About OgreCave and its staff

Christmas Gift Guide 2010 (11/26/10)
PAX East 2010 report (4/9/10)
Christmas Gift Guide 2009 (12/4/09)
Games of the Ninja 2008 (12/5/08)
Christmas Gift Guide 2008 (11/27/08)
Screams from the Cave 2008
Ogres' Choice Awards 2008 (9/12/08)
Christmas Gift Guide 2007 (11/30/07)
Ogres' Choice Awards 2007 (8/17/07)
GAMA Trade Show 2007 report (4/27/07)
Christmas Gift Guide 2006 (11/30/06)
Ogres' Choice Awards 2006 (7/28/06)
Christmas Gift Guide 2005 (11/29/05)
Christmas Gift Guide 2004 (12/10/04)
Night of the Living Gamer
(Halloween RPGs)

Recent Reviews
Goblin Grapple
(Silver Gaming Co.)
(505 Games)
Pathfinder Card Game
(Paizo Publishing)
Cthulhu Invictus Companion
Boss Monster!
(Brotherwise Games)
Murder of Crows
(Atlas Games)

OgreCave's Games of the Ninja

OgreCave's Games of the Ninja 2008

Games of the Ninja 2008

Why honor these dark warriors with a Games of the Ninja feature? You say you prefer pirates? Bah! The drunken fools won't even know what hit them when the ancestral clans of silent warriors come for them. You can't throw an anchor in a fight, and smoke bombs are far more portable than cannons. It's just more practical to be a ninja - you don't even need a boat.

Read on, and learn of a select group of games for the ninja enthusiast. The game that best displays the ways of the ninja will slowly be revealed. But don't blink, or you'll miss it - those ninja sure are slippery little buggers, and they're more likely to gouge out the public eye than remain in it for long.


Okko: Era of the Asagiri
Hazgaard Editions/Asmodee, $34.99 Okko

Based on the comic of the same name, Okko brings the furious combat of the storyline to tabletop gaming. Set in the feudal Japan-styled Empire of Pajan, players assume the roles of either Okko the ronin and his demonhunter companions, or evil Oni and other mercenaries. This two-player skirmish miniatures game allows for some team recruitment and equipment options on each side, which increases replay value. In addition, Okko has several missions to play through on six double-sided map tiles of traditional family homes, shrines, and gardens. To top things off, prepainted miniatures are available to replace the full-color chipboard standup figures. Yes, since Okko revolves around the adventures of a ronin samurai, it isn't really a ninja themed game - but there's a couple of ninja figures in it. And a ninja would sure enjoy trying to kill the samurai.


Cash 'n' Guns: Yakuza
Repos/Asmodee, $39.99 CNG: Yakuza

One of the best party games to hit game store shelves in the past few years was Cash 'n' Guns, which gave players foam guns to point at each other. The obvious way to expand on this is with more weaponry, right? Repos and Asmodee agreed, and brought us Cash 'n' Guns: Yakuza. Once again, weapons are brandished by all players, though the selection now includes three Shuriken (which must be thrown at their targets), three Tanto swords (which can only reach a player next to the wielder), and a Shotgun (which can hit two players at once). Often a hilarious game, Cash 'n' Guns: Yakuza offers variant rules, special ability cards for yakuza characters, and the grim satisfaction of knowing you'll have to eliminate your rivals to get the cash. Sure, this isn't strictly a ninja game, but when else are you encouraged to throw shuriken and hold swords at your friends' throats?


Ninja versus Ninja
Out of the Box Publishing, $24.99 Ninja versus Ninja

This straightforward two-player strategy game is simple to learn, and can played in under 20 minutes, making it a perfect warm-up before a night of other games. But putting this game aside will be hard - the cute, hand-painted figures of ninjas and their masters will lure in the unwary gamer. Each player assumes control of either the red dojo or black dojo, and tries to score points by making quick incursions into the opposing dojo's territory. Ninjas score more points for surviving deeper incursions, but each risks being killed by having an opposing ninja land on him. If these ninja students fail to return to their home dojo within three turns, they die - by seppuku, presumably, to avoid capture and all that. The first dojo to reach seven points, or wipe out the other side, wins the game. As a bonus, this addictive, deceptively-simple game provides a pair of the coolest dice ever, permanently impaled on ninja swords to insure proper balance. By far, this game has the highest concentration of ninja goodness this year, and should appeal to strategy gamers and casual players alike.


Those are the ninja sightings the Cave dwellers have chosen for this year. If we're lucky, perhaps we'll live long enough to report more sightings next year. Wait, our names are on the site, aren't they? Oh... crap.


Back to Features index

Site copyright 2001-2009 Allan Sugarbaker. Trademarks/copyrights mentioned are owned by their respective owners.