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IO's Mini Ninjas arrives September

Hitman dev drops mature image.

Eidos has announced an 11th September launch for Mini Ninjas, the next game from Hitman and Kane & Lynch developer IO Interactive.

There's no gritty realism, swearing and brutal murder here, however, but wholesome cartoon slapstick with swirly cel-shaded clouds.

"With 10 years in the bag, many of the developers here have started families and wanted to take a stab at making games that they could enjoy with their kids," reveals the developer on the Mini Ninjas website.

Despite that, IO still promises "great depth". "It's as much an IOI title as Hitman or Kane & Lynch," we're assured.

Mini Ninjas follows Hiro, who must seek out a posse to stop the Evil Samurai Warlord turning all the world's animals into mindless henchmen on a quest for domination. Hiro has the power of Kuji Magic on his side, and appears to be able to turn into animals and stop time, if gameplay videos are to be believed.

There's no co-op, sadly, but you can play as all the mini-ninjas you round up to support your cause.

Mini Ninjas is in development for DS, PC, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360.