Around the mid-1990s, the generation of game developers who grew up with classic fixed-shooters like Galaga and Space Invaders decided to create games that used that same mechanic but in a much more manic fashion. They started experimenting with bullets that shoot in interesting patterns that mostly filled the whole screen. These manic shooter games were later given their own genre and are now known as Bullet Hell. This genre eventually gave rise to popular games that adapted that mechanic such as Touhou and Undertale.
On the other hand, the earliest emergence of a game close to today’s Endless Runner games was in 1983’s B.C.’s Quest for Tires. It was a horizontally scrolling video game that involved jumping over potholes and ducking under tree branches. However it wasn’t until 2009, when Canabalt was released, that more games started featuring this gameplay mechanic. Two years later, Temple Run introduced a 3D over-the-shoulder viewpoint for this type of game which inspired more games to innovate. Kinja Run is one example of such a game.
From the creators of Archero, PunBall and Flaming Core comes a new Shooter-Runner title to dominate iOS and Android devices worldwide. Kinja Run adapts the classic bullet hell gameplay (such as Touhou and Nuclear Throne) and combines it with endless runner gameplay (such as Temple Run and Subway Surfers) to create an innovative mobile game that will surely fill up your idle time. Habby definitely stepped up and made this game as fun and robust as they possibly can.
Not quite sure where to start? Having a tough time getting through stages? Want a few tips on improving your equipment? Worry not for we at Level Winner have got you covered! After extensively playing the game, we present to you our own beginner’s guide to Kinja Run!
1. Change your approach when shifting perspective!
The objective of Kinja Run is to avoid obstacles and attacks while killing enemies that come your way. Unlike some shooters where there is a button for shooting, in this game, your character will automatically shoot when you move them below the enemy. In later levels, once you gain better weapons or in later stages of a run, once you get more skills, you may not even have to aim or position yourself to attack them. As long as they’re in your character’s line of sight or range, they will attack.
Kinja Run shifts between 2 perspectives in each run: The Running Perspective and The Shooting Perspective. You need to use a different approach for each one.
The Running Perspective imitates classic endless runner games like Temple Run and Sonic Dash. In this perspective, you move your character horizontally to the left or right to avoid obstacles, dodge or aim at enemies. Always pay attention to where you’re running or where your jumps will land.
Follow where the coins are. Killing enemies in this perspective is not the priority and while you could get more points for killing them, survival is more important. Failing to avoid enemies and obstacles will lower your health but it is even worse if you manage to fall out of the path. You won’t die immediately, but it will take a considerably large amount of your health.
The Shooting Perspective imitates bullet hell games like Bullet Heaven and Nuclear Throne. In this perspective, you can move your character around in the lower half part of your screen to dodge enemy attacks or aim at enemies. There’s more range of movement in this mode but you won’t need to worry about falling or dodging the stage’s obstacles.
More focus is put towards dodging attacks and attacking enemies. You cannot move on from this perspective until you kill off all of the enemies. You can tell when you’re about to enter the Shooting Perspective when the path in front of you seems more spacious than previous paths and has no visible obstacles.
2. Don’t panic! Observe and dodge carefully
Generally, the best way to dodge obstacles and attacks is to carefully move in small increments instead of rushing and sliding your character from one position to the next in far distances. You are more likely to hit another obstacle, enemy or bullet when you do that.
In the Running Perspective, bullets usually come straight towards your character and your main focus is avoiding obstacles. However, dodging bullets is a lot more important in the Shooting Perspective so the tips in this section will focus on that.
The bullets that enemies shoot during the Shooting Perspective spread out more as it reaches the end of your screen, giving you a better chance to dodge it so it is recommended to mostly stay at the bottom of the screen unless the situation calls for you to move forward to dodge certain bullets.
It may seem overwhelming to see so many things on the screen at first, but once you become familiar with your enemies’ patterns of attack, it becomes a lot easier to avoid them. Below are a few examples of attack patterns we have observed during our playthroughs:
This attack comes straight at you but usually takes up a narrow space in your screen. It is generally easy to avoid by moving to the side. This attack may come with more than one bullet.
