Perfect(ly Not Safe) For Work: Dojo Of Death

When I first discovered Dojo of Death, I played it once and deemed it a nice distraction but ultimately not worth writing about. But then I made a mistake: I left its tab open in my browser. The arcade-y slasher, incredibly simplistic though it might be, provides just the right amount of deliciously squishy slicing and dicing in small doses. So I’d do some work, finish a task, and then click over to that browser tab. There it was waiting for me, each of its mechanics tuned to make my id giggle with glee. Dashing forward cutting down multiple enemies in the blink of an eye, charging so hard that arrows flying right at me split in two on impact. There is very, very little to Dojo of Death, but that is enough.

The whole game takes place in one room. Two enemy types spawn, and you kill them by clicking to dash in their general direction. Others might poof right into your path, but they’ll only be cut down. Everybody will be cut down. Even you, eventually.

Unless you’re really, really, really good, games end up lasting only a minute or two. But the core feel of the game is so good that I can’t stop going back to it. Slish, spluck, splat. It’s nothing tremendously innovative, but the basics leave my brain afloat in a soup of adrenaline-spiced dopamine.

There is, however, one element that’s subtly brilliant and also kind of hilarious. Difficulty increases over time not because enemies get smarter or start pulling out new tricks, but because you amass so many corpses that it’s hard to tell who’s meeting their maker and who’s just milliseconds from introducing you to yours. Evil ninjas are camouflaged by their own dead. How’s that for a battle strategy?

I’d actually really like to see these basic mechanics adapted into some kind of faster-paced Binding-of-Isaac roguelike thing, but for now Dojo of Death is the perfect game to have open in your browser for, like, three days. Play a couple rounds, do some work, play a couple rounds, do some work, etc. You know, unless your office place frowns upon gallons of gore and mountains of ninja corpses. I can’t really help you there.

You can give it a try for free here.


  1. Penguin_Factory says:

    Cool concept. I kind of wish someone would make a mobile version of this where you swipe to slash in a direction, the mouse controls are a little awkward.

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      FhnuZoag says:

      I like the mouse controls, actually. If it was swipe based, my finger would obscure what is going on.

  2. amateurviking says:


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    Graham Smith says:

    Like Nathan, I’ve been going back and playing this every day for the past week. It’s deceptively moreish.

  4. Scytale says:

    They neeeeeed to make a mobile version of this.

  5. tomeoftom says:

    Pretty satisfying but nothing will top Too Many Ninjas

  6. Viroso says:

    Not many people know but dashing is the most fun thing to do in any game, second place is flying and third place is bouncing projectiles off walls.

  7. Brosecutor says:

    It reminds me of Fruit Ninja, only instead of fruit, you slice and dice other ninjae. NINJA NINJA!

  8. SillyWizard says:

    Hay! This is really fun!

    Thanks for the tip, NG.

    • Fenix says:

      Porpentine included this in last week’s Live Free Play Hard. Kind of sad to see RPS people ignore that :(

  9. frightlever says:

    Any way of playing this fullscreen?