Preview: Tiny Ninjas

Overview:  A few months ago we were introduced to the upcoming game Tiny Ninjas. This 2-player ninja-themed card game tests your mastery of the Dojo, giving you numerous ninja type opponents to battle.  Starting with 10 lives, the first player to drop to 0 loses.

The link to the Tiny Ninjas website above will lead you to more information about the game, such as the rule sheet and the free print and play cards. Since we first played and reviewed the game to help the designer perfect it, the game has really blossomed into a nearly complete product, far superior to our humble paper copy.

How We Review:  As with any of our reviews, we put the game to the test with no less than 10 play testers, with both male and female, as well as a wide range of ages (teens to 50+). Our evaluation is based on 10 criteria, including clarity of instructions, innovation, artwork, and fun!

Game Contents:  2 custom dice, cards, and a cool box that transforms to a ninja play arena. See picture below.tiny ninjas ben and joe 2

How To Play The Game:   In general,  you have a hand of five ninja cards to be used for both attack and defense, as you see fit. When it is your turn, you may play  1 to 5 cards. The catch is that you don’t get to replenish your hand until your turn comes around again. If you were aggressive and left yourself with little or no cards remaining, then you are vulnerable to attack!

The play time lasts about 15 minutes each game, give or take. The length of game is typically dependent on how conservative or risky you are in your approach.

Below we have posted some review notes to give a more specific example of how to play the game.

For more photos and reviews, see the Board Game Geek entry for Tiny Ninjas.

What We Thought:  We found that the game was quick, easy to learn, and fun. The artwork was entertaining and whimsical, whether it was the master ninja, ghost ninja, angel ninja, medic ninja, panda ninja, or even baby ninja.

tiny ninjas ben and joe

The obvious downside was that we were dealing with the print and play preview. This is of course not a true negative to the game play, but after seeing the newer prototype (below) our opinion of the game would have increased. We were using d6s instead of the custom dice that come with the game. Another feature of the game is the amazing box itself. When you receive your Tiny Ninjas game, the box is half the fun! Unfortunately we didn’t have the pleasure of playing with this, but the box unfolds into a mini arena, ready for any ninja duel!

Tiny ninjas 2

The box contains room for the draw pile (Dojo) and the discard pile (Pit). In addition to nice cards, the game will include two custom dice and a tray to roll them in. This is specifically intended to be a portable game that you can take with you wherever you go. Great for traveling in the car!

We will keep you posted on this game’s progress. Last we knew, the designer was intending to launch this game on Kickstarter in Spring 2018. Stay tuned!

Tiny Ninjas

Comments From Our Reviewers:

“It’s simple to play.”

“Fun game!”

“Fun quick game, great to fill time between longer game sessions, or for going traveling.”

“Good game.”

“Once you learn each character, the play is simple and quick.”

“Fun game!”

“Colors on circles confusing. Instructions on cards too small to read.”

“I think it would be a good multiplayer game.”


“Quick, fun, nice art.”

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