Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ninja Versus Ninja: Gaming Notes

Ninja Versus Ninja is a simple board game. Each player controls six ninjas in a dojo. Your goal is to cross over a neutral zone and into your opponent's dojo. The further you make it and then make it back into your dojo, the more points you score.

I recently got to play Ninja Versus Ninja with my friend Sam. I must say, I wasn't expecting much. Games like this one or Zombie Dice come across as being more of a lighthearted, fun, "concept game" rather than a serious entry into strategy board gaming. Ninja Versus Ninja manages to be both. The game play is smooth and well thought out. It does require strategic thinking to win although there is a strong luck factor involved as well.

First, the game pieces are very well designed. The ninjas are simple, fun to look at, and functional. The dice are the highlight of the game. They are four siders but they don't look like any four sider you've every seen before. I like the swords through the dice as a method of not allowing the fifth and sixth side to be a result. Check 'em out:

Sam and I played two games. In the first, initially I hung back and let Sam take the first move. Sam took out several of my ninjas. I then quickly racked up the seven required victory points with my remaining ninjas.

In the second game I was feeling a little bit more aggressive so I intentionally targeted Sam's ninjas before worrying about  scoring my own points. After reducing Sam's number of ninjas, I scored quickly two times to win.

All told both games and a quick rules tutorial took about 30 minutes. Quick and fun game with a strategic edge.

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