Welcome to Ninja Camp! Here you will learn to jump, kick, dodge and evade your enemy. Your fellow campers are some of the fiercest competitors in the animal kingdom. One wrong move and you could find yourself in a trap. Anyone can survive Ninja Camp, but only one of you has what it takes to become Sensei Saru’s personal apprentice.
Ninja Camp from Action Phase Games seemed like the perfect gift for my 11 year old son this past Christmas. This game was funded on Kickstarter back in the Summer of 2015 and has been on the market for the past year. So how did this game go over with our family?
Everyone Was Kung-Fu Fighting
Each player will choose an animal from a deck of player cards. There are a ton of options here! There’s a flying squirrel, giraffe, dog, platypus and a lot more to choose from. Each animal has a slightly different ability that sets you apart from your opponents. This special ability can only be used once during the game. Using this move at the right time can be crucial later in the game.
I want to point out the incredibly cool ninja meeples that each player gets to control. Players will choose from purple, black, red and white sets of meeples that are striking different karate poses. You will move three of these meeples around the board during the game.
Before you begin, the board is built by laying out a grid of cards that represent different actions that players can take. Each player starts with the exact same two actions in their hand. When a player takes an action, they receive the card their meeple was standing on. The used card is placed in their scoring area and the new card is placed in the players’ hand.
You have to watch out for traps that will give you negative points while looking out for walls that can block you from using certain cards in your hand. As the game progresses, large gaps in the board show up from where players have taken cards. It becomes more difficult to use the cards in your hand and you’re limited in the way your meeples can move. Eventually players will be forced to “pass” because they are no longer able to take an action. Once every player passes, the game is over.
Players count the points on the action cards that they used, count the points for each card their ninja meeples are standing on and deduct any negative points they have. The player will the highest score wins!
Family Friendly Gaming
This game is a great option to get the family around the table. It’s simple to learn but complex enough that adults will have a great time. Players are challenged to take actions that earn points and set them up for future moves. This can be tough but we’ve found that kids 8 and up can understand the concept.
The cards are vibrant and picking your favorite animal is a way to get kids involved. I have to mention the ninja meeples again because they are so cool! This is an abstract strategy game that is very accessible.
I love that the deck of action cards are used to build the board each time you play. You’ll never play the same layout twice and that adds to the strategy and replayability of Ninja Camp. With that being said, make sure you have a big table. Laying out a grid of 8 x 7 cards takes up a lot of room.
I can’t knock Ninja Camp for much because it’s just a lot of fun every time we play. There’s enough strategy to keep adults engaged and the game feels like a puzzle that is waiting to be solved. Taking cards that other players need offer some fun “take that” mechanics. Plus the components are top notch! This is a small game that packs a lot of family fun.
Let’s be honest, we could all use some more ninjas in our lives. Head over to your local game shop or order a copy of Ninja Camp on Amazon today.
- Great components
- Games take around 30 minutes
- Enough strategy for adults and easy to learn for kids