TTRPGkids

Kid’s TTRPG review: Dino Ninja

Dino Ninja was a fun and engaging game to play with my kid! It was easy for my child to connect with, and the mechanics were easy to pick up in the first game. This is a great game for anyone looking for some dino x action adventures!

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Dino Ninja was recommended to me on twitter, and immediately, it looked like something my kid would love. It ended up being an awesome blend of dinosaurs, action, and map exploration that my son really enjoyed playing in.

A copy of Dino Ninja can be found on itch.io

Jump to:

Age range: 7+

Dino Ninja was recommended to me for 7+ because it does have combat and some mechanics.  For playing with my son (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 7yo would be able to pick up the mechanics without issue.

Setting: 

Dino Ninja takes players on an adventure through dino infested sewers and into the lair of the evil Dr. Dino-mite so you can stop their nefarious plans!  My son really clicked with the dino theme and was excited to play out some superhero-like scenarios from his books.  It was an awesomely engaging setting for him.  

It also gives freedom to draw your own map of each area, so my son and I drew parts of it together.  I let him design the evil base and tell me what each room was, and it was a lot of fun doing this part together instead of having a pre-made map.

Your 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 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 son track abilities (since he can’t read yet), and it was easy for him to follow along and understand what each ability did once it was in picture format.

Mechanics:

Abilities: 

In the 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.  This was really easy to track during the game, and it gave some good opportunities for my son to practice some minor addition.

Extra modifiers: 

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: 

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?

My son 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.  

He 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 for about a full hour together without him getting bored. 

Overall:

Dino Ninja is a fun game that clicked with my kid and was easy to pick up on the first try.  I enjoyed running it for my son and doing a Dr. Dino-mite monologue in a funny voice, and he had a blast exploring the secret base and challenging all the minions.  It is definitely worth a try, and I hope you have fun playing it!

Where to find and purchase a copy:

A copy of Dino Ninja can be found on itch.io

Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions, tried the game because of this post, or have played this game before!

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