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Gameplay Mechanic a Month: Co-op Field Game

Month 9 - September 2013

Two ninjas holding hands.

Mechanic Description:

Physical games you can play in a field or in any sufficiently large space are fairly popular. Some examples are JS Joust, Lemon Joust Club, the Danish Clapping game and Ninja. Most of these games are solo players competing against each other.

This month's mechanic is a mod of the game Ninja to turn it into a co-op/paired/team game. Players must hold hands with a partner and work as a team to eliminate all the other players. If players release hands, they lose.

Playable in the following game:

Team Ninja


Real World


Physical Game

Game Description:

Get together 6 or more friends together on a field or large open space. Find a partner. Hold hands with your partner. Each team takes turns to move. If your hands are hit, you are out. Try to get other teams out and be the last person standing.

Team Ninja is a great game to play with a mix of children and adults. Children that are too nervous to play against adults can pair up with an adult. It gives children a great sense that they're in it together and helps build their own confidence.

Gameplay Instructions:

This month to play the game all you need are 6 simple rules, at least 6 people and a playing area. The last team standing wins.

Rule 1

Hold Hands

Rule 2

Choose a team to go first. Take turns.

Rule 3

On your turn, one of you does one fluid movement

Rule 4

On your turn, hit any hand to eliminate opponents.

Rule 5

When it's not your turn, move your hands out of the way in defence.

Rule 6

There are a number of ways to get out.


Download and print the PDF version of the rules.


Thank you to the Come Out and Play Fesitval Sandbox events for letting me playtest the game.

The game was part of the 2013 San Francisco Come Out and Play Festival. Here are some action shots from the day of playing.

Gif of someone making a move. Players making ninja poses. Players making ninja poses.


An analysis of the gameplay mechanic written by me in March 2015.

I wanted to create a game for Come Out & Play. So I knew it had to be something that people could pick up and understand the rules easily. I wanted it to be co-op multiplayer. I had played Ninja before and really enjoyed it.

What Went Right:        

What Went Wrong:        

Hug Rating:
4 hugs

A fun little game, but lacks interest and longevity. The team component didn’t add enough to the original game it was modding.

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