Kunai and A Sure Can Attitude (Tiny Ninjas review)

When you’re on the go, it’s best to be prepared for the occasion. This of course means packing light, with only the essentials, like your wallet, watch, passport, a carry-on, and a mobile card game in a box.

I know what you’re thinking, how the heck can you play a card game on the go, well 2niverse Games has the answer.


Tiny Ninjas (2018)

Player Count: Solo, Competitively 2
Age: 8+
released on Kickstarter June 22, 2018
Play Time: 15 minutes
Designer: Ryan Leininger
Publisher: 2niverse Games
******** 8/10

BoardGameGeek: TBD
The Guardian: n/a

Ryan Leininger is a photographer, videographer, board game designer, graphic designer and owner/operator of One Wolf Creative – essentially a renaissance man for the board game golden age!

I’m not going to say too much more about him and the creative work he does with his wife Layla, but I was so impressed with their presentation of the this game at a playtesting session I was invited to, that I just had to review their game, and hopefully secure a creative professional interview in the near future…

*fingers crossed*

Now you’re probably wondering, what is Tiny Ninjas, and to be frank, I’d rather let you read a brief overview in Ryan’s own words, because I’ll go into detail on the Table Culture episode below.

Tiny Ninjas is a two-player, dice-rolling, head to head card game that’s designed to play right inside of the box! It’s easy to learn with the perfect blend of “push-your-luck” and card management strategy, ensuring each battle is engaging and packed with excitement!

Because of its size and utilizing the box as the play surface, it has an immensely small footprint making it ideal for gaming on the go. A perfect travel game!

Amazingly enough, it is not just an ecologically inventive game, it’s also really good looking too. Featuring chibi style ninja art, colourful kunai and shuriken die, and some seriously inventive scorekeeping dials, Tiny Ninjas pulls you in with it’s neat theme and aesthetics, but keeps you engaged with the layered gameplay.

It’s simple to learn, engaging to play, and can easily fill the space on a car ride, the plane, or even during your lunch break with your best bud. I know that’s fun for all ages, because my stepson Miguel had the pleasure of playing this one with me, and when you watch the video, you’ll get a bit feedback direct from his mouth…

So what are you waiting for? Check out the video, so you can get on the bandwagon and pick up this game before the June 22nd fulfillment date!

Right, you want some pros and cons.

Pros: The box serves as the game board, allowing you to easily travel with everything, and save on table space in those awkward moments when you don’t know where to place everything.

ConsIt can be a bit challenging to differentiate some of the card mechanics text from flavour text, and colours of some die faces are similar to each other… but Ryan promises that this is being worked out for the production copies.

Points of Interest: The husband and wife team of 2niverse Games is based in Sylvan Lake, and have been touring the province to share their game with the public. They actually won the People’s Choice Award at the Edmonton Prototype Convention, but I wasn’t able to see that award.

I also really like that the game has little to no setup time, which you’ll see in my brief demo during the video! Let’s check it out!

theories Summarized

My final thoughts… For a mere 28 dollars, you too can have a neat travel game that actually delivers on what it offers. Fun entertainment, in a compact space. It’s a game that rewards quick decision-making and is fun for all ages.

I really do hope this was a helpful review. And please let me know if you’ve bought the game and enjoyed it as much as I do. Ryan is an awesome guy and deserves all the support he can get, as this has been a 400% successful Kickstarter, and if you don’t buy-in, you’ll miss out on all the ninja fun!

So please let me know what you thought of my review, like and share the video, and subscribe to the channel if you haven’t already. More theories to come in the next few days!


Now Look Up, Waaaay Up (Uprise review)

There are things in life which are pure, which are simple and straightforward, and often it isn’t until we’ve had some time away from them that we truly appreciate how invaluable they are.

That’s how I feel looking back at The Friendly Giant, something I love as a young boy. I now have a stepson of my own, and spending time with him has re-invigorated an appreciation for the purest forms of art.

Board games that accomplish this task are essential.


Uprise (2018)

Player Count: Solo, Co-op 2-8, Competitively 2-4
Age: 10+
released on Kickstarter March 20, 2018
Play Time: 30 minutes
Designer: Games By AR
Publisher: Games By AR
******** 8/10

BoardGameGeek: TBD
The Guardian: TBD

Alex Racine is a 3D printer, board game designer, inventor, and a big proponent of DIY game making. He launched Games By AR in the summer of 2017 and has been slowly building up his roster of games. I’ve spent some time with him 1-on-1, learning about his passion for making games (1) (2), so follow the numbers I’ve listed to learn more about him!

Now, Uprise is the first game he has officially launched, but he has a couple of other games on the way (Anchor What?) too. I wanted to give him an opportunity to describe his game in his own words.

Uprise is a strategic tower building game; grow your secret society by completing your Missions! Disguised with a trendy Top Hat, travel to countries around the world. Disguised with a mischievous Moustache, you’ll be free to place your Bureaus. Successful Secret Societies have Secret Agendas. Yours, of course, is no different.

To be fair, Uprise is still in a state of production. You see, dear readers, Games By AR is launching this game on Kickstarter, as many designers do these days, to get the game backed, produce lots of copies and get a foothold in the door. So you can’t buy this game today and bring it home tomorrow – yet. If you back his campaign though, you’ll have fun getting to build your own towers using a mix of strategy and dexterity.

What’s great about Uprise is that it can be played solo, cooperatively, and competitively, with various player counts. As I mentioned above, what I find fascinating about this game is that you can play it with children, and yet, it works just as well with a group of serious gamers in a bout of competition.

This is accomplished by either building towers as a team or working on your secret agendas separately with mission goals to have the most bureaus, reach a certain height first and a myriad of other challenging problems. With the introduction of crisis cards, you can tip the balance of power in your favour, and buy decoys to help build your towers without the use of stache cards.

Pros: The theme is so well considered, the components are tactile and withstand abuse, and the variety of modes can accommodate different player groups.

ConsWhile the game is easy to learn, the instructions on how to play the game in it’s different modes are not always apparent without some serious investigation.

Points of Interest: Alex has two 3D printers at home that he has put to task in helping to cut costs on game production. Games By AR is not only a board game company, Mr. Racine has created several carnival games over the years, and even some variations on popular sports.

Now, I haven’t mentioned this yet, but another fun component of the game is the ability to use bridges, and other yet to be released pieces in constructing famous buildings, behemoths of architecture and fantasy structures.

theories Summarized

Do I think you should pick this game up? Yes absolutely, it does it better then Rhino Hero, Riff Raff, Bausack, Ghost Blitz and a host of other dexterity games, while being a fun strategy game too.

And if that still doesn’t make a good case for it, please check out my video review for some more insights. I promise you’ll get a laugh out of my late night antics.

I really do hope this was a helpful review. And please let me know if you’ve bought the game and enjoyed it as much as I do, independent game designers like Alex work really hard to bring these ideas to the table, and they appreciate feedback when their work is satisfactory.

So please let me know what you thought of my review, like and share the video, and subscribe to the channel if you haven’t already. More theories to come next week!