This attack is slightly similar to The Straight but comes with more bullets and takes up a wider space in your screen. They are slightly angled in a fan-shape but usually have enough spaces in between each line for you to walk through them and avoid.
This attack fires bullets in a curved arc. Bullets may come all at once or one at a time. Most attacks that use this pattern move slowly but some may also zoom fast. Position yourself along the gaps as they come forward in order to avoid them.
This is the most common attack pattern in the game and takes on several variations. Some variations will release a circle one at a time, some come in bursts while some have larger gaps in specific spots in the circle. Another variation of this is a spiral formation where the enemy will release the bullets one at a time. Like The Arc, you just need to position yourself along the line where the gaps are to avoid them.
This attack may start as The Scatter, The Circle or other attack patterns and only show their wiggling pattern later on or start immediately with it. This moves a lot faster than The Wavy and tends to be unpredictable. You have to move along the wiggling in order to successfully avoid them. They are a lot harder to avoid than most attack patterns, especially the ones that are followed by hollow circles since it makes their movements a lot more confusing to follow.
This attack often starts as a Circle that fires out in bursts before scattering in a wavy pattern. You need to actively move your character as these bullets reach you in order to avoid them. You may have to move forward along the curve instead of waiting for it to come to you to get rid of the danger immediately. However, don’t move too close to the middle of your screen as much as possible because the enemy could launch another attack right after.
This attack usually starts as a Circle but suddenly spins around once it has reached halfway down the area of the screen that you can move in. These are generally easy to avoid but may be a bit surprising the first time around since you don’t normally expect it.
This attack usually starts as a circle with large bullets or with the enemy throwing bombs on the ground. These large bullets or bombs explode into smaller bullets, making circles of their own. These are very tricky and difficult to avoid and may require you to have some sort of healing or protective skill applied to your character in order to survive it. If not, you may need to kill the enemy as soon as you can before it fires this attack or before they fire more attacks like this.
This attack has the enemy releasing bullets that scatter about without a specific pattern. These bullets typically move slowly so they aren’t completely unavoidable. However, since they don’t have a specific pattern, it may sometimes be more difficult to avoid than circles.
The Laser Line
This attack launches a red laser at your character but does not damage them immediately. It is only after the laser disperses that a bullet or series of bullets are launched straight to the direction where the red laser was before it disappeared.
There’s no need to avoid the red laser since it will just keep tracking you. What you need to do is avoid the attack that comes after the laser. So right after the red laser disappears, move your character aside since these attacks just move in a straight line.
The Laser Pointer
This attack functions similarly to The Laser Line but instead of a line pointing towards your character, a red dot appears on the floor. This dot will pulse a few times before disappearing and launching a bomb at the spot. As long as you keep in mind that the red dot won’t actually hurt you, it will make it easier for you to get out of the way once the real attack launches.
This attack is the trickiest to dodge since it starts out with an attack pattern like the ones stated above before suddenly following your character around. In this case, you can’t just keep your character at the bottom of the screen and dodge like how you avoid some attack patterns. You need to keep moving until they eventually fade away.
Before you start each stage, you are given a chance to choose a skill out of three randomly generated ones. Choosing the right ones for your run is optimal for your survival and success. In order to do that, it’s useful to have basic knowledge on what each skill does since the game will not tell you the specifics of what they do until you select them. We have compiled several skills we’ve encountered through our playthroughs and categorized them below:
These skills can boost your character’s stats such as Attack Speed, Attack Damage, Crit Rate and Damage from Combos, Shadow Warriors and other special skills. These are always a good choice to invest in when the other skills among your choices don’t seem to work with what you’ve already chosen or when you’re not sure which to pick.
These skills affect your character’s attacks. These are categorized into three: Kunai or Weapon Skills, Offhand Skills and Shadow Warrior Skills. Combining these skills together will increase the number of combos you make in each run.
These skills can modify the way your character’s weapon attacks work, the number of projectiles they launch and other special attack effects.
