SNAP Review – Tiny Ninjas Heroes
Who doesn’t want to be a ninja? Ninjas are cool. They’re mysterious, deadly, and silent. When Tiny Ninjas came on the scene in 2019 we had a ton of fun battling it out as senseis training our deadly ninja foes.
How do you get better than that? Well, with Ninja Heroes, of course.
This is a SNAP review for Tiny Ninjas Heroes, the sequel to Tiny Ninjas. Like its predecessor, Tiny Ninjas Heroes was published by 2niverse Games. It plays 1 or 2 players, ages 10 and up.
The art in Heroes is good! It’s consistent with what we saw in Tiny Ninjas. The cards are well laid out and easy to read and understand. Just like Tiny Ninjas there’s iconography that you have to get used to, but it’s easy enough for the 10+ age range to handle it.
There are also way more dice in Tiny Ninjas Heroes.
Yeah, and I really like how the dice are screen printed instead of engraved, because you get a lot more detail that way and they look better. But I’m a little worried about how long they’re going to last, when you play this too much. We’ve already got a little bit of scraping on one of the dice.
Even though this is very clearly a Tiny Ninjas game, the gameplay is completely different from what we’ve seen before.
Each player chooses a Hero card and takes the corresponding die. Then both players take turns setting out the 4 unit dice and the chosen Hero die, along with a shield for one lane, into the arena (in the box lid).
On your turn, go through four phases:
1 – Income. Gain an energy and one item card.
2 – Move some combination of units up to three spaces.
3 – Action: you may buy a shield, discard items to gain more energy, use an item, or activate a unit’s support ability
4 – Attack, using exactly one unit’s attack ability. If the unit you choose has multiple attack abilities, choose one to activate.
After this, the other player has a chance to defend. If they cannot defend, the attacked unit(s) lose hit points – tracked on that unit’s die itself.
Now the defender becomes the attacker! They do the same 4 phases (Income, Move, Action, Attack). Keep trading back and forth until one player’s Hero has been defeated. (Must be the hero, not the other units.)
In the solo mode, you are defending against a zombie apocalypse. The zombies are just like you, except they don’t have a hero. For your income you have to choose either an item or an energy. Every time it’s the zombies turn, you roll all three dice. The black one determines fog (zombie shield) orientation, the red one determines which zombie attacks, and the kunai/shuriken die determines the effect of the attack. Defeat as many waves as you can before the zombies eat your brains!
Since it’s a Tiny Ninjas game, we expected ninjas, and we got ninjas – tiny ninjas, even!
We expected some changes, too. Even though more Tiny Ninjas is great, we knew there would be changes because the expected age range went up (from 8+ to 10+), and the expected game length went up quite a bit.
Since the box size is the same, we expected it to be portable, too. It mostly is. We’ll talk about that in a minute.
When I first opened the box, I was very surprised to see the grid in the cover. Given the tactical nature of the game, It’s obviously needed.
It definitely helps keep the game “travel ready” but it wasn’t expected. However, speaking of travel, it’s possible to play this game traveling, but it’s not as good for it as the original. Even with the grid, die rolling area, and items box keeping things in place, you need somewhere to put all of the cards and dice that you’re not using for any given game.
I also didn’t expect so many dice! It does make it a good departure from the original formula.
Finally, the items. There are so many items in the game and it’s cool how they affect the strategy of the battle. It’s another great addition for this game, especially given how tactical it is.
Unlike the original Tiny Ninjas, the items are the only secret information. Your units & Hero card are open to your opponent, so you’ll need careful tactics to get around their defenses!
We rate Tiny Ninjas Heroes 3 1/2 shurikens out of 5. And that’s Tiny Ninjas Heroes – in a SNAP!
Find it on Amazon or ask for it at your friendly local game store.
The Family Gamers received a copy of Tiny Ninjas Heroes from 2niverse Games for this review.
This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?
Tiny Ninjas Heroes
Age Range: 10+
Number of Players: 1-2
Playtime: 30+ minutes