♫ Spicy Taco Nimble Ninjas 

♫ Spicy Taco Nimble Ninjas 

♫ Spicy Taco Nimble Ninjas 

♫ Ninjas in a Crunchy Shell, Taco Power! 

 Taco Ninja Adv Cover

Taco Ninja Adventure! (2020)
Designer(s) Rusty Scioscia Artist(s) Sol Azpiroz Publisher

Turn Sideways Games

2-6 10+ 20-30m

Tacos and Ninjas...do I really need to say more? Taco Ninja Adventure! is a team (2v2 or 2v2v2) combat game that uses Yahtzee style dice mechanics to deal damage to your opponents in order to be the last team standing. Each team will have 2 characters each with their own unique trait, and players will take turns rolling dice and dealing damage to each other. There are basic attacks all characters have, but there is also Attack and Item cards that can be obtained to give you additional attacks and one time actions. Anyone familiar with Yahtzee should have no issue learning this game. The last team with at least one member remaining wins! 

Taco Ninja Adv 1

Box and Components

The game comes in a box roughly the same size as the Tiny Epic games. The box is nice and sturdy as well as had a nice raised logo/text on the front. The artwork is great; I am a big fan of the characters and the background shown on the box. Here is what comes in the box:

  • 5 Six-Sided Dice
  • 6 Brown and 2 Orange Wooden Cubes: Brown cubes are used for tracking health while the orange cubes are for special abilities. 
  • 6 Health Track Cards
  • 6 Roll Reference Cards: This will have a breakdown of what your basic dice rolls do. One side is the dice results while active in combat and the other side when at 0 health. Even from the afterlife, you still contribute to your team's success. 
  • 6 Unique Ninja Character Cards: Each character has a unique ability along with variants of the character artwork on each side of the card. 
  • 11 Attack Cards: There are five Tier 1 Attack Cards and six Tier 2 Attack Cards. These will provide additional damage opportunities when you attack. If you met the criteria for a basic attack and these Tier 1/2 attack Cards, you will add all of the damage together for the attack. 
  • 21 Item Cards: These cards provide you a one time perk or ability. Once used, these cards are discarded. 
  • A Cloth Bag to hold the cards
  • 1 Rules QR Code: The card has a QR code to take you to the digital rules. 
  • 1 Set of Rules 

This is the contents of the basic version of the game; the deluxe version comes with additional components such as character standees, character mats, custom health trackers, and a 1st player medallion. Looking over the additional components, I definitely think the cost of the deluxe version is worth it. 

I am impressed by the quality of the cards and components. For a game that was on Kickstarter for under $20, the cards are fairly sturdy, and the artwork really shines on the cards. My favorite part is probably the cloth bag that is included to hold the cards while in the box; it is simple but has a nice embroidery of a taco ninja along with the name of the game. Except for the instructions, you can actually fit all of the basic games components into the bag. 

There was a stretch goal to make custom dice that fell just short of that goal, but the dice included are fine. They are smaller six-sided dice.  

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 There are two locations on the board Taco Ninjas can move between: The Field of Battle (center of the table) and the Dojo (in front of the players). 

SetupTaco Ninja Adv 2

In games of 2-4 players, the game is played in teams of two taco ninjas; teammates should sit next to each other.

  1. Teams will alternate selecting their Taco Ninjas. The team that smells most like ground beef will select first. Excess Taco Ninjas are returned to the box. 
  2. Place the Taco Ninjas into the Field of Battle (center of the table).
  3. Shuffle the Item Cards and deal two cards to each player. 
  4. Shuffle the Attack Cards and flip over three lined in a row. 
  5. Each player takes a life tracker card and brown cube; place the token on the 30. 

Hand the first player marker to the team that selected their Taco Ninja second.  

