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You control a shinobi, Joe Musashi, who must battle his way through each level in search of hostages which must be rescued. You have shurikens, kicks and punches to defend yourself with, as well as powerful ninja magic which can clear the screen of enemies in one go.

Each level is broken down into smaller scenes, and hostages are guarded by big blokes who throw swords. Watch out for gun-toting enemy henchmen and ninjas.

Reaching the end of each level will find you battling it out with a boss. These range from 8ft tall giants to helicopter gunships.


Shinobi DOS Marilyn Monroe wallpaper
Shinobi Arcade Boss appears (and escape)
Shinobi TurboGrafx-16 One of the kidnapped children is protected by the guard
Shinobi Amstrad CPC Stage 1.2

Promo Images

Shinobi Screenshot
Shinobi Screenshot
Shinobi Screenshot
Shinobi Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "忍" -- Japanese spelling
  • "SEGA AGES: Shinobi" -- Nintendo Switch title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

A “modified port” of the original game SEGA Master System Katakis | カタキス (42253)
One of the best action games for the Amstrad CPC! Amstrad CPC Wurtzly (1138)
Always in a special place in our hearts! DOS Iron Lord (44)
A colorful and challenging title featuring abundant ninjas SEGA Master System Chris Wright (105)
One of the classic platformers, classic arcade game Arcade Andrew Fisher (707)
How dare they! NES Fake Spam (94)
P-E-R-F-E-C-T-I-O-N-! TurboGrafx-16 Fake Spam (94)

Critic Reviews

Game Freaks 365 SEGA Master System Jun 15, 2005 9.6 out of 10 96
The Games Machine (UK) SEGA Master System Jan, 1989 82 out of 100 82
Power Play TurboGrafx-16 May, 1990 78 out of 100 78
Video Games SEGA Master System Mar, 1991 78 out of 100 78 SEGA Master System Dec 22, 2002 7.3 out of 10 73
HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) SEGA Master System Jan 12, 2004 7 out of 10 70
Retro Archives TurboGrafx-16 Oct 20, 2021 13 out of 20 65
Amiga Computing Amiga Jan, 1990 53 out of 100 53 NES Oct 26, 2020 5 out of 10 50
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) NES Apr, 1990 18 out of 40 45


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1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Shinobi appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Arcade Version

In comparison to the original arcade version, there are a few missing features in the TurboGrafx-16 version (the status of the other home conversions is unknown): the machine gun, the bonus round and a few enemies (including the boss of the second mission).

Hidden messages

The Amiga version contains this message to crackers, hidden within the game code:
Fuck me! I never thought you would do it!! Bet it took a long time though!
By the way, the only way to crack this game is if you have at least 4mb of fast ram... theres a hint! Are you enjoying this, by the way? Me (Richard Aplin) and Tim (the programmer) thought we might give you a little challange... I reckon I'll hold you off for about a week. Oh, by the way Quartex, you told me at the SAE party this would be EASY.. Well is it? I'm sure POPULOUS was easy too! (hehe)
Well, obviously you weren't fooled earlier!! I'm impressed! Not a bad bit of hacking.. but the best is yet to come!! Hehehehehe.. Just wait, cos now it gets REALLY good..
If you are reading this message on a pirated version of Shinobi, may all your days in prison be computerless!


Shinobi in Japanese means: stealing (into); spy; sneak thief; surreptitious visit to house of ill repute. The Chinese character displayed on the title screen and throughout the game is the character for Shinobi in Japanese.

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Contributed to by sgtcook (1312), PCGamer77 (3231), Kam1Kaz3NL77 (407224), Martin Smith (76544), Pseudo_Intellectual (63686), Macintrash (2633), Игги Друге (46321), Ben K (23888) and Katakis | カタキス (42253)