Strawberry Ninja is a cooperative card game in which you control a brave kitty trying to find and pounce on a very stealthy and tasty ninja.
Strawberry Ninja Stats:
Players: 1-4 players
Time: 20 minutes
By: Strawberry Studio
Suggested Retail Price: $10
Categories: Card, Cooperative, Family, Puzzle
How to Play Strawberry Ninja:
Start the game by randomly selecting 10 Strawberry Field Cards to play with. Shuffle the single Strawberry Ninja Card in and place the cards facedown in a 4×3 grid with one empty space. Put the Kitty Pawn on any card to start. Shuffle the 4 Movement Cards together and put them in a deck face down. Place the Black Marker on #1 of the Round Marker Card.
On your turn, shift 2 cards 1 space in the grid in a slider puzzle fashion (always moving your shifting card into the empty space of the grid). Flip the second card you shift face-up and resolve any game text on that card. Next, flip over the top card of the Movement Deck and resolve the movement of the kitty. It is optional, but you may choose to pounce on the card under Kitty. Then, the end of one player’s turn signifies the end of the round and the Round Marker moves to the next number on the Round Tracker Card.
If you choose to have Kitty pounce on a card, 1 of 2 things can happen. If you pounce on Strawberry Ninja, you are halfway to winning! If you pounce on any other card, Strawberry Ninja got away and you are halfway to losing! Then, you shuffle all the cards, and reset the grid, Movement Deck and Round Tracker Card. Additionally, if you reach the 12th round on the Round Tracker Card, Kitty will automatically pounce! That is the “timer.”
You win by pouncing on Strawberry Ninja 2 times. You lose by pouncing on a card that is not Strawberry Ninja 2 times. In other words, it is best 2 out of 3 to win!
Strawberry Ninja Review:
The first thing I noticed about this game was the cartoon style, fantasy-based artwork. There was a lot of creativity put into the personification of inanimate foods and plants. If the card text does something negative to the player(s), the character on the card looks angry. All in all, the artwork is colorful, entertaining, and kid-friendly.
The game is very easy to learn and teach. The element of teamwork and ease of gameplay make it a great family and kid’s game. The use of some basic strategy techniques make it great for children and people new to gaming.
The fact that you only play with 10 out of 13 of the Strawberry Fields Cards per game adds some extra replay value to the game, which is nice. Also, on the Kickstarter, they have now unlocked 5 stretch goals which give you 5 unique Strawberry Field Cards. There are more to unlock, so even more variety is possible.
I playtested this game many times and with different numbers of people. I can confidently say that it works just as well as a 1-player game as it does as a 4-player game. You have the option of customizing your game by choosing which cards to use in the game. You can also make the game more challenging with a variant that gives you only 10 turns instead of 12 to pounce on Strawberry Ninja. With that said, you could easily make it as hard as you want by further shortening the number of turns.
This game is still on Kickstarter, but it’s already fully funded. If you are interested in ordering Strawberry Ninja and helping them get to their next stretch goal, please visit the Kickstarter!
Guest review by: Sarah Childs, Owner of Childs’ Play: Games & Geekery