken manages to be its own beast. It doesn't feel especially unique but it doesn't have to as it's a masterfully crafted experience that's equal parts nostalgia trip and exciting. Even with the harsh difficulty I find myself wanting to see what the next screen will be, what the next villain will be, what's the next enemy the game will throw at me and what will it do.

The audio feels ripped right from the era too, a masterfully crafted score of synthetic sounding music that perfectly fits the tone and transports you back to a childhood full of bleeps and bloops and incredible ear-pleasure that you're sure your audio chip is having an ♥♥♥♥♥♥ to produce.

Controls are tight, responsive and the ability to use the dpad or analogue stick makes everything a bit easier (or more authentic depending on how you look at it). Restricting controls to two buttons (attack and jump, with grenade being up+attack) feels like an unnecessary nod to the NES but it's not restricting or annoying. Neither is the game in general - when you die it's almost always your own fault, you own mistake or lack of attention that causes you to fail. That said, enemies are fast and unpredictable (at least the first time you meet them) and you'll get caught off guard by a rushing machine or chucked grenade more than once.

So do I recommend the game? Absolutely. No other game even comes close to the level of authenticity that Oniken achieves and it's obviously a labour of love from the developers who are very talented. The game isn't perfect though, for all the praise I have to give it the flashing backgrounds in some cutscenes are an epileptics worst nightmare that can't be disabled (except by skipping the whole cutscene).

Score: 9/10 robots stabbed in the faceplate.
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49 of 57 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 5, 2014
A hero reminiscent of Kenshiro from Fist of the Northstar, 8-bit action and simple controls. Oniken is a snacksize-loveletter to oldschool gaming. Time flies as you run, jump and slash your way through six worlds of postapocalyptic battlefields, from underground facilities to cyberninja-infested forests. Many challenges await as you conquer one techno-dungeon after another in order to blow up the core and save innocent people from the robotic Deathforce.

Joymasher didn't hold back with the 80ies cheese and present a story heavily influenced by some of the greatest oldschool anime/manga you can imagine - any game that thanks Koichi Ohata in the credits can only mean action all the way and that is pretty much what Oniken delivers.

It's a throwback to the days of 8bit, equally inspired by NES as well as Master System titles, feeling like a lost game of that long gone era that suddenly appeared again. Obviously this means you spend your time jumping platforms, collecting powerups and slashing away at all kinds of badniks - only interrupting the carnage for massive, screen-filling bossbattles at the end of each stage while rocking out to some very cool chiptunes that remind me of various compositions on the MSX2.

Learning patterns and figuring out proper positioning is key to stopping the evil machines. While nowhere near as polished or deep as titles like Völgarr the Viking, Oniken's simplicity, combined with the high speed of the game and it's great sense of "anime-schlock" set it apart from similar titles on Steam, making it a nice addition to any library that already contains titles like the aforementioned Völgarr, Muri, the original Duken Nukems or the upcoming Metal Slug 3.

For all the retrofun this game provides, it's not without issues - it lacks a bit of polish in places, there are a bunch of odd hitboxes here and there and simply mashing "attack" often yields much better results than trying to avoid damage. But it is rather fair, replenishing your health upon entering a sub-stage and letting you restart in said sub-levels once you reached them. Stages aren't overly long and dying, while annoying, isn't all that big of a deal - especially since you can just select which level you want to start from in the main menu (if you have unlocked the stage that is).

Overall the difficulty seemed right for this kind of game, the truly godlike players can always try their hands at the new hardcore-mode, which is really a great challenge (finish the game in one session without replenished health between sub-stages and pretty much no deaths). There are also speedrunning-achievements and online-leaderboards - providing enough stuff to do if you beat the main game, turning the run'n'slashing action into a score/timeattack-type of title. There is a Boss Rush mode too, and you get the "Jenny"-bonus stage which was basically a proof of concept that run & gun-gameplay would work in Oniken. And because the Joymasher people are nice people, they have thrown in the soundtrack too - making the Steam version the definite version of Oniken to own, even if you might already have it on Desura or from someplace else.

In total Oniken is a pretty brilliant package, especially considering the price - while not flawless, it absolutely feels very "retro" and is all the more impressive considering it was just done in Multimedia Fusion. If you can accept the limitations in gameplay and control as a result of trying to ape classic 8-bit titles, Oniken will provide hours of (sometimes frustrating) oldschool fun for you. An excellent debut by Joymasher here on Steam.
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31 of 34 people (91%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 29, 2014
Oniken is a 2D run and sword action game. The controls are simple, attack, jump, duck, berserk and up + attack to throw a grenade. It is all so nice. The attack distance is good and can be boosted with power ups you find. You can hang from things. This game really goes the extra mile to make you think you're playing something for the original Nintendo, while most other games going for the nostalgia feel don't have actual 8 bit graphics and music. I feel such a buzz playing this game unlike other 'retro-ish' games that miss the mark with modernized graphics and sound.

