TinyNinjas Board Game Review
So few games now-a-days can be taken out and about, played anywhere and everywhere, with little setup and almost no time commitment. Whether travelling on a train, flying through the skies, or simply sitting down with friends around a coffee shop table, having something you can pull out of a backpack or a purse, and play with friends is an extraordinary. Enter TinyNinjas, a card and dice game for two players that can be learned and played within 15 to 20 minutes! How does it hold up? Let’s dive in!
The concept behind TinyNinjas is actually fairly straightforward. Each player will be dealt a hand of 5 ninjas from the Dojo pile (facetown pile on the left side of the box), and these five cards will be used for both attacking and defending. Once players have determined who goes first, the attacker attempts to damage the defender, taking hitpoints away from the 10 they begin with. There are two types of attacks: red attacks which are very common and somewhat easy to defend against, and blue attacks which are much more rare, and therefore harder to defend against.
As there are more red attack cards than blue attack cards, there are also more red defense cards than blue defense cards. Red defense but me played against red attacks, and blue defense must be placed against blue attacks. Yellow defense cards – which are incredibly valuable – can be used to defend either red or blue attacks.
Planning on how much to attack, and how much to save for defense, is incredibly important and is where the strategy in this game lies. As the attacking player, when you officially pass and become the defender, you only can defend with the cards remaining in your hand, while the defending player draws new cards – up to 5 – from the dojo, before beginning their own attack phase. While using 3, 4, and perhaps 5 cards while attacking could leave your opponent in a tough place, you open up yourself to repeated, un-defendable attacks yourself. How far do you push it?
Other ninja cards with special abilities can be added to the game to add some spice, but it is advisable to play with just the regular cards first to get a better handle on the game and the many mechanics. Players can also use sensie tokens – 3 times per game – that will provide various bonuses like defending against a specific attack, or healing some health.
The game includes two custom dice that each can be read in two ways. One die has 3 colours, as well as symbols from 1- 6, allow it to be read as a number die or a colours die. The other two colours – black and white – and has 3 different numbers, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, and 3. When these dice rolls are compared to the ninja card, attack and defence numbers are then calculated and a final ‘score’ for that battle is calculated.
With such an easy learning curve, lots to strategy, and the opportunity to literally take this game anywhere, there are few reasons to not at least investigate purchasing TinyNinjas. I’me extremely pleased to have this in my collection!