Story by Rachel Holt, Photos by Jim Peterson
“Games have been a part of my life since I was a kid. They’ve been central to my life and friendships.
our games there is something for everybody. There is room for everyone in the tent,” shared Dave Freeman, Director of Operations.
Ninja Division is a local board game publisher and design studio located in Garden City. They design and sell a variety of board games. Many of these games, such as Super Dungeon Explore and Ninja All Stars come with paintable figures representing heroes, ninjas, monsters, and more.
Freeman said, “We came up with the name Ninja Division for a couple of reasons. We thought ninjas were cool, we wanted an Eastern feel, and our art drew heavily from anime and chibi (super cute) styles. The ‘Division’ part came from the organization of a military unit, a division.”
Founded officially 3 years ago, Ninja Division has come a long way since its origins in 2009 when they made their first figure.
“Originally I’m from Nampa. I had a house and stuff here. My basement was our warehouse. I really like it here and pushed pretty hard to get Ninja Division to be in Boise and bit by bit, our telecommuters are moving here,” shared Dietrich Stella, Soda Pop Studio Lead.
Within Ninja Division there are three design studios: Ninja Division itself, Shinobi 7, and Soda Pop Miniatures which have specific areas of development focus.
Shinobi 7 is the studio branch that partners with high-end licenses and creates games based around that license, such as their ‘My Little Pony: Tales of Equestria’ role-playing game set to be released in March. Soda Pop produces figures for games as well as the game, Super Dungeon Explore.
“Soda Pop makes all the cool stuff for Ninja Division,” joked Stella. “With Super Dungeon Explore, it’s a high fantasy game that’s happy and bubbly in an otherwise bleak landscape within the fantasy genre. We’ve been orienting our games to where whole families can play them together and both adults and kids can enjoy it.”
Two of Ninja Division’s most popular games are: Super Dungeon Explore and Ninja All Stars.
Super Dungeon Explore puts players in a dungeon where players will either be heroes or monsters, with each side competing to clear the dungeon of the other team.
Ninja All Stars is a ninja-based game where players chose a clan and select a team of recruits from their clan to fight for them. Each game can have a different challenges and the ninja team that has the most points at the end of game wins. Also, local area game stores host periodic league nights for Ninja All Stars, where people can come and play games with other members of the community.
Creative Director John Cadice, shared, “We are absolutely passionate about what we do and hope that carries through in what we make and how excited we are to make it. We have great fans! And for those people who have played games but don’t know us, we are really hoping to get our game in front of them too. We think they’d love it if they saw it.”
For more information about Ninja Division and their games, check out their website at: ninjadivision.com