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Dino Ninja tabletop RPG recommended for ages 7+
Dino Ninja was recommended to me for ages 7+ because it does have combat and some mechanics that kids will need to learn. For playing with my kid (3yo), we changed the verbiage a bit (attacks were part of a dance battle, and instead of the enemies dying, they were overcome by a dancing fever that incapacitated them), and I made the actions into flashcards so he could track them more easily. I fully believe a 7 year old would be able to pick up the mechanics without issue, and Dino Ninja worked with my 3 year old without much modification as well.
Dino Ninja’s action packed game setting!
Dino Ninja takes players on an adventure through dinosaur infested sewers and into the lair of the evil Dr. Dino-mite so you can stop their nefarious plans! My kid really clicked with the dinosaur theme for this game and was excited to play out some superhero-like scenarios that were similar to his books.
Dino Ninja also gives you the freedom to draw your own map of each area, so my kid and I drew parts of it together. I let him design the evil base and tell me what each room was – it was a lot of fun doing this part together instead of having a pre-made map, and I think it helped my kid feel more invested in the game and exploring his map.
Your dinosaur ninja character!
Your character for this game is very literally a dino ninja! They are a sword wielding dinosaur whose mission is to heroically thwart Dr. Dino-mite and their nefarious minions!
Character creation was very easy – everyone has the same starting abilities, and they are clearly detailed. You just need to pick where your initial modifiers go. As I mentioned in the age range section, I did make flashcards to help my kid track abilities (since he can’t read yet), and, after that, it was easy for him to follow along and understand what each ability did.
Dino Ninja’s role-play supporting mechanics:
Abilities in Dino Ninja:
In this game, you have 6 abilities that determine how scary you are, how you can fight, how fast you can run, etc.
On these 6 abilities, you get to choose which ones have +2, +1, or +0 modifiers at the start of the game in order to make your stats unique. The small numbers were easy to track during the game, and it gave some good opportunities for my kid to practice some minor addition and finger counting.
Extra modifiers in Dino Ninja:
You can get extra + or – modifiers applied throughout the game if you fail a roll or if you eat a snack. This added an extra element to give some consequences for failing (or deciding to eat garbage) and also incentive to search around the area (in case there were tasty snacks for a +1 bonus) instead of just powering through the fights.
Combat and challenges in Dino Ninja:
For combat and challenges, you choose the ability you want to use and roll 2d6. Then you add your ability and “extra” modifiers to see if you meet the “pass”, the “pass, but”, or the “fail” criteria. The game does list the numbers required for each of these criteria, so there was no need for guesswork or setting a challenge rating, it was very clear what the result would be.
What did my kid think about Dino Ninja?
My kid loved it! At one point he grabbed his dinosaur stuffed animal and started having it act out all the scenes, which I think is a testament to how into the game he was. In the past week since I introduced it, he’s been obsessed with dinosaurs and has wanted to play it again and again.
My kid needed a little help with the math and converting the abilities to a picture format (because he’s 3 and not 7), but other than that, everything went very smoothly. He had fun, and we played Dino Ninja for about a full hour together.
Overall thoughts on Dino Ninja:
Dino Ninja is a fun tabletop roleplaying game that clicked with my kid and was easy to pick up on the first try. I enjoyed running this game for my kid… and doing a Dr. Dino-mite monologue in a funny voice, which thrilled my kid. He had a blast exploring the secret base and challenging all the minions to dance battles as well. It is definitely worth a try, and I hope you have fun playing it! It ended up being an awesome blend of dinosaurs, action, and map exploration that my kid really enjoyed.
Where to find a copy of Dino Ninja:
A copy of Dino Ninja can be found on itch.io!
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