“What are we going to do tonight, Brain?”
“The same thing we do every night Pinky. Try to take over the World.”
This conversation was running through my head the entire time I read Jennifer Steen’s Project Ninja Panda Taco. You may have heard of her as she is the mastermind behind the popular gaming interview podcast, Jennisodes. She has also made a guest appearance here on Ideology of Madness doing an episode of Funnybooks with Aron and Paulie discussing DC’s New 52. Project Ninja Panda Taco is her first game which was crowd-funded through Kickstarter Last year.
Project Ninja Panda Taco is a storytelling game for 4 to 6 players. The players tell stories of minions, Masterminds, and outrageous plans to takeover the world. Each player has two roles. Their first role is that of Mastermind. A Mastermind’s job is to concoct their three part plan to take over the world and convince the minion to enact this plan. Since only one person can rule the world there are other Masterminds out there who will try to stop you. A nemesis will try to convince the minions not to help you thus making it possible for them to take over the world. As a Minion, your job is to help Masterminds enact their plan for world conquest and get shiny new tools for your tool belt.
Game play is simple and straightforward. There are three rounds for each Mastermind. As stated above, they have to convince the minions to help them enact one part of their cunning three part plan to conquer the world. The nemesis will make a counter offer to the minions to keep them from helping. The minions will vote for whom they are going to help. The number of votes for each are totaled and then the Mastermind and nemesis both roll 4 fudge dice and adjust the totals accordingly. If the Mastermind has the highest total, they will get to enact one part of their master plan and reward the minions who helped them with a tool belt item. If the nemesis wins, they will put that part the plan out of commission and reward the minions that helped them with a tool belt item. Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy! Yes, I just said that.
This is a fun and hilarious game. I found it very easy to slip into the melodramatic while addressing the minions to get them to do your bidding. The simplicity of the game makes it something that one can play with the whole family. It doesn’t take a whole lot of time to play either. I was able to play a game in about an hour and half. this is especially nice when time is so crunched with all the things people have on their plates. The book itself is gorgeous. It is 48 pages full-color and illustrated by Brian Patterson of D20 Monkey. Everything is written from the perspective of a Mastermind or a minion which makes it a joy to read as well. There is even a section dedicated to explaining how it could be integrated into an educational curriculum.
I highly recommend picking up this game. It is a joy to play and a nice way to get the whole family involved in gaming. I know I plan on running it at Games on Demand at Gen Con this year!