I've been meaning to make a post about this, and I kept forgetting until I saw the "spinning techniques" video on the Lego facebook page. This isn't so much thoughts on Ninjago the theme, but more my observations on the game itself.
While I was visiting with family over Christmas, I spent some time playing with my 8.5 year old nephew who is into Ninjago, Bey Blades, Pokemon, and a number of other things I can't remember. We picked him up a Ninjago spinner for Christmas and before we went to go visit, I picked one up for me so after he opened his present we could play together.
First of all, I have not met anybody who is not an AFOL who pronounces it Ninja-go. My nephew and just about every other kid I've talked to calls it Nin-jago. I'm not saying one is better than the other, but I thought in the catchy little toon they released a while back it was something about Ninja-GO...Ninja-GO...etc. Anyway, I thought it was interesting, maybe it's a regional thing.
So we cleared some space on his bedroom floor and started to battle it out. My nephew declared right off that we were playing for keeps, meaning if he beat me he got to keep my weapons. I was a little disappointed by this and if other kids are playing this way, I'm a little bummed about the thought of kids taking each others stuff. I know on some of the cards they say things about swapping opponents weapons, but there are some words in there about giving them back when you're done.
Anyway, I found that the game itself was actually pretty hard to play. We didn't have the battle arena, so the spinners usually went careening off in every direction but at each other. I managed to get it down somewhat, but my nephew had a hard time keeping his spinner going, and a lot of times he would try to spin it so fast the figure would fly off immediately. I would say maybe 1 out of 10 battles we actually had our spinners make contact. I think if you had some kind of walls to keep it closed in a bit it would work better, but even then if you put weapons that really reach out to the side too much, it sets the spinners off balance enough that they don't stay spinning for very long.
After about a half an hour, he got bored and decided to play bey blades, which is a similar concept, but much easier to play. Bey Blades (for anyone who doesn't know) are metal spinners that battle each other in this plastic bowl arena thing. There are supposed to be characters assigned to each spinner, but I didn't pay much attention to that (although my nephew knew every name and everything about them). There is a part that you hold that you attach the spinner to with a plastic strip that you pull that gets the spinner going. It's actually pretty fun and it works quite well and I enjoyed it much more than the Ninjago spinners as there was more action and it was easier to play.
Anyway, any other thoughts or obsesrvations? Overall, my experience wasn't that great and I wasn't overly impressed with the game itself.