Ninja Preview

Ninja, a light card game featuring number/color combination used to capture point cards, just hit Kickstarter recently and is already very close to its $4000 funding goal. A minimum pledge of $15 is required to snag your own copy of the game when it funds if you’re an early backer, the standard pledge level to get a copy being $18 once the early-bird copies are gone.

The goal of Ninja is to capture 11 points worth of Castle Cards. Each round a Castle Card is drawn and placed in the center of the table. Players then play up to 3 Action Cards from their hand of 5 cards to try and best the totals played by the other players. There’s a catch here. Cards can only be played if their colors match, their numbers match, or a combination of the two.

Example: 3 Blue cards of any number, 3 cards of value 2 of any color, or two Blue cards of any value with a 3rd card of any color that matches the number of either of the other 2 cards.

The video below best illustrates this.

Ties are determined in the following order:

  • The attack with the high card
  • The attack with the most matching colors
  • If a tie cannot be broken then the Castle Card is placed at the bottom of the Castle Deck and all played Action Cards are discarded

There’s also 3 other types of Action Cards that can be played during a round.

  1. Castle Guard – The current Castle Card is placed at the bottom of the Castle Deck and everyone’s played Actions are discarded
  2. Black Ninja – Double the value of Action Cards played
  3. Rescue Mission – When played alone, allows a player to search the Discard pile for an Action Card to put in their hand. When played with a combo it allows to instantly play an Action Card from the Discard pile

Players continue rounds until one player has 11 or more points worth of Castle Cards. If the Castle Card pile is emptied without a player reaching 11 points the player with the most Castle Points wins.

Ninja is super light, super quick, and super portable. It’s easily played with young children and is a great filler to use as a distraction or to kill time. It’s not going to win any awards for depth of play or meaningful choices, but it’s a fun little kids game as it is.

Worth $18?

Not really, unfortunately. It’s a card game I could see paying $10 for, but really not much more than that considering how light it actually is. My kids and I enjoyed playing, but I don’t see it hitting the table much more than it already has. For other families, the game might hit a really sweet spot and is certainly worth checking out. I just wish they could have gotten the price down on this one a bit more for what it is.

A prototype copy of Ninja was provided free for preview by Ryan Dollard

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