Rolling dice, throwing stars
Source: Pixabay

The Ninja, sworn enemy of the Samurai, worthy opponent, highly-skilled in the art of assassination with incarnations too many to count. While originally a product of feudal Japan and deemed dishonourable by the Samurai, the ninja has become part of our modern-day lexicon and pop culture. If you haven’t seen your friends in a while, they might question your “ninja moves”.  The success of the ninja in commercial ventures can be seen in books, films, games, and the continued instruction of the art, known as ninjitsu.  The Ninja by Eric Van Lustbader remains a definitive novel while the Sho Kosugi movies of the early 1980s  (Enter The Ninja, Revenge Of The Ninja, Pray For Death) are still admired works to this day. Console and arcade games like Sega’s Shinobi of the early 1990s maintains a following, with YouTube videos to prove it, while casino online games like Fruit Ninja offers a more playful take on the usual butt-kicking, revenge-taking plot-line.

Ninja Dice leans more on the playful side of the ninja genre and thus forgoes the usual death and revenge themes. This non-casino dice game incorporates key ninja ingredients in terms of the oriental artwork on its dice and the various symbols on its tokens.  One thing’s for sure, if you’re looking to kick your friend’s butt in a figurative manner, Ninja Dice might have the solution.

Gaming Components

Playful packaging has been used to market this game and to serve as a carrier for its components. A black square zipper bag, reminiscent of a cooler bag, and decked out like a ninja, is used to house and keep all of Ninja Dice’s gaming components.  Designed for 2 to 5 players, Ninja Dice comes with 15 dice, 35 plastic coins/tokens and a two-sided rule sheet, all fitting nice and snug inside your ninja bag, an item that can likely double as a carrier for other things while also impressing or amusing friends.  The 15 dice pieces are segmented as follows: 6 House dice, 5 Skill dice and 4 Threat dice.  The 35 coins/tokens are divided into 21 copper pieces, 7 silver pieces and 7 gold pieces.

Embrace the way of the ninja
Source: Unsplash

Playing The Game

Ideal for filling the gap or for playing while you wait on your crew to arrive to play the more heavyweight board and dice games, Ninja Dice offers swift ninja-style action with some pretty nifty moves.  The aim of this game is to target certain houses with the intention to steal treasure.

Each player receives 3 copper coins while the dice are placed centre or within easy reach. The player to the right of the active player builds the house that the active player must loot.  The black dice, applicable to the houses are rolled to reveal what’s in the house and also what obstacles the ninja will need to overcome. The Samurai helmets represent the guards and they are open to fighting or negotiating. There are also residents to which the same actions can be applied.

After the house has been setup along with its peripherals, the active player (ninja) rolls his Skill dice, the white ones with black symbols, and so do the other ninja players also.  The ninja face is the wild card and will bypass anything, so that’s certainly one you’ll want to land.  The lock pick symbol is self-explanatory while the shuriken is used to fight both guards and residents. The lined silhouette symbol refers to a ninja’s ability to cloud himself and thus it’s used to sneak past guards and residents. Like any casino online game, luck and fortune figures into this dice game.  You’re only given 5 Skill dice, but you’ll have more obstacles to beat than dice to roll, hence a game of skill and luck. Re-rolls, blocking off an attack and all kinds of defence mechanisms are there to meet the attacking player.  In the end, it’s the ninja with the most coins who wins.