Enter the Ninjew

Avenger in a shtreimel rights a few historic wrongs — and still has time to be home in time for Shabbat


A new game for smartphones will allow Jews to wreak revenge on their historical oppressors.

Angry Jew, set to be released in November on Android phones, features an eponymous hero, with a black hat and peyot, taking on a side-scrolling world filled with 19th-century European enemies.

One of the game’s designers, Tel Aviv resident Gil Elnekave, said that as well as reflecting a centuries-old tradition of Jewish humour, crushing Cossacks lets out the “little angry Jew in each of us.

“Growing up on those stories and learning of the hardships that Jews had to deal with from their general surroundings, we figured it would be a funny concept if one Jew fights back — a Ninjew. We think it’s time that Jews had a graphic representative in the world of video games.”

Mr Elnekave has stated that “our main goal is to have fun, and to bring a smile to as many faces as we can”.

Ray Weigel, the editor of app review site, observed that “initial previews of the game have been mostly positive. It’s hard to make any real judgment about the game’s content and playability, but the quirky graphics and smooth action imply that it will be a solid game.”

However, Mr Weigel sounded a note of caution about the game’s use of Jewish stereotypes. “We hope the developers are sensitive to Jewish history and culture, while still including enough humour to make us laugh.”

Fortunately, the game’s Jewish designers seem to be respecting their religious heritage, with the main character’s death marked by the Hebrew message zichrono livracha, which means “may his memory be blessed”.

If Angry Jew is successful, the developers intend to make it available for iPhones as well as introducing new challenges, including the Exodus from Egypt and the Spanish Inquisition. There are also plans for a destructive dreidel and a time-based mode in which the hero has to rush home before the start of Shabbat.

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