Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid
Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid gives each player the chance to take the role of a Power Ranger, the heroes of Angel Grove who defend the earth against the evil Rita Repulsa and her nefarious minions. Each Ranger comes with a unique combat deck representing their special skills and fighting style. From the Red Ranger's leadership karate skills, to the Yellow Ranger's Sabertooth ferocity, to the Blue Ranger's tactical mind, each ranger brings a unique set of skills to the table. You need to use your powers well if you intend to save Angel Grove!
In each game, you need to protect four combat zones that are being targeted by the evil Rita Repulsa. Each round, enemy forces deploy onto these zones and cause chaos among the populace. Who knows what sort of strange monsters Rita has cooked up for the Rangers this time?
During play, Rangers must manage their actions and coordinate their defenses, moving to the locations under the most threat and doing battle with enemies. Finding time to rest and recover between engagements as they prepare to defeat the mastermind behind this plot.
During battle, each Ranger and each enemy in the location participate in the combat sequence. Enemy cards represent enemy actions and health. Rangers can attack these cards to disrupt their attacks. Each minion card the rangers defeat removes one minion figure from that location. Monsters are much deadlier foes with a variety of special attacks that you'll need to deal with and defeat before you send them packing! A Ranger's combat deck represents their health, with each card played and blow sustained slowly whittling away at their options. They'll need to find time to rest or power-up at the Command Center if they want to stay fresh for the next fight!
As the Rangers defeat enemies and progress through the game, they'll unlock Zord cards which provide them unique abilities and special actions they can perform. Eventually they'll be able to unleash the full power of the mighty Megazord!
Each game reaches its climax with a confrontation with the enemy Master, a devastatingly powerful foe who must be thwarted if the Rangers wish to save the city! Do you have what it takes?
Designer: Jonathan Ying
Artist: Daniel Mora
Publisher: Renegade Game Studios
Category: Cooperative Play
Price: $66.81 Amazon.com
Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid is a cooperative game set in the classic Power Rangers universe. In this game, the Rangers work together to hold off an ongoing slew of baddies and protect the town of Angel Grove.
It’s morphin’ time with Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid! This game drops players into an episode of the classic kids’ show as they work together to stop Rita Repulsa and her onslaught of monsters-of-the-week.
Players represent the Power Rangers, each with their own specialized card deck and unique ability. The game-action is played out on a central board consisting of four outer locations and the command center in the middle.
A game round consists of enemy deployment and player actions. To start, 5 enemy cards are drawn from the game deck and their figures are placed on the board. The backs of most deployment cards show a location, so when a card is drawn, the corresponding figure is placed on the location shown on the back of the next card in the pile.
The locations all have a maximum capacity of enemies they can hold. If a figure must be placed on a location that is full, the figure is instead placed on the next space clockwise. Additionally, if a location becomes full or a monster/boss appears, that space becomes “panicked,” signified with a “!” token.
When a space becomes panicked, it remains so until it is completely cleared of enemies (not just until it drops below its capacity!). This is especially troublesome, because if all 4 outer spaces become panicked, the Rangers lose. Naturally, then, a huge part of this game is keeping spaces from becoming panicked in the first place, but with no less than 5 enemies spawning each turn, this proves to be quite difficult.
After enemies have been deployed, Rangers may take 2 actions each. These can be moving, battling, or recovering. In this game, Rangers’ card decks represent both combat abilities and health, meaning that having to discard a card is doubly bad, because it puts its owner closer to being KO’ed, and it limits what they can do in combat going forward. To that end, the recovery action involves regaining cards that have previously been discarded.
The combat system in this game uses dice and cards. To begin a fight, players draw a number of enemy cards and place them in a row. (Monsters and bosses get their own rows of cards, which is particularly brutal.) The enemies and Rangers then take turns exchanging blows. The bad-guy cards are resolved in order from left to right, and in between each of them, a Ranger present in the combat may take a turn.
Most Ranger cards have an energy cost to play, indicated in the top-left corner. Energy tokens can get pretty tight, so players need to choose and coordinate their attacks wisely. Many cards allow players to roll dice for damage, and in standard genre fashion, if Rangers earn hits equal to an enemy’s defense, they KO the enemy.
When enemy figures are destroyed, they are placed on the secondary “Power board.” If the Power board’s track fills up with figures, the Rangers earn a Zord ability. (And to answer your next question, yes, they can go Megazord.)
Eventually, the boss enemy will show up, and if the Rangers can defeat her, they win!
(For the sake of brevity, I’m glossing over a few aspects of the game, but hopefully this synopsis gives a basic idea of how it plays.)
I can’t help but hum the Power Rangers theme song when I play this game. The nostalgic vibe comes through very nicely, with each Ranger having their own specialty as they combat fan-favorite baddies in recognizable locations.
The production of this game is off the charts. The miniatures are much larger than I expected, and their sculpts are super-detailed. The chunky, frosted dice are very fun to roll, and the game art is vibrant and attractive. Also available are multiple expansions which provide plenty more content.
Upon my first read-through of the rulebook, it seemed to be pretty well-written, but once I actually sat down to play the game, I realized there were a few aspects that I did not fully understand. After a second reading, I decided to just barrel ahead and play, and things eventually started to click. Potential buyers should be aware of this; it may take a “practice game” and a couple of searches on rules forums before the ball really gets rolling.
I found the gameplay to be enjoyable, and I suspect a more devoted Power Rangers fan would fall in love with it. To me, this is an example of a theme being the selling point of a game. If Power Rangers is your thing, it’s a no-brainer, you‘ll want to get the game and its expansions. If, like me, the theme is secondary to you, I would recommend starting out with the base game, perhaps demoing it at your local game store. Doing so should give a clear indication of whether the game and/or extra content is worth it for you. Be sure to watch some old Power Rangers episodes first, to put yourself in that radical, neon-‘90s mindset!
A review copy was provided by Renegade Game Studios.
+ AMAZING production quality
+ Difficult coop challenge
+ Very thematic to the Power Rangers universe
+ Cool turn-based combat system
- Rulebook is not always clear
- May take a “practice game” before everything clicks