Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – the board game is an MB game TV tie-in with one of the many animated series that have been made in recent years. I’ll begin with a confession – I love the turtles! My first encounter with them was in TMNT the Role Playing Game, and I was hooked from that moment on. Having said that, in the RPG you play as other mutant animals and so the actual turtle characters don’t get a look in (at least in the games we played). I do fondly remember my mutant horse private investigator character. I decided I could do without fingers in order to retain hooves with which to punch people (I’ll get the answers, someone else can do the paperwork!).
Anyway, I digress. The game is for all those aged 6+ and is (as you’d expect) a pretty simple affair. You get yourself from one end of the board to the other, beating up bad guys as you go, use a keycard or dynamite to bust into Shredder’s hideout and beat him up too. Then it’s back to the sewers and pizza all round before you can say “Cowabunga!”.
The gameplay is heavily dice driven, with custom dice for combat – which works pretty well. There is a custom d6 marked 2 to 7 for movement, but as you have to stop whenever you hit a new chit (which litter the board like .. um .. litter) that aspect is pretty meaningless. The cartoon artwork is straight out of the Fox Kids series (and therefore awesome) and it plays out very quickly.
However, my younger son (aged 7) was not satisfied. He insisted that we assign special powers to each character, and made me write them down. Now, whenever we play, we use these rules. He is definitely going to be a games designer when he grows up. Marvel at the simplicity and balance to these powers. See how they create additional interest and spice without descending into complexity or breaking the gameplay. Wonder as … well – you get the picture.
So, in case you’re interested, and maybe even would like to try these rules for yourself, here they are …
Raphael: can reroll combat dice once per turn
Michelangelo: can use buildings as movement spaces
Donatello: can pass over one token without revealing it each turn (only if he is not in the sewers)
Leonardo: can turn over two tokens per turn – the one he’s standing on and one which is next to him
Shredder: can summon one bad guy token each turn to come and help him in battle
There you have it. You’ll never look at this game the same way again. As the box says:
Time to apply some Turtle whacks!
You’re welcome, Internet!