The ninja. Deadly. Stealthy. Fast. Able to deliver a hamburger anyplace on the planet. What, you didn't know that last fact? Then you haven't played Ninja Burger: Secret Ninja Death Touch Edition, a card game from Steve Jackson Games.
Each player takes on the role of a ninja out to get enough honor to win. Each ninja has a number of skills (with "Other Stuff" used to cover any skill they don't have); sometimes they have advantages or penalties, which are balanced by lower or higher skills. Players start with three Fortune cards (used to help themselves or hinder opponents), some money (to buy Ninja Stuff, a type of Fortune card), and six honor.

Players win in one of three ways: having the most honor when the honor total among all players is ten times the number of players; having the most honor when the total honor among all players is less than four times the number of players; or having five more honor than the next-closest player.

To gain (or possibly lose) honor, ninjas go on Missions to deliver their burgers. Missions are in a wide variety of places, from Buckingham Palace to Office Cube 2357-B ("Be careful. 2357-A is in another building") to Mount Everest to a Nuclear Submarine. Missions have a number of skill checks (rolling the ninja's skill or less on three six-sided dice). If the ninja makes all the skill checks, they gain something, usually honor, money, or both. Failure results in a penalty, usually a loss of honor, money, or both. There are also Errands, which are easier than missions but have less reward.
Then there are staff meetings. Each turn players get a Mission card (along with a Fortune card and money) and can decide to attend or skip the staff meeting. (Everyone decides this together, at the same time.) People who attend the staff meeting get a Fortune card and can swap Missions with each other. However, a player can force a player with lower honor to swap a Mission with them. A person who skips the staff meeting can't trade their Mission or get a Fortune card, but they can reroll one failed skill check on their turn.

After everyone's had a turn, if only one player succeeds they gain one extra honor; if only one player failed, they lose one extra honor. Players then check to see if anyone has won, and if not the turn starts anew.
Ninja Burger: Secret Ninja Death Touch Edition is quick, fun, funny, and simple. There's plenty of humor here: silly flavor text ("No one has explained why the franchise has its own leopard. But it needs to be walked, right now"), art from Greg Hyland, exotic/ridiculous locations, and even cards letting a player swap skills but having to explain how they're doing it. This latest edition has the cards from the original Sumo-Size Me expansion (the Tip Jar, New Menu Items, Goals, Enhancers) that add a little more variety to the game; there are also money and honor tokens that cute but unnecessary extras. Gameplay can get pretty cutthroat, but the high humor level keeps things from getting too serious. Ninja Burger: Secret Ninja Death Touch Edition is a neat little game that's easy to quickly teach and start. There's no grand strategy involved, but this is a terrifically enjoyable game that proves that fast food delivery can be amusing -- providing you're a ninja, of course.
Overall grade: B+
Reviewed by James Lynch

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