These skills only trigger when you’re in the Shooting Perspective. These Offhand skills can give your character a secondary attack, letting them strike with effects that are independent from your main weapon’s attacks.
These skills only trigger when you’re in the Shooting Perspective. These Shadow Warriors act like minions who attack alongside you, following your movements and positioning themselves where you previously were. You need to move left and right in order to maneuver your Shadow Warriors to a different position.
These skills can heal or protect you from damage. It’s essential to have at least one or two skills from this list to increase your character’s survivability.
4. Choose your skills wisely
In general, you’d want to have a good balance between Stat-boosting Skills, Attack-modifying Skills and Life-saving Skills. Having too much of one thing can strengthen one aspect but give you a disadvantage in another. You’ll need to have at least one of each skill during your run.
Attack-modifying Skills play a huge role during your runs because they improve the performance or effects of your attacks. While it may be exciting to combine as many of Attack-modifying Skills that increase projectiles as you can, be careful not to focus solely on only getting Kunai or Weapon Skills. These may make bosses or fights in Shooting Perspective easy but it will crowd your screen and make it very difficult to avoid obstacles during Running Perspective.
Aside from that, it could slow down your game if your phone cannot handle it. It is best to get just enough of them in order to get rid of the enemies that appear in the Running Perspective quickly then just invest in Offhand or Shadow Warriors for the rest since they only get triggered during the Shooting Perspective which does not require you to constantly watch out for obstacles where you run.
Stat-Boosting Skills are the second important skill to choose. You usually choose these skills if you’ve already gotten enough attack-modifying skills to support you through your run or if one of the high Stat-Boosting Skills that can be applied to any attack show up (Omniboost or skills with L).
However, the effectiveness of these skills rely a lot on what Attack-modifying Skills you have. A Shadow Warrior – Empower skill, which increases the damage dealt by your Shadow Warriors, will only be effective if you have a Shadow Warrior and even more so if you have multiple of them.
Life-saving Skills are not entirely important in the first few levels since your character won’t have too much difficulty surviving even without them. However, as you play and get through later levels, where enemies have become stronger and obstacles become trickier, these skills become a lot more important. In some cases, it may even become more important than Stat-Boosting Skills.
One or two of these skills is advised but as much as possible, don’t choose Heal-S, Heal-M or Heal-L since it will only heal you once and will not be useful any other time. The only time you should choose them is if your character is very near death.
5. Upgrade your stats and talents
As you play, you will eventually level up and face stronger enemies and more complicated obstacles. It’s important to stay on top of upgrades, especially when you find yourself struggling to finish later levels. In the Talent page, you will see two columns of icons. The left side shows you stats that improve your character while the right side shows you Talents that grants you special abilities.
You can unlock stats with coins but only a certain number of stats can be bought every time you level up. However, not every stat is available on every level. Below are the stats that you can increase:
New Talents can only be unlocked at certain levels using Talent Stones. These Talents can greatly give you an edge during your runs. However, Talent Stones are a lot harder to come by and may require you to do many runs before you can unlock these special abilities. Below are the Talents that you can unlock:
6. Improve your equipment
Talents and Skills are not the only things that can influence the success of your runs. You can also equip your character with weapons, armor and accessories which can change the effects of your attacks and increase your stats among other benefits. There are two ways to improve your equipment in Kinja Run: by upgrading them with Books or by merging them together.
Upgrading Equipment with Books
You can upgrade your equipment and increase their stats by using Forging / Training Books that are specific to the type of equipment you are upgrading. These books can be obtained through runs or bought in the shop. However, the books available in the shop always vary and are replaced each day. The number of books consumed increases per level. The first four level ups require only 1 book while the next levels will increase the number every 2 levels.
We highly suggest focusing on Green or Blue-ranked equipment and above and avoiding leveling up Gray-ranked ones to make the most out of your books.
However, when you are starting out, it is difficult to completely avoid these mistakes. If you upgraded an equipment by mistake, you can always reset it by clicking on the red Dismantle button in the equipment’s page. This will return most of the upgrade materials and coins.
