Ninja Academy


27 April 2020
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A game where the pace of the fun never slows down

Open Ninja Academy’s box and you might wonder whether there are pieces missing.

 

This tiny dexterity game comes with just a handful of cards and wooden bits. But its four-strong design team uses them in some inventive ways to create a collection of fast and furious mini-games.

 

The game casts you and your friends as students in a ninja dojo. Over a series of rapid-fire rounds, you’ll compete in challenges for the honour of becoming the top student.

 

Each task uses the game’s components in different ways. In one, you’ll each place a meeple in a standing position on the back of your hand then try to shove your opponents’ over without toppling your own. In another, you’ll place a wooden log in the centre of the table before flicking ninjas at it, attempting to place yours closest to the target like a kind of tabletop lawn bowls.

 

Other mini games see you trying to throw ninjas into the game box from a distance, chucking them at a wall of logs trying to knock as many over as possible, or racing a rival to balance five ninjas on the tips of your outstretched fingers. Some challenges involve everyone around the table, while others pit two players against each other head-to-head. But even when you’re not included, you can still gain points by betting on the outcome of the contest. And with each mini-game lasting between a few seconds and a minute, the pace of the fun never slows down.

 

OWEN DUFFY

 

PLAY IT? YES

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Designer: Antoine Bauza, Ludovic Maublanc, Corentin Lebrat, Théo Rivière

Artist: Artist: Jean-Baptiste Reynau

Time: 20 minutes

Players: 3-5

Age: 8+

Price: £14

 

This review originally appeared in the January 2020 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.

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