So a while back I got to go hang out at EPOC: the Edmonton Prototype Convention. It was a great time, and amidst the various game designs, I was lucky enough to discover Tiny Ninjas. I only got to play it a little bit, but it was easily one of the most popular games that weekend, so it wasn’t a surprise when it was named as the People’s Choice Award recipient.
There were a few, questions and concerns from potential backers when the campaign first went live, as ideas that seems great on paper didn’t work as well in practice. It happens, but it’s still extremely likely that the initial Tiny Ninjas campaign would have succeeded. But to their credit, 2niverse Games wasn’t satisfied with just funding. The public had issues, and the creators listened. So they canceled the campaign, reworked it and relaunched. Normally when that happens I simply move on, but since I’ve had the chance to play this, I know how good it is. So I pulled my previous Spotlight post down, and today you get my thoughts on the new campaign. The game hasn’t changed, so those details here are equally unchanged. I’m pleased to see that As I write this, the current campaign is closing on 300% funded, as it should be.
Tiny Ninjas is an easy 2-player card and dice battle game, from 2niverse Games. But this is a game that is so much more than its play mechanics. The box folds out to become a gorgeous playing space with a space for the draw deck, a space to play cards into, and a dice tray area. The player’s score is tracked on a wheel that attached to the sides of the dice tray.
The game has a ton of unique characters on the cards, all drawn in a colourful chibi style, with big round heads. As you play through the game it’s easy to let your mind wander off into a simpler time, like the 1980s, when this game would have been accompanied by a comic book, a Saturday Morning cartoon, and an ever-expanding toyline. This is one of the most enticingly illustrated games I’ve seen in years. It draws you in and gets stuck in your head like a catchy song for your eyes.
For the quality of what you get (even before the stretch goal upgrades), the price point is more than reasonable. $28 (CAD) gets you a production copy of the game, some cool bonuses (that were stretch goals on the last campaign), plus any stretch goals. If you want to save some money, $50 gets you two production copies of the game, and a single set of the bonuses and stretch goals. Finally, if you want something extra special, you can jump on the limited edition Legendary set for $475, that gets you everything in from the $50 level plus an insanely pimped out, custom edition, a faux-leatherbound art book, and a set of custom ninjas cards based on your own photo. How insane is “insanely pimped out”? I’m going to make you check out the campaign to find out, but trust me, it’s pretty insane.
The pre-production copies I got to play around with were great quality and should stand up to a fair bit of travel and play. Most of those already high-quality components are getting quality upgrades from stretch goals, so it’s definitely going to stand up to the inevitably heavy play.
Sometimes, I’ll write review or CrowdFUNding Spotlight article, and it just feels like I’m not doing the game justice. This is one of those times. So let me be clear, this game is GREAT. Probably one of my most anticipated releases of the year. Get behind this one.