The cut scenes are nice to look at, but the real fun of the game is the game play and the enemy variety. You'll see a lot of enemies and tackle them in different ways. For modern gamers the game might be seen as difficult due to the fact if you die, you restart the section of the level. Die at a boss, restart that entire section. You'll get better! Lose all of your lives and you'll have to restart the level. Each level mainly consists of 3 sections, each with a mini boss of some sort. Since the save file allows you to just jump to a level, if I die on the first section of a level, I just go back to the menu and warp to the level I was on. Kinda makes lives on the first section of each level pointless. You have a hefty health bar like Mega Man, so the game is pretty forgiving. Pits are of course instant death.

The level variety is a mixed bag. Some levels are just bluntly walk to the right, others make you scale to the top and still others put you in a jet ski with a scrolling screen. There are a few sections that feel open where you're free to make your own path, which feels good. Some levels are needlessly difficult with a lot of action happening, but if your a veteran of old Nintendo games, you should be used to it. If not, then make an angry video about it.

There isn't that much replayability for the game, there are a few hidden items, one per level, and there are achievements for beating a level without dying. The game saves your high score for each level, but really, once you've beaten the game, there's no reason to come back to it.

Again, this is an awesome game well worth $10, it is so awesome that I'd buy any other game this studio comes out with. They hit the nail on the head. If you aren't into old school Nintendo games, avoid it.
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30 of 34 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 15, 2014
HOKUTO NO ONIKEN. ONIKEN NO KENSHIRO. Whatever, THIS is the true 8-bit stuff. No pretentious, faux retro pixel stuff, this could've been a proper NES game back then, period. Only mechanical carnage, dismembering in technicolor. THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT, EVERYONE GO GET THIS. 100/100
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37 of 47 people (79%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 27, 2014
I have mixed feelings about retro style games that are mere copycats from the golden age of video games. I get the nostalgia aspect, but the odd reality is that I cherish the memory of playing those old school games more than I actually enjoy playing them today. When I do play them, it's an immediate reminder of where games are today and how far along games have come and why products have advanced the way they have. While old school games were considered technically superior in their time, they are considered technically inferior today. In fact, most games of yesteryear made the most of the technology available to them. So designing a technically inferior product today, on purpose, is not that impressive to me.

Many great old school games are classified as abandonware and the ROMs and emulation software can be easily found to play them for whatever gaming system you cherished the most. Find them, play them, and try to enjoy them the same way you did 30 years ago. I've tried, but it's not the same. Reflecting on the memories of playing them gives me more pleasure.

Oniken is a good copycat from an era gone by, nothing more, nothing less.
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21 of 22 people (95%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
Obviously the retro-style 2D platforming repopularization results in some awful quality games that aren't worth a penny. Luckily, Oniken is no such thing. Oniken is a beautiful gem of a game that I am so happy I encountered. Yes, it is frustrating; yes it is difficult. But that is precisely why you will love it. Too many of the games in this style have the visuals but lack the heart of old school NES-era games. This game gets it. And so should you.
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40 of 57 people (70%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 5, 2014
I follow the development of the game since the beginning and I'm glad to see Oniken on Steam. Great platform game, tough as hell to beat and gives the player tons of fun. Highly recommended! =D
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17 of 17 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2014
Very fun action-platformer with a great soundtrack and high difficulty, that unlike most attempts at retro games really could pass for the real deal.
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29 of 43 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 5, 2014
Oniken is one amazing game from the times where games taught us about persistence and strength. It's not hard just to ♥♥♥♥ you off, it's hard but very rationally logical. It challenges you and progressively teaches you to master the gameplay. You finish the game feeling awesome for actually accomplishing something, which is a feeling many players hadn't had in 20 years.
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15 of 19 people (79%) found this review helpful
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 19, 2014
A lot of side-scrollers, platformers, retro-looking games claim to be "old-school" and play like the good 'ol games from the NES era. - They all lie.
Games like Blood of The Werewolf, Super Meatboy etc etc...they are all good games but they don't feel nor play like NES games.
Just because you have a 2D side-scroller that is super hard doesn't mean that it's "old-school".

But here comes Oniken. I was sure that it's 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!

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 looks like from Ninja Gaiden...which is nice. Don't be afraid tho, the game is not as hard as Ninja Gaiden. It's challenging, sure, but it's not hard.
I managed to finish the entire game in 5h...it's possible to speedrun through the game in 15-30 minutes tho.
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.

If you're looking for a throwback then this is it. Look no further! Buy Oniken!
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