Craft to merge your Equipment
Crafting is the only way to rank up your equipment. Ranking up will increase your equipment’s max lvl and HP (for armor) or ATK (for weapons and accessories). Each equipment also has their own magic attributes which are unlocked once they reach a certain rank color. The ranking system for equipment is as follows:
- Epic +1
- Epic +2
- Legend +1
- Legend +2
- Legend +3
- Mythic +1
- Mythic +2
- Mythic +3
Anything with the gold trimmings is considered Divine equipment. These equipment have unique and special effects and are very difficult to obtain. We highly advise investing on these items when you obtain them as they will give you the most advantage during your runs. The Divine title is separate from rankings and cannot be crafted.
For any equipment in the Gray, Green and Blue Rankings, you need to have three duplicates of an item in order to merge them to rank them up. When it comes to equipment in the Purple, Yellow and Red rankings, you only need to merge them with 1 equipment of the same type and ranking but not necessarily a duplicate.
Activities are unlocked at level 9 and act as mini-games. At the time of writing this, the only activities available are Puffer Sushi Clash and Scroll Trials. Activities do not require you to spend any energy to play them and are a good source of Gold and Books.
Puffer Sushi Clash
The main objective of Puffer Sushi Clash is to kill as many pufferfish as you can before the timer runs out. Unlike regular runs, there are no skills that you can apply to your character and the puffer fish don’t attack.
You will be relying solely on your character’s equipment. If you have a weapon that can attack multiple targets at a time like Frost Wand, it is possible to let the game play itself since there are no obstacles that need to be avoided and your character will just automatically attack.
Still, we recommend playing it actively as you will get the most rewards out of it that way. Pufferfishes become tougher as you play the game and actively playing will let you concentrate on one pufferfish at a time to ensure that you kill at least one. These pufferfishes don’t stick around until you kill them. They will only be on screen for a certain amount of time before they are replaced with new, full-health pufferfish.
Once the timer runs out, don’t be so quick to exit the game and claim your rewards. Wait for your character to finish attacking since anything they attack at this point will still count towards your final score. Coins are the only rewards you can obtain from this mini-game. This activity is only available to play on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and can only be played 3 times a day.
The main objective of Scroll Trials is to kill all 20 bosses before the timer runs out. The bosses that appear are randomized and are different for each run. If you die before killing the final boss, you will still be rewarded based on how many bosses you killed. Unlike regular runs, you won’t be given skills or a rest between bosses.
You immediately face the boss when you start and another boss will be summoned as soon as you kill the first. While playing this mini-game, you will be given silver coins after a boss is defeated which you can use to buy potions to heal yourself or an attack damage or attack speed boost.
Keep in mind that each purchase will increase the price of your next purchase from the same item. You can purchase these at any point during your run, even while you’re fighting against bosses.
This mini-game is the best way to practice fighting against bosses and learning the different attack patterns that may appear in your regular runs. Books are the only rewards you can obtain from this mini-game. This activity is only available to play on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and can only be played 2 times a day.
There are many freebies and rewards you can obtain as you play the game which could be left unclaimed if you don’t know where to look. Luckily, we have looked through the game and listed down every claimable freebie and reward in Kinja Run below!
Daily Login Bonus
The Daily Login Bonus are rewards you can claim during the first 7 days that you play the game. Skipping days won’t affect the day count so you can be rest assured that these bonuses will be there until you’ve claimed it for 7 days. The game may also offer you a pack that you can buy after you’ve finished claiming everything.
These level chests become claimable once you play the level they are on and earn a certain amount of points and finish the run. They are easy to ignore and forget since they’re small but don’t forget to click on them and claim it, especially once you unlock the third chest!
Seasonal Rewards vary per season and are claimable once you earn a certain amount of points and level up through the reward tiers. You can claim them by clicking on the yellow button that says “claim” above. These have two different batches of rewards: free and King Pass.
King Pass has to be bought with real money before you can claim them but you won’t need to pay anything if you just want to claim the free rewards. If you change your mind later and decide to buy King Pass, you can claim the unlocked unclaimed rewards on the other side at any time.
