Today Jellybean Games is launching Ninjitsu!, a stand-along sequel to their hit card game, Scuttle!. My family is already a huge fan of the pirate-filled Scuttle! and its expansions, and was excited to get a prototype of Ninjitsu! so they could add ninjas to the mix.
For those unfamiliar with Scuttle!, it’s based off Cuttle, a card game using a standard deck of playing cards where players try to create a layout of 21 points in front of them. Scuttle! adds a pirate theme, updated rules, and some clever new special abilities that make it a fast, family-friendly game that can be played in the span of 5-10 minutes. The two expansions added a bit more depth to the game while still maintaining its light feel and quick play time.
Ninjitsu! is a bit more of the same, this time with cute animal ninjas instead of pirates. The same basic rules apply. Each turn a player may:
- Play a card
- Draw two cards
Cards can be played as treasure, counting towards the player’s total, or as an action. Actions range from stealing cards to protecting yourself from other players. Ninjitsu! also adds a new hidden treasure rule. Hidden treasures are placed face-down. This makes it possible to lay traps for other players trying to steal your cards and adds a surprising amount of depth to the game.
The best part of Ninjitsu! is that it can be combined with Scuttle! for the ultimate pirate/ninja combination.
If you loved Scuttle!, then Ninjitsu! is a must-have. If you missed out on Scuttle! then I’d recommend starting with that and then moving on to Ninjitsu!. Of course, if you like ninjas more than pirates (heathen) you’re not really doing yourself a disservice by snagging Ninjitsu! first, or in lieu of, Scuttle!. You’ll just have to live with yourself and the knowledge that you love the inferior ninja over the superior pirate.
A prototype Ninjitsu! deck was provided free for review by Jellybean Games
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.