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More Card Ninja Wildcards revealed

Following up on our post about Blessing and Curse, I am going to dig into the next two wildcards that appear in the game; Assassin and Ajnin.

These cards can have a dramatic impact on your game score, so if you’ve been struggling to get past level 8, reading this post could be the answer to all your worries.

The Assassin wildcard is all about time. As any of you who have been an actual assassins will know, getting the job done quickly and getting the hell out of there, is what it’s all about. One of the Ninja’s primary technique’s was stealth and their ability to do things so quickly that no one even noticed they had been there.

Throwing the Assassin card freezes time for about 8 seconds. In the game this can be a huge factor in progressing because not only does it stop the clock, allowing you to hit your targets calmly without losing those precious time bonuses, but it also freezes the action on the screen. In the rounds where there are moving targets, this bonus is even more powerful.

The powerful Assassin hour glass

The powerful Assassin hourglass

The visuals here were molded by Kevin our graphic designer using a combination of images and cool artwork. The image is of course an ancient sand timer or hourglass. Turn the device over and the sand starts dripping through the enclosure. They were originally invented to time the speed of ships apparently. Of course they have also been used by some intrepid cooks hungry for deliciously gooey egg yolks. I saw my first hourglass in the hands of the wicked witch of the east in the Wizard of Oz and you’ll recognize it more recently from Lord of the Rings, Legend of Zelda and other great games and movies.

As before, I am not going to be explicit about how you make Time machine work, but if you look carefully at the image of the card you’ll see an obvious clue. It follows the same theme as the earlier clues and once you get it, you are set to stealthily climb your way up the Ninja ranks. Feel free to leave your thoughts on what the clue is and how to stop the clock.

Next up is Ajnin. This is definitely a favorite of mine and not only because it was inspired by an idea from my 10 year old son, Max. The card was originally called topsy turvy while we were in development and that basically sums up its effect. Its turns your world upside down. It makes a mockery of your Ninja skills with alarming results when you aren’t ready for it. Starting to get the idea now? Ninja becomes ajniN.

The crazy topsy turvy Ajnin Wildcard

The crazy, topsy turvy, Ajnin Wildcard

The effect is to take all of your flick throws and reverse them. Throw up to the right and the card shoots off down and to the left. Flick down card goes up etc etc. Its one of my favorites because I kind of enjoy the fresh challenge of having to rethink every throw and its kind of fun trying to get the cards right even though you know you are throwing them completely wrong. I also find that its a real mind twister once the effect has timed out. I always get stuck in Ajnin mode throwing reverse for the first couple of cards after its over.

The visual for this card is actually some images Kevin took of his own arms. Not easy to do, but he’s tough and a great photographer to boot, so it was easy for him.

The clue for this card is slightly different than the previous cards but again, if you look closely you’ll see there is an element displayed in this card that is always present on a target when you see the card appear in the deck. Trust me, you’ll want to get this right even though getting it right means turning your world upside down.

Next up the scariest and most dramatic cards in this release of the game: Dragon and Ghost


The true story of Card Ninja

So a lot of people have been asking me about the origins of the Card Ninja idea. Generally the question is framed as sort of a game design inquiry. “So how did you guys come up with this whole card throwing idea anyway?”. Unfortunately that’s just not the right way to talk about this.

You see the truth is – and this is the straight up no messing, down and dirty truth – we didn’t come up with the idea entirely on our own. The whole concept of using card throwing as a fight simulation technique was discovered hundreds of years ago. As the masters of the various fighting techniques such as Ninjas and Samurai, developed their training regimens, the incorporation of some downtime into the harsh routine became more common. By the time the Ninja’s were a true force to be reckoned with, Card Ninja was a structured and deadly serious aspect of training. For many student, playing the game – if you can call it that – was a vital tool in keeping their Ninja skills sharp and their senses tuned. In fact, Card Ninja became so intertwined in Ninja training that the best players often received promotions in rank based solely on their Card Ninja performances.

Imagine the scenario if you will;  After a quick meal at the back of the Dojo, apprentice Ninjas kick back (literally) to relax from their training in the only way they know how and the only way their strict teachers will let them – by playing Card Ninja of course. The game demanded skilled fingers, mental strength and bravery in the face of determined adversaries. Challengers for the highest ranking positions would take out their aggression on their peers. Blood was not uncommon in the game area. Injuries were just a part of the experience and even servants minding their own business in the background became unseeing unknowing and definitely innocent victims. To make matters even more intense, Master Ninja’s watching from the sidelines dispensed harsh words of advice and occasionally used their control of magic to add mysterious spirits to the deck to further test their young disciples’ skills.

Kept as a closely guarded secret until now for fear of unleashing a wave of fully trained assassins into an unsuspecting world, the thrill of Card Ninja has finally been unlocked and is now available for the first time. We can’t reveal our sources or explain to you why this has come to light now. You’ll just have to trust us on this one. The end result however, is that now you too can experience the thrill of flicking it like a Ninja.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.