Always a good idea to check out Event Sales even if you are not planning to spend real money because sometimes you can claim a pack just by watching an Ad. The same goes for Daily Deals, Shop Chests and Gold purchases from the shop. The leftmost options will always be free to claim by watching an ad.
Use your keys
You will sometimes receive keys for Bronze Chests or Diamond Chests in your runs and when you do, you can go to the Shop and unlock one of the chests it can open. Most of these Chests can only be opened with Diamonds or by watching ads, but the option to open them with a key will show up once you’ve obtained one.
Hang Up Rewards
Hang Up Rewards are awarded per hour. Even if you are away and not actively playing the game, just opening the game every few hours will earn you Gold, Experience Points and even Books. The amount of Gold and Experience Points you get varies per day. There is also an option to use Quick Return to claim 6 hours worth of hang-up rewards by paying 50 Gems or watching an ad.
The mail is one of the easily forgettable places to look for freebies. For your first time playing the game, the developers will automatically send you some freebies in the mail. They will also send some after an update or maintenance as a consolation for not being able to play the game for a period of time.
The Newbie Carnival contains quests that you can accomplish which rewards you with Gems. We highly recommend finishing as many of these quests as you can in order to make the most out of it. These quests only last for the first 6 days that you play the game.
Daily Quests are quests that can only be done within the day before it resets. You can only gain Coins from quests and will only be rewarded with a few Gems once all quests have been accomplished.
Tasks are quests that take a lot longer to finish and may take several days, weeks or months and do not have a time limit. Accomplishing a certain quest will immediately replace it with a quest that is a harder version of the previous. You can earn Gems and even Keys from Tasks.
9. Spend Wisely
When you buy stuff with in-game currency, you don’t normally think too hard about what you buy. These currencies can be replenished as you play the game after all. However, if you want to save some Coins or Gems and get the most out of them, we have two tips that can come in handy:
• Daily Deals
It’s always worth checking out the daily deals, especially if you’ve got Coins and Gems to burn as they offer a lower price for items they feature. Not interested in any of them? You can wait for a few hours and they will be replaced with new items. The selection changes every 24 hours and you can check how much time is left until it refreshes under the banner. They usually offer Training Books and Equipment.
• Buying Chests
When you go to the shop, you are given a few options to buy chests:
Buying a Bronze Chest for 60 Gems has a drop rate of 30% for Superior Equipment and 70% for Normal Equipment. We don’t particularly recommend buying this chest often as you won’t really get any high ranking equipment from it.
If you need extra Normal or Excellent equipment for merging purposes, this might be the only time to buy it. However, in most cases, you might be better off doing more runs and getting those duplicates that way instead.
Buying a Diamond Chest for 250 Gems may be pricey, but it will guarantee that you won’t get Normal equipment. It has a drop rate of 55% for Superior Equipment, 40% for Rare Equipment, 4.5% for Epic Equipment and 0.5% for Divine Equipment. If you failed to get an Epic or Divine Equipment from 9 of your Diamond Chests, you are guaranteed one on your 10th purchase. However, if you get an Epic or Divine before 10 purchases, the counter resets. There is also an option to buy 10 Diamond Chests at a time.
Buying a Diamond Chest from the Ancient Hallows works the same as the Diamond Chest purchase, but this one’s drop rate has 53.5% for Superior Equipment and 2% for Divine Equipment. However, the only Divine Equipment you would most likely get is the one displayed in the box. In this option, you will be guaranteed an Epic or Divine Chest after 10 purchases and the featured Equipment after 50 purchases.
Like the second option, the counter resets if you get them before reaching 10 and 50 purchases respectively. This option may be the best option to go for because of the higher percentage of Divine Equipment (assuming you want the featured item). But even if the featured item is not what you particularly want to get, if you do get it, you can always merge it with another Epic or divine equipment.
But if you really want to save more gems, buying 10 Chests at a time will save you 300 Gems compared to if you buy 10 Chests separately at different times.
