Welcome to the KickStarter Spotlight for TMNT's new board game based on IDW's comic book universe; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows Of The Past. Seeing this come past my inbox sent my heart aflutter with excitement and joy, with lofty expectations closely in tow. So lets dive in to see what I have gotten myself worked up over.
The KickStarter for TMNT is being run by IDW Games, the board game publishing arm of IDW, and has a goal of $250,000US, but at the time of writing this article, the funding goal is already 3/4 of the way there. Based on IDW’s comic book universe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past is currently being kick-started by IDW themselves. The game has been designed by Kevin Wilson of Descent and Arkham Horror fame, as well as Kevin Eastman and the rest of IDW’s creative time, so it will definitely be true to the comics. The game is being touted as a story driven, two to five player game, with missions based on some of the biggest moments from the comic book series. With a one vs many style, it definitely seems like the kind of game that could break a few friendships, but if you are the winner, who cares?
There isn't a whole lot of information about how the game will flow, but from what information there is the game looks interesting and somewhat unique. When you are playing as one of the turtles, there is a dice sharing mechanic. When you roll your dice for combat, you can strategically place them in your play area, and the dice that are closest to that player can also be used. So if you roll something that isn't useful for yourself, but you think your neighbour might be able to do something with it, you can place it closest to them so they can make use of it. It is something I haven't seen before and its bound to make you talk to your partners in crime and strategist accordingly. Moving over to the other team, if you are playing as the great and powerful Master Shredder, you get to control a unique deck based around the characters you have access to during the scenario you are playing. You can activate minions and leaders in combat, and overall control the opposition, which is a good counterpart to the strategy layer that is implemented for the turtles.
If I was to guess about how the missions and scenarios would work, I would draw on my experience playing Zombicide, as the inclusions really give me that kind of vibe. There are included map tiles, prop tokens and terrain cards, that when combined would be able to make an absolute ton of different maps and missions you could play. Where Zombicide included 9 map tiles in its original release, TMNT includes 12, meaning a total of 479,001,600 possible different map arrangements, and that's before you include the props. There are also miniatures included for each of the four turtles, as well as Master Shredder, Alopex, Karai, and 27 foot clan ninjas, as well as character sheets to go along with them. There are also some ability and movement cards, which will most likely make up the bulk of the non combat gameplay, as well as status tokens for your characters. Oh, and did I mention custom TMNT branded die's? Why do I find that so cool? On top of the four turtles and Master Shredder, there is also an April O'Niel Hero Pack, which contains a character card, a miniature, three custom dice and five special move cards, with more characters looking to be added as stretch goals.
At the moment there are only the two stretch goals, with plans for more and with the current campaign being so highly funded so quickly there is definitely an incentive to add more. Currently there is a plan to upgrade some of the gun toting thugs from simple tokens to a miniature, and adding Old Hob, the first major enemy of the TMNT in the IDW comic series. Of course KickStarter is not without its risks. Many people tend to forget that KickStarter is not a shop and there is really no guarantee your money will actually buy you a product, but thankfully, IDW Games has a good track record. IDW Games has successfully delivered two previous KickStarters, with the previous one, Cat Tower, being delivered a month early.
To wrap up, as much as we should be hesitant with KickStarter, the combination of a proven track record from IDW, as well as big names like Kevin Wilson, and the IDW Creative team behind this game, TMNT: Shadows Of The Past looks like a solid game, and if you are into board games, it comes as an almost must have. I personally have pledged my money towards it, and very much look forward to being able to give my thoughts on the completed product, once I have it in my hands.
If this is for you, the KickStarter can be found by clicking this line somewhere.