Review: Ninja Dice Location Cards

Ninja Dice Review

Ninja dice is a fun little game that I’ve already reviewed. It’s compact, made from sturdy components and easy to teach. This make it a great game to travel with, we take it on the road and fairly often to restaurants. The Location Cards is an expansion to the game; let’s see what it’s about…

They were  was first released in 2014. Many people say that it’s needed for the game to be complete but I don’t think so. I enjoy playing just the base game and playing with the expansion. NB: This is not a stand alone expansion and requires the base game in order to play it.

For the TL;DR version click here.

Opening the box

Specs on the box

  • 2 – 5 players
  • Ages 14+ (the base game is for 8+)
  • 10-20 minutes

It’s a tiny box, with 3 sets of cards in it and instructions, 24 cards in total. The box itself fits inside the Ninja Dice pouch which is very cool. It’s a bit of a pain to open and close though, that can be annoying. Nothing gets mixed in with the original components so you don’t have to stress if you want to strip anything out to play the base game.

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The expansion fits easily into the pouch.

Theme

As you may already know, Ninja dice is a game in which you are a ninja and have to infiltrate a house and steal any treasure within the house and escape. The person with the most treasure at the end of 3 rounds is the winner.

These houses are normally ‘built’ on the roll of the dice. The cards change this formula a bit. Each card represents a specific location and already contains some icons representing the various faces on the dice or special rules for that location. It will also tell you how many extra dice to roll to add to the house.

This helps to keep the cards from becoming stale too quickly. In addition to the defences that need to be bypassed each card has a specific treasure value. The more difficult the location; the greater the treasure.

Gameplay

The location cards are split into 3 decks. Each has a different back so they are easy to tell apart. At the start of each round you deal out locations from the deck that matches the current round. The number of locations is equal to the number of players +1.

Ninja Dice Location Cards
The decks are numbered to match the 3 rounds of the game.

When it is a player’s turn to act, he gets to select which location to break into. This grants some flexibility for players who need to catch up to select higher value locations.

If you are successful at the location then you keep the location card and at the end of the game gain its treasure value. If you fail then you still get a coin for each defence die that you bypass but the location remains in play for another play to have a try at it in their turn.

Conclusion

This expansion is said by many to be necessary for the game. I don’t think so. Sure it adds a layer of thought to what is otherwise a push your luck game, but the base game is still fun on its own. What I like about it is that it can give the players that are behind a means of catching up which is difficult in the base game.

What I don’t like is the increase in difficulty that the expansion brings. Some cards can be very difficult to beat, this makes the game feel much tougher for younger kids to play. I know my kids don’t enjoy it as much as I do. We play most of our games without it.

It’s worth getting though as it’s relatively cheap and makes the game more interesting for us adults. Some stores will actually bundle the base game and the expansion together and sell them as a set.

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The locations are increasingly difficult as you venture along.

Can I play this at a braai?

The expansion does little to increase the games foot print so you can play it almost anywhere and almost any time.

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