While it is perfectly possible to play the game without spending money, you may want to purchase extra Gems or certain packages at some point. Some players buy them to get more Chests, Coins or Equipment while some players may want to do so as a way to support the developers of the game. No matter the reason, it’s always a good idea to review your options before using your credit card.
• First Gem Purchases
First time gem purchases give you twice the amount of gems. This may be enticing to the eye and may tempt you to purchase the option with the lowest cost in order to save money. However, if you can only spend as much as the lowest option, you are better off saving your money and buying the Discounted Packs or Puffer Pouch instead.
If you really want to purchase from these options but not spend too much, choose the second lowest option instead. If you want a little more than that, consider checking Super Gem Rewards instead.
• Puffer Pouch
Puffer Pouch fills up with Gems as you play and you can obtain them once you buy the item.In order to make the most out of your purchase, you have to wait for it to fill up to its maximum number of Gems before you buy it. However, you have to purchase it within a 24-hour period because it will empty up after a day and you will have to fill it up again. It’s a great option to gain more Gems from your money.
At some point while you play, Puffer Pouch may change into Puffer Pouch Super. This version is a lot more expensive than the previous one, takes a longer time to fill up but will reward you with more gems. Its cost and reward is four times the amount of the regular Puffer Pouch. This offer will not always be available.
• Timed Discount Packs
Everytime you finish a chapter, a Timed Discount Pack becomes available in the shop. These Discount Packs usually have Gems, Coins, Keys, Books and Equipment. The further along the game you are, the more expensive the packs are but you also get more Gems and items.
The first two are not really worth spending money on since they only offer a low amount of Gems and Gold. Gold is easy to come by, especially if you play Puffer Sushi Clash. He suggests purchasing Timed Discount Packs from Chapter 10 and above since it replaces Gold with Talent Stones or Equipment.
• Super Gem Rewards
This offers the most bang to your buck since you can obtain up to 24,000 Gems for a much lower price than the ones offered in the Shop. However, you can only gain these Gems after every 5th level up.
This may not be the best option for players who want the Gems immediately but it can be the best purchase for players who want something to work towards as they play. This purchase will reward you with Gems from level 5 up to level 50. You can choose to buy this immediately or buy it once you reach level 50 so you can gain all Gems in one go.
• King Pass
Each season, you can claim free rewards and paid rewards. Everything in the King Pass is paid. You only need to pay and activate the King Pass once to access all the locked items on the right side. Once all items are claimed when you reach the 30th level, you can obtain 1 additional reward for every 3,000 points of Ninja Codex EXP gained.
You also get higher Max Energy and 20% more from your Idle Earnings. You don’t get as many Gems from purchasing this option but you do get Bronze Keys, Training Books, Talent Stones and Guaranteed Epic Equipment (up to 3). It’s not an essential purchase and doesn’t offer that much so only purchase it if you’ve already purchased the other options.
• Event Sales
Sometimes the game offers sales during an event like their Summer Sale. Each option can only be bought once. The packs presented change per event so their value or practicality may be different every time.
For the Summer Sale in particular, the most alluring choice is the last option which is also the most expensive since it includes an Epic Divine item. However, before you press buy, do your research online and see what the item does first. The Kinja Run Wiki would be the best place for this.
• Timed Packs
These packs appear when certain milestones are reached like getting to level 5 or claiming all the rewards from the first 7 logins. We think that the other packs still give better value but these may be good options depending on your needs. Like Event Sales, they change all the time and their value or practicality may vary.
• Chapter Clear Reward
This pack does not offer any Gems but does give you more Equipment that may potentially be better or could merge with your duplicates. You get the rewards that are displayed only after you clear a chapter.
However, it only covers up to Chapter 9 and gives you only 2 Epic Equipment. You may be better off buying Gems to use for opening Chests if that is the only thing you’re after. If you also want more Talent Books, this may be the pack for you as it is very generous in providing them.
And this marks the end of our beginner’s guide to Kinja Run! We hope that our tips become instrumental to your advancements, chapter after chapter and boss after boss! As you plow further into the game and discover tips and tricks of your own, feel free to share with other fellow Kinja Run enthusiasts in the comment section!