Player Turn

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 Player turns are broken up into two steps:

  1. Move (optional)
    • You may move your ninja between the Field of Battle and the Dojo. 
  2. Action
    • Train Action while in the Dojo
      • Training at the dojo will provide the player will new attack and item cards. There are two types of attack cards.
        • Tier 1: Adds 1 potential attack and can be learned on the same turn you train at the Dojo.
        • Tier 2: Adds 2 potential attacks but requires an additional turn at the dojo to fully learn the attack. On the following turn, you will fully learn the attack and may draw an item card as well. Learning Tier 2 attacks can be risky as they prevent you from attacking for two turns, and if you are sent to the afterlife before fully learning the attack, it is lost.  
      • The player can select either:
        • One of the face up Attack Cards. 
        • The top card of the Attack Card deck.
        • The top card of the Item Card deck. 
      • Players may only have three Attack Cards; if a player obtains a fourth, they must select one to discard. 
    • Attack Action while in the Field of Battle
      • Select the Taco Ninja you are attacking.
      • Roll the five dice; you may roll/re-roll the dice a total of 3 times but may also stop at anytime prior.
      • Compare the rolled numbers to the Roll Reference Card and any Attack Cards you have. Add together the damage together to deal to your opponent; add all healing together as well. 
        • If damage dealt reduces a character to 15 or less, 15 becomes the maximum health that character can now heal up to for the rest of the game. 

Proceed to the other team; each team will alternate between their Taco Ninjas (Team A-1, Team B-1, Team A-2, Team B-2, Team A-1, etc).

Special Abilities

Each Taco Ninja character card has a unique ability that players may use when the condition listed is fulfilled. They may be triggered based on a type of dice roll result or based on the type of action performed. 


Once a Taco Ninja has hit 0 health, they are sent to the afterlife. They keep any of their moves they had fully learned during life, but any they were still at the dojo learning will be lost. If both characters are in the same location (Field of Battle or Dojo), the character sent to the afterlife may hand over their item cards to the other player; however, if they do not share the same location, the cards are lost.

For characters in the afterlife, they take turns as normal, but they are rolling only on afterlife side of their basic attack card (black with a skull). They essentially can heal their partner by encouraging them beyond the grave, or in rare cases, they can be revived to 15 health if they roll a 5 of a kind. 

End Game

After one team has had both of their Taco Ninjas sent to the afterlife, the game is over. The team still standing is the winner! 

6 Player Variant

The game is played similarly to what I have described except you remove all Attack Cards that have healing abilities from the game. Teams are still 2 Taco Ninjas, but now there will be 3 teams. Instead of waiting for just one team to be left standing, once a team has had both of their Taco Ninjas sent to the afterlife, the game ends immediately. The remaining teams add up their Taco Ninjas life points and whichever has the most is the winner. 

Bonus Haiku

One of the Kickstarter marketing bits was allowing backers to submit their own Haiku; they took those and placed those Haikus into the boxes lid. I love this! Too often box lids are left blank; this shows an additional level of commitment by the creators to promote community support and show love for their product. It was literally the first thing I noticed when I opened the game, and I proceeded to read each one before even looking at the games components. This was a great idea, and I would love to see things like this catch on.

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Final Thoughts

I really like games that take known mechanic like Yahtzee or Uno and puts a unique twist on them; I like this because it allows even non-gamers to quickly pick up the basics of new games. I would say the majority of people have played at least 1-2 games of Yahtzee and understand how it works. So I really appreciate this being a nice gateway game to those already familiar with the game. As stated earlier, I am pleased with the overall production of a relatively low priced game. I did enjoy the games I played, and once we can start hosting events at our FLGS, this will be one I take with us as a gateway for those who like the theme and want to play something light. 

The only downsides I see with the game is the lack of attack cards. I think the 11 attack cards will be an issue especially in 6 player games; you are essentially preventing one player from ever getting a Tier 1 attack card. I imagine part of the reasoning behind 11 is likely behind the number of combinations of the dice roll types (without getting into specifics like 3 of a kind of 4s). Also, some of those cards will be removed in the 6 player variant if they include healing. And one final also, if character may have up to 3 attack cards, that is maybe 4 characters almost having full stock of attack. Again, I imagine this is likely not that common because you want to keep the action going and don't want to be training constantly. I am sure there is some design reason for the choice of 11 Attack Cards, but it is something I immediately noticed as I was learning the game. 

That is really the only negative I could come up with. Will this game have a lot of variety with each playthrough? Probably not, but I still feel like it is a solid filler game or nice gateway into something a little beyond your standard Yahtzee. I think the theme is really fun and could be great for children. If you are interested in getting a copy of the game, check out their website. I would recommend upgrading to the deluxe version for the extra $10 especially if you think you will enjoy the game. 

Taco Ninja Adv Port


Taco Ninja Adventure! Board Game Geek Page

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We received the product in order to write an honest review; all reviews reflect the honest opinions of the writer.